For years, I’ve been seeing LEGO puzzles pop up here and there. I’ve never solved one, but recently I saw the aMAZEing puzzle for sale and had to pull the trigger. I puchased this particular puzzle from NothingYetDesigns. I’ve purchased quite a few puzzles from them recently and they’ve all been high quality and the shipping is quick as well.

aMAZEing is the first puzzle created by a new company called QUIZBRIX. I can’t find much info about QUIZBRIX or who the designer is, but I’d like to welcome them to the puzzle family and I hope they find success and continue to make puzzles.

When the puzzle arrived, I was immediately intrigued. The black and white legos create a striking contrast and right off the bat I could see many slots and holes that lead me to believe that the claimed “30 steps to discover” was going to be quite the challenge.

The puzzle itself is rectangular in shape and about 4″x3″x2″ in size. It looks to be made of standard legos, big and small and feels mostly solid. There are many slots and holes on the four faces, but none on the top or bottom. The top, however is cleverly branded with a Q and B. It also appears that there are several drawers that may open, but for now, they are all locked shut.

On to the solve. This puzzle was a lot of fun to play with. It took me a couple of months to finally solve it, but I only worked on it sporadically – about 10 minutes at a time. It’s a clever design that had me stumped at couple of different points, but the clues were always there to guide me through the next step.

It’s definitely worthy of the “sequential discovery” title, there are a few tools to utilize and and a bunch of steps to complete in order to get to the final moves. These were especially tricky and I was stumped for a while until my son Parker (who is 10) figured it out. There was a certain tool that I couldn’t figure out how to use, But Parker found a way forward which then unlocked the rest of the puzzle. Using that same technique a couple of more times finally unlocked the last drawer which contained the Golden Bar. Also in the drawer was a lego with a QR code that points to a congratulations page and instructions on how to reset the puzzle – which is a great touch.

Overall, this puzzle wasn’t super hard, but then again I didn’t know what to expect from a LEGO puzzle. The website lists it as a Level 7 and I’d say thats fairly accurate.

I will defnitely buy the next puzzle offered by QUIZBRIX and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this one to a friend. It’s also gotten me curious enough about LEGO puzzles that I’ll likely purchase more from other designers as well.

Slideways Cube and Cross

Today, I have two different slideways puzzles. These are puzzles that slide together and slide apart and are immensely satisfying to fiddle with. While they are not difficult to get disassemble – they can be a little tricky to assemble as the pieces need to be held in a specific orientation while they are simultaneous moved together.

The first puzzle is the Slideways Cube created by Lee Krasnow. A video of Lee’s cube made its way onto Reddit recently and thus the cube was thrust into the spotlight. 

Thankfully, the cubes are now available in a $15 plastic version at his Etsy website here. The cube is great fun to play with – it feels sort of magical how the pieces go together and come apart. I’ve enjoyed handing the cube to my kids and seeing their reaction as it falls apart in their hands.

I think they are well worth the $15 cost

Overall, not a difficult puzzle to solve by any means, more of a novelty item to keep on the shelf and play with once in a while. I still think its a neat item that would make a nice gift.

Slideways Cube Disassembled

Next up is the Slideways cross from 

This is a really nice piece that is extremely well made. It is a fairly simple puzzle in most respects, but it can be quite tricky if you’ve never manipulated one of these before.

One of the big reasons I love this piece is that the tolerances are so tight that  it can seem impossible to solve. Unless you apply the correct pressure in the correct orientation the pieces won’t move. I have played with this piece for hours and its amazing how little force is actually required to separate the pieces. If you are pushing at all, you are doing it wrong. The pieces have virtually zero friction when moved correctly.

Slideways Cross pieces – such precision