Only The Steady of Mind and Hand Will Qualify Themselves
But that's fine, the rest of us are still having fun
The Perplexus maze game on your coffee table will irresistibly draw every visitor to your house to pick it up, have a look, and start playing. And it should, the Perplexus game is immediately accessible, addictive and fun. And if I had my way, we would choose our government leaders by their ability to solve the Perplexus puzzle.
The Perplexus game is a 3D puzzle contained in a transparent plastic sphere roughly the size of a volleyball. The goal is to guide a small steel ball through the ramps, paths, rails, and obstacles by rotating, shifting, and turning the entire sphere. The challenge is having a steady enough hand to slowly rotate the sphere in the correct way to keep the steel ball moving through the course and maintain your line of sight on the steel ball's progress. There are numbers engraved, 1 to 100, in the ramps to help you know where to go next and to give you some bragging rights. “I got to 72 this time!”
There is a very clever checkpoint system in the Perplexus puzzle, as well. It's difficult to describe, but easy to see and understand, like the rest of the puzzle ball. At three points in the puzzle, specifically 25, 50, and 75, there is a ramp that you can immediately and easily drop the ball onto and start from there. In other words, you can start mid-puzzle, which is a boon if you are trying to master the end of the puzzle and don't want to start over at the beginning again.
The Perplexus maze game transcends age limits in its accessibility. There are few games that are so intuitively obvious to play. Two seconds after looking at the Perplexus, you know exactly what you're supposed to do. There is no need for an instruction manual. There is no need for reading or a rule book, or even batteries. You could use a timer to add some time-based, speed excitement to the game, but that's totally optional.
The Perplexus ball is an architectural masterpiece. It's a tribute to our engineering design and mass production excellence. The fact that we can create something so detailed, but robust, (yes, I've dropped my Perplexus a few times with no problems) and still sell it cheaply is amazing.
If you could take the Perplexus maze game back in time, I can easily imagine using the puzzle ball as a way to determine the right to leadership. Only those with the clarity of mind to work hard, focus, adapt quickly, anticipate and correct their movements, and accomplish their goals would have the right to be king. As rite of passage, completing the puzzle is an accomplishment of determination and steady nerves.
Ok, so I might be reading too much into the Perplexus puzzle, but it's a fantastic game. If you're shopping for a gift for anyone between 5 and 100 years of age, check out Perplexus. The reviews on Amazon were so good that I took a chance by buying it without playing with the game in an actual store. I'm certainly glad I did. And I'm ready to be king.