Thursday, July 31, 2008
Be warned. If you're not an engineer geek like me, this post will probably bore you. If you're into puzzles and like figuring our how to make things work, keep reading.
I've found a new website. http://fantasticcontraption.com
It is now my number one time waster. I have to force myself not to turn it on at work. If I do, I have to tear myself away after a few minutes. Otherwise, I'm hooked until I figure out that puzzle.
Here's the idea. There are 20 different puzzles. The first few are quite easy. A few seconds and you can figure it out. They then get progressively harder. I just finished puzzle #14. It took many, many different tries over about three days to complete.
You are given an infinite number of 5 different tools to build a device that will move an object, usually a ball or a block, into a goal. You have three different types of wheels, and two different types of rods. Pretty simple tools for a simple job. The puzzle you need to solve is the obstacles in the way. Sometimes there is a wall you need to knock over, others have hills to climb or gaps to cross. One even makes you build a machine that will climb stairs.
A nice thing about the site is that you can save your contraptions. After you complete a puzzle, you can then see the other contraptions that people have saved. It's amazing to see the other devices people have built. Even though you can't see other people's contraptions until you've finished your own, many people end up taking a similar approach. The most interesting thing with those is the small variations in the designs. Even more interesting are the solutions that are entirely unique. They don't need to be intricate (but trust me, some are very complex and detailed), just an entirely different approach to solving the same problem.
If you like the game, let me know in the comments and send me the links to some of your saved contraptions.