This brainteaser is really something new in the world of brainteasers or puzzles. To start with, it is indestructible. The pieces are all the same size and made of strong plastic. They do, however differ somewhat in shape. There are 18 pieces, representing 4 basic shapes I (4),L (6),S (2) and C (6). The I’s are cylinders, the S’s have 2 flat round faces,1 on either side, the L’s have I flat round face on 1 side, and C’s have 2 flat round faces, both on the same side. Also, on all curved sides, there are small round flat spots, which look like they were part of the molding, but you will find them very helpful in solving the puzzles. In the package, you will find the pieces in a flimsy plastic tray. Don’t discard this as it is a good place to keep all the pieces, and placing them in the tray is another puzzle.
Also, in the package there is an excellent booklet of 40 pages. This booklet is in color, printed on high quality paper, and describes all the pieces and how they fit together. You will note on page 4 that the pieces can “stand” on a rounded surface, but carefully.
There are 50 challenges, ranging from simple, to medium, to difficult. There are also 10 Bonus challenges to further challenge you.
The greatest thing different, which gives these puzzles extra challenge is that when completed, all the pieces complete a continuous circuit. Each puzzle is presented with an illustration showing the number of pieces to be used, and a green dot shows where to start. There is also a chart that shows how many of each type of piece is required. Then, at the back of the booklet there are solutions for each puzzle. The first few puzzles look very simple, but they are really just to explain what is required. You will quickly see that they increase in difficulty as you proceed. There is lots of opportunity to use one’s imagination with this puzzle. One thing would be to cover the charts showing what pieces are to be used to complete a puzzle. Then, there’s nothing to stop you from creating your own designs, Preschoolers will enjoy simply trying to stack the pieces.
This is essentially a I person player puzzle; but if you happen to have 2 sets, players can complete to see who can complete any particular puzzle the quickest. This can even be done with or without the solution visible. Then I suppose, 1 player can use some or all the pieces from the two sets to create their own designs.
On the back of the booklet there is interesting information about this puzzle and its inventor.
“Roundabout was invented by the German theoretical physicist Volker Latussek. A theoretical physicist explains how and why something is the way it is, or happens the way it happens. Roundabout is the result of his topological analysis of a cube as a three dimensional puzzle…a never ending path exploration in geometry.(sounds complicated, but don’t let that scare you)
In its simplest form, Roundabout appears to be a creative set of building blocks for the very young. In reality it’s a sophisticated brainteaser puzzle offering enough twists and turns to challenge even the most seasoned puzzler’s logical thinking. You’ll be amazed at the complexity of shapes you can make – each a continuous single path, or circuit, with no beginning or end.”
As you advance through the puzzles, you will quickly see how you must think in three-dimension, as well as keeping a steady hand, so that the structure doesn’t’ collapse like The Walls Of Jericho.
If you’ve ever played with puzzles such as Soma Cubes, Tetris or Pentominos; or been amazed by the artwork and Impossible Objects of M.C Escher, you’ll really enjoy this puzzle.
You can purchase this puzzle and get the solution at Puzzle Master.