The world's oldest puzzle meets the 21st century!
2,200 years ago a puzzle was created that has been attributed to Archimedes and variously called the Loculus, the Ostomachion or Archimedes' Box.
The Dr Wood Challenge Centre has stayed true to the original creation, but has added an extra dimension to give you a compelling, fascinating range of puzzle challenges!
Play within the frame: Spill the pieces, then return them to the frame to create an amazing array of challenges, from basic to extreme.
Freeform play: Use your imagination and the 14 unique piece to tackle delightful freeform challenges. From 'The Jester' to an 'Elephant'... open your mind to a whole world of puzzling entertainment.
• 14 piece puzzle set pieces
• Playing frame
• Challenge Book - featuring 73 exciting challenges.
Now this game was a lot more my speed. I can shuffle shapes around with the best of them and Tangrams used to be a favourite plaything in my early years.
This is far deeper than your basic tangram set though, with at least twice as many pieces, the shapes and images you can create are limited only by your imagination. It was great fun to work my way through the book that came with it, and make all the coloured 'inside the square' images.
I can't compliment them on the design since they freely admit they didnt create it first, but the addition of the colours made for some very interesting fun while making pictures. Some of them took a bit of imagination to 'see' the pictures they were talking about while others were really clear and obvious.
The construction was top-notch and sturdy as this got dumped on the floor a couple of times by accident as I was reaching for pizza.
All in all, a great little puzzle, but again it's really a 1-player thing. The best way we found to make it a team sport was to treat it like Charades, where one person chose a design and the other players on that team had to guess what it was, all within a fairly short timespan. A real challenge. The other way we thought of was to have a referee, and one team made a design behind a screen and got timed, then the other team had their turn and tried to do it faster.
This puzzle goes back centuries, to the dawn of rational thought and mathematics as we know it. It travelled the world and was adapted many times, but by far the most well known variant became the Tangram Puzzle often found in kids' schools and craft books. Lokulus is seriously far more flexible, challenging and addictive.
After opening the box and deciding to 'give it a quick check' I found myself still plugging away at it many hour later, after wandering the web and finding all sorts of puzzles online. The beauty of this puzzle is that there are a number of skill levels, from the basic version where you are presented with a square image made up of coloured panels and have to recreate it without knowing the exact piece placement, through to the 'freestyle' puzzles where you are presented with just a silhouette, with no hints or clues as to what pieces or which way up they go.
Overall, the puzzle is simple in context, complex to master, and frustratingly addictive. it tests not only the logical/rational side of the brain, but also the creative side as well... and there is plenty of evidence available that shows the extreme benefits of exercising both sides of the brain, especially when you apply them both to the same puzzle, or problem.
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807 - 1882)