To paraphrase Poe "As the strong man exalts in those activities that call his muscles into action, so glories the analyst in that mental occupation that disentangles. He is fond of enigmas, conundrums, hieroglyphics, displaying in the solutions of each a level of acumen that seems to the ordinary apprehension, preternatural." Good stuff, wordy, required a thesaurus to write, but the collegiate Sophomore version of me memorized it and recited it with fervor...and as often as possible. You would be amazed at how many times I slipped that into normal conversation.
Anyhow, since this is a mantra of sorts for me, when it comes to toys, I am always on the lookout for something that will not only have some staying power, but might actually stimulate the mind. I love the rusty horseshoes welded to chain with rings, nails bent together that you have to detach without contracting tetanus, and the good, old fashion Rubix cube (that I have yet to solve without disassembling). I said I liked puzzles, didn't say I was good at them. Hence, when I saw the 3d maze, it was a no-brainer.
The manufacturer makes a few versions of this but Santa brought the original Perplexus Maze Game which got great reviews on Amazon. This thing is intriguing to pretty much anyone that picks it up. It has 3 different paths, so it isn't always the same and does require some mental "gymnastics" to complete. It really requires more of a steady hand and patience than raw brain power, but that is worthwhile in my book as well. The maze is also quite long, so it isn't something you will solve in 3 little turns.
My daughter is 12 and loves it, my son is 7 and has a little more difficult time with the steadiness and patience part of it, but every adult that has picked it up has been entertained, though few, have actually completed it. Don't get me wrong, you will cuss, swear, and possibly throw this across the room...as you might with anything that is challenging, but that is the nature of the beast. That's what makes it fun.
The most important thing is to go slow and not get discouraged. As I think of it, this maze is remarkably similar to my wife's pleasure in the bedroom. I move slowly through the maze methodically negotiating the terrain. 90% of the time, I drop the ball in the first 30 seconds and hang my head in shame for lack of control. Though, on a rare occasion, when I can stay focused, I move with purpose and precision, turn after turn, roll after roll, I keep the ball moving exactly on course. I traverse the last ramp until my goal is so close and perfectly in my sights, then...I get excited that I might actually get there, move too fast and...drop the ball again.
Yup, this maze game is just like my love life. Great for me, boring for the other person in the room, and if I spend to much time doing it, I end up dizzy, cross-eyed, and really sleepy. I give it 4 stars.
Monday, February 27, 2012 MeatWad