|MATERIAL:||Aluminum, Bronze, Steel|
|SIZE:||1.35" x 2.95"|
"Barrel" is Ukrainian engineer Andriy Bruns' latest mechanical puzzle. According to him, Barrel has been sent back from the future! It must be solved to retrieve the Skynet data coin hidden inside. The survival of humanity could be at stake...
Andriy gives Barrel a level 10 difficulty rating. The mechanism is intricate, but the designer does a good job putting subtle clues and references to help your analysis.
Barrel stands apart from cheaper mass-produced work. Each copy is individually crafted to excellent tolerances. Quality and attention to detail are consistent with other small-batch, high-end mechanical metal puzzles.
Handling Metal Puzzles
This is a beautifully made puzzle. I really liked fidgeting with it. I managed to open it in about 20 minutes, but I had no idea how I did it. Although you can see the mechanism once the puzzle is opened, I still wasn’t exactly sure how the puzzle worked. It took me another 20 or 30 minutes before I fully understood how to consistently open the puzzle.
The puzzle wasn’t as difficult as I had hoped. I personally would say level 8 instead of 10. Small warning: the puzzle contains multiple small parts so watch out where you open it!
Another great creation from Bruns! There are small parts so be careful where you work on it and keep away from small children, but a great puzzle and expertly crafted, Love it!
Andriy Bruns' barrel puzzle is a pleasure to hold. It's an incredibly well machined piece of art, fun conversation piece and small enough to be a great fidget distraction when on the phone or doing other work. Everything is well polished and finished. It arrives assembled and unsolved and to the naked eye, the cuts are made so precise it's hard to see the initial seam.
I would rate this multi-stage take apart puzzle as perhaps a level 3-4 difficulty level simply because it provides constant sound and tactile feedback to actively assist in the solve through each step vs. something like Felix Ure's Titan which is clearly a level 10 and frustratingly obtuse. Where the titan requires hours upon hours of brute force testing to blindly open, the barrel is IMHO actually a more fun true incremental puzzle. You can see results and have enough visual/sound/tactile information to make educated guesses towards the next stage. This puzzle would be well suited as a great introduction to take apart metal puzzles for young teens. Opening the puzzle does reveal about 10 unique smaller parts that come out so I would not recommend for younger children. The 'prize' of a uniquely crafted coin is a nice extra touch giving you a nice keepsake for reaching the goal. The coin could be replaced with a different item around the size of a nickel. A krugerrand gold coin perhaps?
Re-assembly / Reset of the puzzle is a fun second goal.
While the puzzle can be solved in under an hour, the beauty of the piece and easy one-handed holding provides a lot of repetitive enjoyment and fidget value.
I also want to call out that this puzzle was hand crafted in Andry's personal basement workshop, in the Ukraine. I'm more than happy support Andry during what can only be described as very difficult and sad time for him and his family.