Throughout my short trip through puzzle land, Iíve noticed a few puzzle designers that stand out. One of them is Jean-Claude Constantin and in this review, Iím going to talk about one of his puzzles called Centrale. I took an interest in Jean-Claudeís puzzles because of their contemporary look. The main reason I like to collect puzzles is the enjoyment of understanding the puzzle mechanics and solving them of course. However, it helps when the puzzles look great. Jean-Claude’s puzzles comfortably fill all those requirements. I did a little research and found out that there are two versions of the Centrale puzzle. There is one that I would consider very difficult. This one isnít that version.
The objective of the puzzle is to remove a coin from inside a wooden box through using a sliding mechanism. Mine came with a 2004 five cent euro coin. Which is about 500 dollars over here ;) In both versions of the puzzle, there are two circle cutouts. However, in the easier version of the puzzle there is a third rectangular cutout displaying a few ball bearings. In my opinion, this makes the puzzle a bit easier. In fact, I was able to solve the puzzle in about 10 minutes. For the most part, I donít like the idea of solving a puzzle that quickly. However, I found myself repeating the puzzle several times because of the interesting puzzle mechanic. If you want the harder version, then you might want to contact your preferred puzzle store before buying. I received mine from PuzzleMaster and I’m pretty sure that they would work with you to find the one you wanted. Although, if you do decide to go with the harder version then be warned that the solution is not very intuitive and requires a specific set of movements. It is also important to note that forceful movement is not needed to find the solution.
Overall, I like the presentation of this puzzle. The copper colored coin went well with the dark wood of the puzzle. Itís also nice when a puzzle congratulates you for solving it. However, I would say that the presentation of the harder version is a bit more appealing mostly because the wood on the front face is a reddish color. If you do need the solution, you can find it through the PuzzleMaster Solution webpage.