Some puzzles are meant just to waste time, others are a little more challenging, and a few barely stop short of being infuriatingly difficult to solve. This toy is falls somewhere in the latter category.
Most of us will have tried solving a Rubik’s cube, which is nearly impossible unless you first figure out the right strategy. In other words, becoming good at this doesn’t just require thinking about the problem, but being able to think about solving it on an abstract level.
Certainly, anyone who’s made one move on a Rubik’s cube only to seemingly erase all their progress will know how hard it can be to think about movement in three dimensions. These box puzzles from Inside3 can help you develop this skill, but in a very different way.
The goal here is to maneuver the metallic marble from one corner of the cube to the other by tilting and rotating it. Inside, several trays form mazes that the ball navigates by rolling downhill, and you’ll have to guide the ball into dropping through holes connecting them several times.
They come in several difficulty levels, depending on the complexity of the mazes and whether or not the cube can be opened to find a marble you’ve lost. That’s right: the cubes are opaque, although most have maps of each maze level printed on the side. You have to solve it blind: if you forget where you are, you have to use logic and the clicking sound the ball makes as it hits a wall to find it again – preferably without sending it further into the labyrinth.
Here’s Inside3‘s promo video of the world champion solving one of their puzzles, but do not think you will ever be anything close this fast:
Though this particular one is not all that difficult (most people will solve it in 20 to 30 minutes), the more advanced ones are very challenging. Still, it’s very engaging and huge fun if you enjoy solving puzzles, and you can always choose one of their other puzzles.