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Hanayama Twist Puzzle Review

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This metal puzzle, which has been designed by Netherlander Oskar Deventer, separates into two 'U' shaped metal pieces with one being gold and the other one silver that when connected together form one ball-like shape. The pieces when separated look at first glance identical apart from the colour but they are not and have different grooved patterns on each of them which are the tracks you must follow to get the pieces separated. Each piece has a nub on it which will be used to follow the aforementioned tracks and this is where the puzzle gets its added level of difficulty as you have to monitor both nubs and their positions as you progress with it as both have to reach a certain point for the pieces to release. The pieces also have clear and big indentations where they slot together to form the ball shape at the base of the 'U' shape.

The objective of the challenge is to disassemble it so that you have two separate individual pieces by following essentially a maze of which there is one on each piece with numerous dead ends until you reach the separation point and then what will prove if you have understood how the puzzle operates is by retracing your steps so the puzzle is whole again and what it looked like when you started the brain teaser. Often with disentangle metal challenges taking it apart can be the easy bit but reassembling it is much more difficult and essentially the main challenge but with this puzzle it is just about the same maybe even a little less challenging to reassemble it but it will test whether or not you have truly understood how it works and remembered the complex route you took to get it separated as it is quite confusing and as you will have completed essentially two mazes this doubles the difficulty of this task.

This puzzle looks like a piece of jewellery and is certainly one of the prettier-looking pieces in the Hanayama collection and has been carefully cut to give it a unique design with finely engraved grooved patterns so could be either a decorative ornament that could be placed on a mantelpiece or when pieced together put on a chain as a necklace although it is a bit heavy.

Operating the puzzle by which I mean the process of taking it apart is generally smooth as the grooved tracks allow the pieces to be moved about and slotted into place without them becoming stuck or jammed which could lead to it breaking if extreme force was applied in a scenario in which the pieces did indeed become stuck. If you become frustrated and need to take a break from the puzzle it will hold its position reasonably well when laid down on a flat surface so you can come back to it with a fresh mind and pick up from where you left off. With this puzzle, you will need to be good with your fingers in terms of keeping them steady as it is a bit fiddly and intricate to perform the manoeuvres it requires to resolve it due to its relatively small size and the shape of the pieces of it.

This puzzle is made from zinc and is very small and quite heavy for its size and for sure is not suitable for small kids especially when it is separated into smaller individual pieces. The pieces are strong and robust so they are likely not going to break or bend even when put under stress or force that one might apply when frustrated but the puzzle is designed so not that much force is required to solve it and if you are applying excessive force you are likely doing something wrong. As it is made from metal it should keep a long time if placed or stored away correctly so common sense would be not to leave it lying on the floor where it can be stood upon and then possibly broken.

The fact the puzzle is so small means it's easy to store away when you have finished playing with it and so will therefore not clutter your house up which is a common feature of Hanayama puzzles. The puzzle can be easily transported or carried around as it should fit easily in your pant or jacket pocket with room to spare and although weighty for its size is still relatively light to carry but as it is small could be easily lost so you will have to keep an eye on it when you take it with you especially when outdoors. The advantage of there being only two parts is that it is easier to keep track of the pieces as each piece will be in one or the other hand and this is also an advantage it has over other disentangle puzzles including other Hanayama ones that have many small pieces which makes them more susceptible to pieces going missing.

The replayability of the puzzle is not that high as there is only one challenge and one solution to it so once you have worked out the solution and have memorised it which should take a bit of time as there are a number of moves you have to perform with there being two mazes and can do it with no false moves and in the quickest time possible then you have got all you can out of the puzzle.

This puzzle is more of an intermediate to difficult level challenge and is given a 4 out of 6 in terms of the level of difficulty rating which seems to be an accurate measure so is definitely one of the more tricky and demanding puzzles in the collection and is far more complex than it initially looks which will give even those with experience of maze puzzles a headache as it is a unique maze challenge. The puzzle seems simple because it only has two pieces to separate and what you have to do is obvious however the pieces each have a nub that you must pay attention to simultaneously which means you are basically solving two mazes at once which can be confusing and frustrating when alternating between the two although it does help they are different colours. There are also plenty of paths, which intersect each other and cover the whole of each piece, that you can go down leading to many dead ends in both mazes that can be very frustrating and time-consuming until you find the correct routes to go down as this is solved more by remembering which paths lead to a dead-end and choosing another one until you find the correct path rather than, what some people might prefer was the case, spotting small clues. The final part of the challenge which can be just as tough as the rest of the challenge is selecting the correct point of separation as there is just one which combined with the rest of the puzzle makes it a time-consuming challenge so this puzzle will be a good test of your memory and patience.

So, in conclusion, this is a brain teaser that has a cool design in terms of look and challenge which should take most people a while to figure out as it is a patience-testing maze puzzle so it may be more suitable for puzzlers with experience and advanced ability and not an entry point for beginners but once figured out and finished with as a brain teaser it can be just used as an ornament as it is a very pretty and original piece.




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