Today I bring you an article a little bit different than usual. Since I was a kid I’ve always loved solving riddles and puzzles, it is probably why I enjoy playing games so much nowadays. I’ve always been a fan of logic riddles. But today I’m going to talk about a different kind of riddles, ones you need other abilities than a quick mind for.
At the UK Games Expo ’17, there was a small booth that drew my attention. It was full of very colorful cubes with some kind of inscription on them. They let me try one sample and I was immediately hooked. I purchased one of them and after toying around I got in contact with them to know more about these. I’m talking about the people from insidezecube!
The idea behind these cubes is very simple. You are the ball, and you need to escape the labyrinth in the dark, with just your map. Every labyrinth has several layers and you have a map of each layer where it shows the entries and exits. The exit is on the other side of the cube. You’ll move the ball by moving the cube and making it roll, and you’ll guide yourself by the sound and hits against the walls.
Simple right? Well, prepare to get lost. A lot! These things are addictive and in the higher levels, it will take you some time to get to the exit successfully. Yes, they have differents difficulties too.
They’ve got 6 different levels. Blue is the easiest, with just one way down. Green and orange are the next, which introduces 3-dimensional movement, you’re going back and forward between levels. The red and brown they add traps (dead ends) and with the brown, you can’t open the cube! And last but not least, for the more intrepid adventurers, you’ve got the black cube. No map. No cube opening. Just you and your senses.
They also have 3 different series. The novice series are 5 level labyrinths. The Series 0, which is the original one, has 7 levels. And the 3rd, called the Phantom Series, has an extra ball that is enclosed somewhere in the labyrinth that will mess with your senses. As you can see there is a cube for everyone here.
With the exception of the black and brown cubes, you can always open the cube to gain access to the different levels, in case you get lost and want to restart. The assembly is very easy, shaped so the levels can only be introduced one way, and each has an identifier number.
But wait, there is more, one of the questions that I had after toying around with the cube and opening to see how the inside looked, was how about switching the levels to get different labyrinths? Insidezecube had already thought about that. They redirected me to a small webapp with a couple of tools that you’re going to love. They have a small questionnaire to help you find the ball if you get lost and don’t want to give up and they have one that lets you print different maps.
But the best one of them all is the one that you put the levels you own and it gives you all the possible combinations that have an actual exit. So you’re buying the cube but in fact, you have hundreds of combinations with your levels. And if you have two different cubes you can mix and match, just amazing!
These guys from neighbouring France have a great idea in their hands, they started it with a crowd funding and have created a small community around these cubes. They have challenges, people interchanging their cubes and an excellent website full of resources to keep you coming back. I know I’ll be waiting first in line for their next evolution in the series. If you’re interested in giving it a go, you won’t be disappointed. If your local shop doesn’t supply on these cubes you can always purchase directly from them with very reasonable prices.
For the moment I’ll try to find my way back in the phantom mortal cube again before I go completely insane in that labyrinth… Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn.
I hope you enjoyed the article. I love this kind of puzzles, and they also deserve a mention in the game’s world. They are excellent to bring along on a trip or as a gift. There are hundreds of great ideas out there. If you like the labyrinth cubes, you might also like these ones too.
I love to get them when I visit the Science Museum in London, a great souvenir if you ask me. The latest one I got was the Kepler’s Planetary puzzle from the Great Minds series (I love to challenge my colleagues to solve this under a timer).
You also have reimplementations of classics like the mix of a Sudoku with a Rubik’s cube! (only for the faint of heart and looking for a brain burning experience!) from the people at Vcube.
Thanks for reading and take a look at the innovative great ideas from insedezecube!