Lonpos 303

Lonpos 303. Lonpos, because that’s the name of the inventor. 303 because that’s how many different puzzles there are. Puzzles of two different varieties: the rectangular, 2-dimensional variety, and the 3-D pyramid puzzles. There are 12 pieces, each made of a cluster of small balls, each a different color and shape. The shapes are pentomino-like in their variety (different configurations of clusters of 3, 4 and 5 units), so their mathematical properties are noteworthy – notably to mathematicians. All the pieces fit snugly in the case, which also most neatly serves to house the instruction booklets.

I was concerned, Defender of the Playful that I am, that perhaps the 3-D puzzles would be too, shall we say, challenging. After all, how do you effectively convey a 3-D puzzle in a 2-D booklet? So I tried those first. In fact, I tried the first one first. The illustration very clearly and painstakingly showed me how to place the first 11 pieces. All I had to do was figure out how to place the 12th. I must say that I was experiencing something akin to sensual delight as I built the puzzle – each piece fitting so satisfyingly snugly onto the board or onto other pieces. And, since there was only one piece left to place, and since it so clearly fit in only one possible position, I was able to experience the almost immediate reward of that final click, when everything falls together, and the full glory of pyramid-building manifests itself in multi-colored, opalescence.

Then I tried the next puzzle. Hmmm. A bit more difficult to figure out how to follow the instructions, to envision the proper piece when all you can see is the particular slice of it that appears on each level. And then the next. And another intriguing hmmm. And as I solved each puzzle, I felt I was being taught, carefully, playfully, invitingly, a bit more about the pentomatically puzzling properties of pyramid-building. And it wasn’t really too difficult. I mean it could get difficult. There were many puzzles in the booklet o’ puzzles. And they got progressively more and more, well, challenging. But I could select whatever challenge I was ready for. And I said unto myself, behold, this is fun. And I’m learning things. More than fun, actually. Major fun, even.

Lonpos 303 is very much like Lonpos 101, except Lonpos 101 only has 101 puzzles. And Lonpos 101 is very much like Kanoodle, which is similarly very much like Level Up. But there is only one Lonpos 303. And once you start playing with it, you’ll be grateful for every one of the 202 additional challenges that await. After which you might want to contemplate the significance of knowing that there are actually 360,984 unique rectangle puzzles, and 2,582 similarly unique pyramids puzzles that you could potentially create with your 12 little Lonpos pieces.

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