Puzzles Come to Life!

A few years ago, I wrote about the world’s largest jigsaw puzzle, a 5 feet by 19 feet, 33,000-piece monster called “Wildlife,” which took a young puzzle enthusiast 450 hours to complete.

jchpabbhhmetfimtvru0

That was a cool story in and of itself, but as it turns out, some other puzzlers have gone one step further, using the Wildlife jigsaw puzzle as their canvas for a stop-motion animation video.

This YouTuber, who goes by the name of Sky!, transformed the Wildlife puzzle into games of Tetris, Space Invaders, Pac-Man, and Mario Brothers, using completed sections of the puzzle as their gameplay elements.

It’s absolutely mind-blowing. Check it out:

Apparently, it took Sky! and a cohort over 400 hours to solve the puzzle and another 400 hours to animate the video. That is some serious dedication.

But that video got me thinking about other ways creative folks have used puzzly elements to tell stories.

And I was reminded of a video that’s been making the rounds on social media lately. It employs one of my favorite puzzle devices — a Rube Goldberg machine — to tell a story of three brothers who face danger and live to tell the tale. (They do use a bit of stop-motion animation at the start, but afterward, it’s all real-time motion.)

This is the story of a ball named Biisuke. Enjoy!

It’s adorable and even has a song! How could you not love that?

It just goes to show you there’s no end to the puzzly stories you can tell with a little creativity.


Thanks for visiting PuzzleNation Blog today! Be sure to sign up for our newsletter to stay up-to-date on everything PuzzleNation!

You can also share your pictures with us on Instagram, friend us on Facebook, check us out on TwitterPinterest, and Tumblr, and explore the always-expanding library of PuzzleNation apps and games on our website!

It’s Follow-Up Friday: Rube Slowberg Edition!

By this time, you know the drill. Follow-Up Friday is a chance for us to revisit the subjects of previous posts and bring the PuzzleNation audience up to speed on all things puzzly.

And in today’s post, I’m returning to the subject of Rube Goldberg machines.

A Rube Goldberg machine, you may recall, is a device designed to accomplish a simple task in as many unnecessary, ludicrous steps as possible. The name comes, appropriately enough, from Rube Goldberg, a cartoonist and inventor most famous for his cartoons featuring singularly silly and elaborate machines like the one pictured above.

We’ve posted videos of Rube Goldberg machines in the past, because they’re a perfect example of a mechanical puzzle in action. Only when things happen in a precise order does the machine complete its task.

There are numerous competitions pitting clever puzzlers and inventors against each other to build the most spectacular and labyrinthine Rube Goldberg device, but Bob Partington has taken the concept to an unexpected extreme.

You see, he’s designed the world’s slowest Rube Goldberg device. The goal is simple: put the golf ball into the hole. But it takes WEEKS to perform!

Check it out:

When Goldberg started doing his drawings, even he couldn’t have envisioned someone taking his hilariously elaborate ideas this far.

Kudos to Bob Partington for taking the waiting game to the next level. Watching this in real time would be like Zen and the Art of Rube Goldberg Machine Maintenance.


Thanks for visiting PuzzleNation Blog today! Be sure to sign up for our newsletter to stay up-to-date on everything PuzzleNation!

You can also share your pictures with us on Instagram, friend us on Facebook, check us out on TwitterPinterest, and Tumblr, and explore the always-expanding library of PuzzleNation apps and games on our website!

It’s Follow-Up Friday: Rubik ‘Round the World edition!

Welcome to Follow-Up Friday!

By this time, you know the drill. Follow-Up Friday is a chance for us to revisit the subjects of previous posts and bring the PuzzleNation audience up to speed on all things puzzly.

And today, I’d like to return to the subject of twisty puzzles and the Rubik’s Cube!

[Picture courtesy of Rubiks.com.]

It’s been over 40 years since Erno Rubik created the first working prototype of the Rubik’s Cube, and over the decades, these unmistakable little cubes have changed the face of puzzles and games.

We’ve seen the world’s largest Rubik’s-style cube being solved, a building turned into a solvable Rubik’s Cube, and just this year, a new speed-solving world record of 5.25 seconds became the mark to beat for competitive puzzlers.

This puzzle has truly global appeal, and perhaps no video provides more telling proof of that fact than the one I have for you today.

A globe-trotting YouTuber named Nuseir Yassin brought a Rubik’s Cube with him as he explored eleven different countries, and he accomplished something I’ve never seen before: an international group solve of a Rubik’s Cube.

Not only that, but each person who participated was only allowed 1 move before passing it along. One twist, one turn, one shifting of blocks. That’s all.

And guess what? It worked.

Just watch, and marvel at a truly unique and inimitable puzzle-solving experience:

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: puzzles make the world a better place.

Thanks for visiting PuzzleNation Blog today! You can share your pictures with us on Instagram, friend us on Facebook, check us out on TwitterPinterest, and Tumblr, and be sure to check out the growing library of PuzzleNation apps and games!

Video Review: Star Realms

We do lots of reviews here on the PuzzleNation Blog, between Sherri’s app reviews (returning next week!) and my book reviews and product reviews.

And I’m pleased to announce that Fred, our Director of Game Development at PuzzleNation, is also getting into the spirit.

He teamed up with his son Max to create a video review of the deckbuilding card game Star Realms, and it was featured as a guest review on Edo’s Game Reviews on YouTube!

Check it out:

Fred and Max do a terrific job of breaking down the game mechanics, their favorite aspects of the game play, and the game’s pluses and minuses, all within a few minutes. It’s great stuff, and I hope they get the chance to do another review soon!

And let me know if you’d like to see more video content from us in the future!

Thanks for visiting PuzzleNation Blog today! You can share your pictures with us on Instagram, friend us on Facebook, check us out on TwitterPinterest, and Tumblr, and be sure to check out the growing library of PuzzleNation apps and games!

It’s Follow-Up Friday: Riddled and Tippled edition!

Welcome to Follow-Up Friday!

By this time, you know the drill. Follow-Up Friday is a chance for us to revisit the subjects of previous posts and bring the PuzzleNation audience up to speed on all things puzzly.

And today, I’d like to return to the subject of riddles and brain teasers!

We’ve featured plenty of them on the blog over the years, from this Parking Lot puzzler to Lewis Carroll’s most infamous riddle. But it never occurred to us to test our riddle-solving and brain-teasing skills under the influence of a few glasses of wine.

Thankfully, Sudoku enthusiast and YouTuber Hannah Hart (of My Drunk Kitchen fame) took it upon herself to ask her fans to submit riddles for her to unravel while tipsy.

Did you figure them out faster than Hannah? Do you think a glass of wine would help your puzzling? (Or perhaps I should ask “do puzzles drive you to drink?” *laughs*)

Since people were submitting more riddles for her to solve, I couldn’t resist tossing in one of my own:

Four jolly men sat down to play,
And played all night till break of day.
They played for cash and not for fun,
With a separate score for every one.
When it came time to square accounts,
they all had made quite fair amounts.
Now, not one has lost and all have gained –
Tell me now, this can you explain?

A little something to keep you busy on this lovely Friday. Enjoy.

Thanks for visiting PuzzleNation Blog today! You can share your pictures with us on Instagram, friend us on Facebook, check us out on TwitterPinterest, and Tumblr, and be sure to check out the growing library of PuzzleNation apps and games!

Follow-Up Friday: Optical Illusion edition!

Welcome to Follow-Up Friday!

By this time, you know the drill. Follow-Up Friday is a chance for us to revisit the subjects of previous posts and bring the PuzzleNation audience up to speed on all things puzzly.

And today, I’d like to return to the subject of optical illusions.

Puzzles for the eye, optical illusions challenge the viewer to shift perspectives and accept that seeing is not always believing. And whether it’s Ok Go!’s tricky music video or a carefully crafted LEGO illusion, they’re a favorite subject here at PuzzleNation Blog. I mean, heck, we’ve got entire boards on Pinterest dedicated to them!

So you can imagine my delight when I stumbled upon a CollegeHumor video that had some fun with a few classic optical illusions.

I present Optical Illusion Girlfriend:

Have a marvelous weekend, puzzlers and PuzzleNationers! Here’s hoping everything you see is what it seems. =)

Thanks for visiting PuzzleNation Blog today! You can share your pictures with us on Instagram, friend us on Facebook, check us out on TwitterPinterest, and Tumblr, and be sure to check out the growing library of PuzzleNation apps and games!