Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Perplexus Rocks

The perplexus is a 3-d maze where the aim is to move a ball around a series of obstacles. Makezine last issue had a great story on it here. The article described the journey from a school project through decades of effort to a toy and even a giant art piece.
There is an interview here with the creator Michael McGinnis. Usually my wife finds puzzles and games really boring but I have to keep fighting her to get a go on the perplexus. There is a page here on the history of the design. It shows some of the dedication and inventiveness that you can feel went into the puzzle when you play it.

It is not perfect, there are annoying etchings on the top that sometimes hinder viewing. It is slightly off spherical which is not what the designer wanted. It is made out of plastic like all toys. I presume trying to get this level of precision in wood would be nearly impossible. Still this is the best designed toy since the rubik's cube. Similar to the rubik's cube it is mainly aimed at children but not just for them.

This is really pretentious but the puzzle is like moving meditation. I cannot play this without feeling like part of zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance. You never get products anymore that have such obvious dedication built into them. Every step feels like some sort of Japanese mindfullness exercise. Basically the perplexus rocks. I got bought mine in the UK from here. The shipment to Ireland was really quick. You can get it from America here