Sunday, 29 March 2015

Double Heart Arrow

If there is a prize for the cutest looking Exchange Puzzle at IPP34, Yoshiyuki Kotani's Double Heart Arrow would surely be a top contender.

Not only is it cute, it's also colourful and whimsical looking. The puzzle comes unsolved in four loose pieces and the object is to "pierce" the heart with the arrow. All the pieces are laser cut from acrylic and quality very good. The heart consists of two identical pieces, one in red and the other pink. The arrow is split into two halves, in transparent orange and yellow.

Effectively, the Double Heart Arrow puzzle is like a four-piece board burr and solving it requires you to navigate the heart pieces through the notches and channels along the arrow. The end point is marked by etched markings so you will know when the puzzle is completely solved.

Although it looks simple at first glance, it is in fact not that easy. I found myself close to the finish several times yet the final position of the pieces eluded me; one of the pieces would always be just one step out of place and I had to start all over again. This is a sequential movement puzzle with only one solution, it would seem. Get the sequence wrong, and you would have to back-track your steps.

Overall a nice interesting concept and a departure from the traditional wooden burr style interlocking puzzle, even though the design and solving process are similar. Not easy by any means but not difficult either. And Its fun looking and colourful appearance serves only to make you want to persist until you solve it.

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