Oskar’s Blocks, also known as Oskar’s Cubes is another design by Oskar Van Deventer, can be found in both wood and metal versions. This version is made by Bits and Pieces from chrome plated metal and is available from Puzzle Master. Thanks to Puzzle Master for sending me this puzzle to review.
As you can see, this is a good looking puzzle from the well known and prolific designer Oskar Van Deventer. It’s a fairly small puzzle, with each of the three cubes measuring 15/16″ in size, to give a fully assembled size of just under 1.5″. Given that the puzzle is metal, it has a good weight for its size, and while the pieces aren’t a tight fit, they do hold themselves together well enough to not fall apart when you place it on a single cube.
With only three pieces, you might be forgiven for thinking this is an easy puzzle. Puzzle Master ranks it as Level 7 – Challenging (out of 10), and I have to say it’s spot on. This isn’t the most challenging puzzle you’ll come across but take the pieces apart, roll them across the floor, come back in half an hour, and you’ll find it a challenge to put back together unless you’ve memorised the slots on each piece.
With each of the pieces being dissimilar, it does add to the challenge of this puzzle. Given the number of ways that each of the pieces can interact with each other, getting the first two pieces in place to allow the third to slide in and lock the puzzle together is a good challenge. I spent around 15 minutes after having scrambled the pieces, and left them for a while to put it back together. The more times you solve it, the easier it becomes, but I think that is true of many puzzles out there. The puzzle comes simply packaged from Bits and Pieces in a white cardboard box, with a solution included if you’re really stuck.
Overall, this is an excellent puzzle. It’s well made, solid and nicely finished. With a price tag under $15, this is well worth picking up. Despite being pocket sized, I’d advise against keeping it there given the sharp corners.