Today's review is a little special. It's not my review, but rather that of a good friend I have made through the puzzle community. Dominick has been puzzling over the Silver Revomaze for a long while now, and when he's been stuck and frustrated, I've tried to encourage him and keep him puzzling. Well on Saturday, while I was working away he pops up on chat and announces that his Silver puzzle is open. I'll be honest, having been with him on this journey for a long time, I'm every bit as excited to hear his news as I was when I opened my own Silver.
So here in Dominick's own words is his journey.
After 4 months of puzzling with the first 3 Revomazes in my set I finally arrived at Silver. Excited and terrified all at the same time I take it out of the box and get my graph paper ready to start mapping. I have been reading the forums throughout my puzzling experience so I knew what a beast this puzzle was going to be. Being new to the puzzle world and starting with a Revomaze as my first puzzle it has been a learning experience from day one. I came across Revomaze on gizmodo.com which I often read daily. Once I read about them I was totally intrigued. But at $100+ it was hard to justify the purchase at the time being a new home owner.
So like everything I do I read and read about them and researched them. I contacted Chris after seeing that the puzzles were numbered; wanting a matching set. I hadn’t heard anything back and sort of put it to the back burner. After constantly talking about these puzzles my girlfriend went to the website and ordered me the Blue puzzle. After explaining to her that I wanted the whole set and they were numbered we contacted Chris and explained to him that it was important to me to have a complete matching set.
Chris offered his sons set to me since they wanted them to all go to the same person I was the perfect customer. With that my set was on its way with Red and Orange pre-ordered! I patiently waited for my package to arrive. I knew I had to start with Blue just to get the feel and idea of these mysterious puzzles so I opened Blue and told myself I was leaving the rest sealed until I opened the previous puzzle.
Now lets get back to Silver. During all of this Revomaze puzzling I also got my hands on a few other types of puzzles which also helped me learn some of the possibilities in puzzle making. Between Blue, Green, and Bronze I was learning what I thought would eventually prepare me for Silver. I could not have been more wrong.
My journey through Silver was a long love hate relationship to the tune of 1 year, 7 months and 4 days! No I do not have the hours! As I started working on Silver I was going nowhere fast. I knew there were many new elements to this puzzle that I had not seen previously and I knew the nicknames for them from reading the product page but they still did not make sense. My map was showing about a quarter of the puzzle and that was it. My maps definitely were never to scale but I tried to get as close as possible. In my mind I know Chris is evil so I gave it some thought but still couldn’t wrap my head around what was going on. After experimenting with some of the things I have learned from the earlier puzzles I still had made no progress. At one point I found the what is called the “not a canyon” on the forums and was very excited to have made some progress only to find out that It was not the correct way to get there and would not help me at all. OK back to the drawing board. Ed: Shortcuts never helped anyone solve Silver
During one of my late nights of puzzling I was fiddling around and I realized something that completely blew my mind. Puzzle orientation was important! I instantly picked up the phone and texted my girlfriend! Despite this new finding it still took some time to figure out and understand what was going on. Even after successfully getting to this new area several times I still could not consistently get there. All along I was hunting for these clues that I kept reading about in the forums, none of which I ever found! At this point I was able to get to this new area and map what I could. I was feeling some different elements, which turned out to be nothing of any use. Still excited that I found this new area and was feeling all sorts of different things in there I’m completely stuck!
What the hell is going on here?
Did I break it?
Knowing that Chris is evil I knew it had to be one of his tricks but being stuck with hardly any movement I was a little concerned. I knew the puzzle was dynamic and it has always been made very clear that no force is needed to solve them but I tend to use a little more force than I need.
Well after some tinkering I figured out what was going on and was freed from my little padded room! This went on for weeks. Repeating the same thing over and over only to end up in the same place. Ed: We've all been there! I knew I had to do something in this area I just could not figure out what. A lot of my troubles were probably due to my poor mapping skills as I was missing something far too familiar. Months went by with no progress or even attempts to works on moving ahead. I would say to myself I should work on silver but then would never follow through.
After taking a longer break than I really wanted to I got back to working on Silver. Still making no progress. After a few nudges from several of the great friends I have made through the Revomaze forums I realized I had missed something that I was very familiar with. Feeling a little dumb for missing this I was finally making some progress after being stuck for months. I am not sure how I missed this since I was positive It was something I had tried but I carried on.
Now that I found this new area I made quick progress to the next thing that blew my mind. The “not a canyon”. Silver had nearly broken me several times at this point but now I’m thinking what the hell is this nonsense. How the hell does this even exist? Who thinks of this crazy shit! So as usual I felt around and thought about what was going on and how I’m going to get passed this seemingly impossible area. Up until this point I always knew there was a way to move forward and I was just missing something minor or not thinking. Even though there is a way to move forward the design of the puzzle; a cylinder makes it seem impossible. What’s even worse is there is no feedback in this area. So once again silver went back on the stand after months or experimenting and trying different things. At this point I had an idea of what needed to be done but just wasn’t executing it properly. Naturally my interests brought me back to the puzzle and I got to working on it again after weeks of not even picking it up.
With all the gentle nudges to try and get me thinking and on the right track I still was thinking about what I needed to do to cross the not-a-canyon all wrong. I had the idea of what I needed but still had no clue what I was looking for. So with a lot of trial and error I realized that my theories were wrong and not going to get me across.
I think the “not a canyon” was the most frustrating Revomaze experience yet. It really tests you. I'm not sure If I gave up again and took a break but I started working on it again while I had nothing better to do because I was sitting in traction several times a day for a neck injury that I have. So while I was sitting there I would puzzle away making no progress.
I guess by sheer luck one day I was trying all sorts of different methods to getting across and managed to not hear that dreaded click I had heard so many times taking the leap of faith into the “not a canyon”. At this point I really did know what to do but just couldn’t execute it properly. I didn’t really care though because I was across and thinking I got this shit! I’m across, I can see by my map that there isn’t much left to fill which meant I was getting close.
Well yes I was close but was once again so wrong. I made the mistake of crossing back to the first half of the puzzle very soon after crossing and had to start from the beginning all over. So once I made it back across I made sure I never went back! Now I’m thinking OK great I made it across and I’m spinning again but this time there is a small area that I can go in to. I finally made it in to the swamp and instantly was attacked within a half hour of being in there.
Then I found my way out of the swamp and was thinking that wasn’t so bad what is the big deal! Once again Chris blew my mind with the swamp, and after thinking a lot I realized what was going on but that was only the start. I had several theories for the swamp but most of them turned out to be wrong once again. Then one day while testing on of these theories my puzzle decided to lock up and this time I knew something was wrong.
After speaking to several forum members I was assured I could still solve silver despite what I was feeling. So I puzzled away but the issue only got worse. At this point I decided to contact Chris and had to send it back. The worst part about this is I had figured out what was going on in there and I was so close. While I was without silver I decided to work on my Black obsession and Red extreme. I had both of these open within a week and patiently waited for Orange and Gold to arrive.
Silver finally came back after a few weeks and I was back to puzzling. Well what do you know I couldn’t cross the canyon again and was back to where I was months ago. So I kept at it and finally got back to the swamp. Knowing what I had to do I was at it right away only to find out something was wrong once again. I spent over a month chasing a phantom issue. At this point I was extremely frustrated. I knew what needed to be done, I knew I was so close. I emailed Chris once again and continued to puzzle while waiting for his response. I even got on the phone with Justin to see if he could help me out. After consulting several people who solved Silver I ended up having to send it back again.
In this time I worked on Orange and solved that one while Silver was back at Revo HQ. I even learned something from Orange! I soon found out that part was missed when assembling my Silver puzzle the first time I had sent it back for repair which is why I was not experiencing the normal behavior in the swamp.
I received my puzzle after two weeks and once again had to cross the canyon, then figure out the swamp. After a lot more puzzling, I finally passed the swamp and saw the dots.
I took some advice and put it down for a few minutes to gather my composure. We had company over that night and everyone but my girlfriend thought I was nuts. They didn’t understand what I had finally done. Those dots were so close to each other but it seemed like a mile. After exhausting all options I went back in to the swamp!
I decided to put it down for the night even thought it was killing me I was so close. The next day I decided to set my mind to opening it and wasn’t going to stop until I did. Back passed the swamp I realized what I had to do but dreaded it. I finally worked up the courage to go for it and boom those dots lined up. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I instantly ran to my laptop to let Neil know and then texted my girlfriend a pic of the dots lined up.
Then of course I let the forums know and just sat there staring at it. My girlfriend texts me back no F’ing way! I promised her I’d wait until she was there to finally crack it so I sat it on my coffee table and enjoyed my moment until she was there hours later!
Silver was a long journey that nearly broke me several times. I am still in shock that it is open. It is truly an amazing piece of work and right up there with my favorite puzzle in the Revomaze collection. Due to the issues I had and some other inconsistencies I cannot say it is my favorite but it is very close. Now I know why they call it a bastard. It is a real beast to tame! I have to thank all the great friends I have made along the way that stuck with me during my journey. And special thanks to Neil for letting me post my experience on his website and putting up with my travels through silver.