Friday, 6 January 2012

The Dioctipoid Puzzle Ball

I remember the first wave of the Rubik's Cubes when they hit the shops back in the seventies!  It would make the teatime news when someone broke the record for completing it in the quickest time.  There was gasps of disbelief when someone did it blindfolded!  I even completed it once (with help from a 'how to' guide and a lot of luck).  Since then, there has been a constant stream of successors in search of that crown that the Rubik's Cube has worn for many a year.  The Dioctipoid is the newest contender in the genre!

Dioctipoid 2.0 on its stand.
The Dioctipoid makes the Rubik's Cube look positively square!!  The iconically designed spherical puzzle ball consists of segments that rotate in groups around any of the four axes.  The idea is to rediscover the starting pattern and solve the puzzle!  The Dioctipoids come in two difficulties 1.0 and 2.0. 1.0 has six coloured star patterns with white diamond segments, the 2.0 has stars with coloured diamond segments to make it harder to solve.

Dioctipoid 1.0

I was sent one of each to try out.  The puzzle balls are really tactile with the segments sliding easily across the sphere.  It is quite stress relieving to slide the pieces, rotating them and re-orientating the ball.  However the puzzle itself is very difficult.  So much so that there is a cash prize offered to anyone who solves it in the shortest time!  To date, no-one has claimed to have solved either puzzle.

The Dioctipoid is well made out of hard plastic, is nicely weighted and is sized to fit nicely in the palm of your hand.  The colours are nice and the ball looks quite intriguing sat on its stand.

I am probably never going to solve the Dioctipoid in a million years, however it is an enjoyable way to while away some time.  Trying to reform the stars is very trying, but as there is no time limit or annoying electronic beeps creating undue pressure, it is not stressful!  You can set mini targets of solving a certain amount of stars which is more achievable and gets you used to how the pieces move.  The pieces move nicely without getting locked up as long as you keep the shape by re-orientating the sphere between moves.  You can pick it up and put it down at your leisure.  It comes with its own stand so you can keep it on display ready for family and friends to try.  It will definitely become a talking point with everyone wanting a go.

The Dioctipoid is recommended for children aged 8 and over.  The boxed puzzle comes complete with a token for the competition run by where full details can be found.

For hardcore puzzle enthusiasts, this will be the ultimate challenge in spherical geometry, offering hours of twisty-turny puzzling.

In a world full of electronic toys it is refreshing to see a toy that does not rely on batteries.  As a toy for an older child or as an executive toy for an adult, it'll give the grey matter the ultimate work out!

You can buy your own Dioctipoid for the special price of £18.49!


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