Like all current Minoru Abe sliding puzzles available on the market today, the Heart In Puzzle puzzle is well made and packaging is in the form of a nice dark blue box. The instructions are in Japanese but the diagrams are self-explanatory.
The tray is (likely) made of pine, while the pieces are a different species of wood. Despite its high quality, Minoru Abe sliding puzzles are not expensive and prices range from about 2,100Y (US$17) to 3,700Y (US$31). They are available from online seller Torito (which unfortunately does not ship outside of Japan), CU-Japan and Amazon. The Heart In Puzzle cost about US$17/-, one of the cheapest.
|Start Position No 1|
|Start Position No 2|
|Start Position No 3|
Each of the three challenges is represented by three starting positions and the first requires a minimum of 28 moves. Not a lot moves compared to Minoru's other sliding puzzles (some of them in the hundreds) but I found this one rather difficult. It took me a rather good portion of an evening to solve the first challenge and the same for the second challenge. I didn't attempt the third. All the moves are linear. Initially I was wondering if the Japanese instructions (which I can't read) allowed for rotations, because if it did, it took me well less than 28 moves to solve. A quick check with sliding puzzle supremo Nick Baxter confirmed no rotations allowed so I had to take the more difficult route.
|Solved Position For All 3 Challenges|
For those into sliding block puzzles, the Heart In Puzzle is a must have and great value for money. Oh, and incidentally, the Heart In Puzzle does bear some similarities to Serhiy Grabarchuk's 22-move Sliding Stones.