Puzzle Blox

puzzle bloxPuzzle Blox is, as you no doubt surmised, a puzzle made of blox. Uh, blocks. Well, cubes, actually. Small cubes. 130 of them. Very cubic cubes – precision-made, sharp-edged, flat-faced blox (um, blocks), that look just about precisely like this:

Puzzle Blox pieces
The puzzle comes in a transparent plastic box, with an equally transparent lid. It also includes three, double-sided inserts with reproductions of the very art that you are hoping to reproduce.

You choose any one of the six images (full-color, accurately reproduced reproductions), unfold it, flatten it, and place it lovingly on the bottom of the box (we found it a little easier to move the blocks into position by taping the art, sparingly, to the outside of the bottom of the box, given the transparency and all).

You spill the cubes out of the box (better to spill them onto something, like a flat plate or box lid), and then turn each tiny block so that the top faces all belong to the puzzle you want to solve. This takes some time and care and, well, especially for adult-sized fingers, dexterity. Not that the blocks are especially tiny, but that they’re tiny enough to require a steady hand and practiced eye.

Major FunThen you put the blox (excuse me, blocks) back into the bocks (uh, box). Start with the edges first. Put some gentle music on (Vivaldi, for example). Breathe deeply. And enjoy.

You’re in for a real visual treat. It’s almost like an artistic experience. Because all the pieces are uniform, the only clue you have is the art itself. You examine each piece, look carefully at the colors, the brush strokes. When you find the right one, the pieces line up precisely, so you know you’re on the right track.

An hour or so later, when you think you’ve finished the puzzle, remove the puzzle sheet from the back of the box and turn it over. You’ll see an entirely different work of art, and any of the pieces that are not correctly aligned will immediately make themselves vividly known.

My wife Rocky and I played with this puzzle together. It’s rare that we both get so engaged. Frankly, I don’t like picture puzzles that much. But this one forced me to focus so completely on the art, and to appreciate, not only the art, but also my wife’s eye and hand and, well, the whole lovely package. And, with the music, somehow the whole experience resolved itself into something very close to deep delight. And then there are five more puzzles left.

Brought to people 10 and older by Brainwright, a.k.a. Caeco.

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