The Lunatic Revealed Pocket Edition
Marcus Allred, Arizona, USA
Marcus Allred. To get one of these or other mazes in different shapes, sizes and choice of woods, check out Marcus' project site (currently his 6th project) on www.kickstarter.com and FaceBook page for more details and photos.
Type & Classification
Dexterity. Sequential movement. Internal maze for the hidden version
Dimensions8.2cm square x 3.3cm (Thick).
Materials & Construction
My version is the Black Ash Burl. External casing is acrylic. The maze block has a beautiful natural yellow pattern. Construction, fit and finish is excellent. The acrylic casing is made up of two snug fitting sliding halves and can be taken apart, although this is really unnecessary for normal play. I like the way the pieces of acrylic have been joined...there are no glue stains visible between the pieces, it's clear through.
I found out about this puzzle from my friend and fellow puzzle blogger Kevin Sadler quite a while back, who had a lot of positive things to say about the Lunatic Maze.
I am not really a die-hard fan of hidden mazes of this nature (although ironically I have designed two puzzles, the Ball In Cylinder #1 and Ball In Cylinder #2 which some have considered "hidden" maze puzzles; however I would submit that this is not entirely accurate, at least not for the BIC#2). Hence I did not purchase any Lunatic puzzle when they first appeared on the market in 2012.
I saw the work that Marcus did with his puzzles and admired them from a distance, particularly the exotic woods he used, especially burls which are rarely (and hardly) used by most puzzle craftsmen.
It was only until recently in March this year when Marcus showcased a new variant from his 3rd Kickstarter project; The Lunatic Revealed Pocket Edition that I decided to order one. Not only was it in the shape I like, I can also see the ball bearings at last!
My Lunatic Revealed arrived just early this week. Unlike other Kickstarter Projects (which I have participated) where there is usually a long wait for delivery or delays, my puzzle came on time!
The Lunatic Revealed Pocket is a miniature (new) version of the standard size 3" x 3" x 3" cube. It consists of two ball bearings running on the channels of the maze block. For the hidden versions, you have to navigate a ball bearing (which you cannot see) out an exit hole. Obviously the puzzling is different for the Revealed edition. Here Marcus has devised several challenges as stated on his site:-
There is also a YouTube video if you wish to see how the Lunatic Revealed works. I tried out a couple of the challenges...and believe me, even though you can exactly see the ball bearings and what's going on, it is still not easy. The puzzling requires a combination of both dexterity and planning since it involves navigating not one but two ball bearings to their respective destinations (one ball would be too simple). The balls move along the channels really fast so a gentle touch is also required.
Varying difficulty, depending on the challenge. The nice thing about the Lunatic Revealed is that apart from the suggested challenges, you can just move the balls about within the maze anyway you like, while orientating the puzzle at all angles.
I like the size of this one; you can bring it about anywhere easily. And the solving doesn't take you ages or frustrate. Great for casual puzzling or passing the time. Go for the Hidden version if you really want a tough challenge.
But one thing's for sure, the puzzles display beautifully. I think the Revealed Edition more so, because you get to see the maze design on beautiful exotic wood.