BISHOP CUBES

 

After returning from work, I first looked into my mail box,
to see if the packet with the Bishop Cubes had arrived for
which I had been eagerly waiting. Since I have seen the Bishop Cubes,
I was fascinated by the puzzle design, as it differs from a classical
3D twisty puzzle. So I was wondering how the Bishop Cubes are made.
Contrary to other puzzles, the Bishop Cubes don't have a hidden
complicated core inside to connect the different parts.
Neither are the parts rotated around a certain axis.
Instead of that the Bishop Cubes consist of identical cubes (Bishop Cube),
which are ordered in a lattice.

 

It is also amazing how simple the mechanic is:
On each side of the Bishop Cubes is either a rail or a spring.
Rails and springs build a kind of dovetail joint which keep the cubes in place.
The movement is similar to the movements of the row-and column shifting
puzzles (2D shifting puzzles).
Connected cubes are shifted together inside a layer.
But the movement is limited to one axis.
The task is to build a certain shape such as a cube.

 

You can immediately start playing with this game by only making a few shifts.
While playing, you notice that no particular algorithm is necessary.
Thus, you don't need to think for hours how to solve a certain constellation.
Neither does the puzzle get more difficult, the closer you get to the solution.
To solve the puzzle, you shift (usually separate) Bishop Cubes to certain positions.
The whole game lasts about 20 to 30 minutes.
Thereby, the puzzle is a bit more difficult than Babylon or Pyraminx.



The overall visual appearance is also very successful.
Thus, the puzzle looks relatively simple through the use of only three colours
and you get the desire to take it into the hand and play with it.
The visual appearance does not only facilitate playing with the puzzle,
but the three colors help also to keep track of the orientation of the stones.
The mechanic, with its rails and springs which are integrated into the design,
helps also to find out fast how the separate Bishop Cubes can be moved.


I like the twisty puzzle, as in spite of it visual and mechanical simplicity,
it is demanding to solve the puzzle. Another remarkable feature is
that you have to be creative when solving the puzzle instead of just following a scheme.
As moving the pieces creates always new constellations,
you have to think every time of new ways to shift the stones
and playing with the puzzle stays exciting.
It is also great that the pieces can be taken apart and put together again.
In my point of view, the puzzle is therefore not only suited for youngsters and grown-ups,
but also for children.