Eternity II - WOW What a Game - More Addictive Than a Rubics Cube, Tantalising as Sudoku
As my daughter and I eagerly unwrapped the package our copy of Eternity II came in we couldn't wait to rip off the cling film and get going. Four hours later we were still at the dining table having zoomed ahead on several occasions, only to find ourselves having to backtrack again.
The feeling is just like when you find you have one stray white cube in the middle of a face of green squares on your Rubics Cube. In the case of Eternity II the manufacturers, Tomy, have added an incentive of a US $2,000,000 reward for the first person to solve the puzzle. Actually everyone who solves it by a certain date goes into a prize draw and it's the first correct solution out of the hat on draw date that wins - so I'm guessing it's not impossible to crack eventually.
If you are a lover of Sudoku, or any of those brainteasing type of puzzle, you should love Eternity II.
So what is the Eternity II?
It's a puzzle to be solved on a grid of squares. 256 squares to be precise. Each puzzle piece is split into four triangles with half a pattern on each of the four faces. You start by placing the only clue square in the middle. Then you place the grey edged squares around the edge of the board. Beware there is definitely more than one way just to get the edge pieces right, and you can't know at the beginning whether you've done this or not. Then you have to match adjacent sides of each piece to make a full pattern when you match the pieces together. Sound easy enough? Definitely not!!
When you think you've done it - you write down your solution on a provided form and post it off to the manufacturers. No need to rush - you have plenty of time. The deadline for solutions is 31st December 2008.
If the thought of 256 pieces, each capable of being placed in any of 256 locations, and each of which has one of four rotations (any mathematicians out there?) is a little daunting then Tomy do offer a little help. They make you work for it though - the help comes in the form of two smaller puzzles - called 'clue puzzles'. These follow the same rules as their bigger cousin. Clue puzzle 1 comprises 36 pieces (how hard can it be). Clue puzzle 2 is larger at 72 pieces. Each clue puzzle you solve gives you another clue piece on the main puzzle. That would give you three known pieces, which should surely bring you closer to that big prize?
Hopefully I've managed to convey the daunting challenge posed by this puzzle. You'll need time to play this game - so Christmas, bank holidays and summer holiday evenings are a great time to start your attempt. You'll need a table or board where you can leave it between sessions, just like any good jigsaw puzzle. And unless you are a genius, you're not likely to finish it in just one sitting!
For those of you lost in my description - Tomy provide a free small on-line version that only has 16 pieces. Yep - that's all. Just 16 pieces. Click on this link and play the on-line version or click on the puzzle piece above. Give it a try and leave a comment below on how well (or badly!) you did! Can you beat my time of 2 minutes 44 seconds?
A game for all the family to be able to dip in and out of, and great to while away the hours for bored kids.
Only just out at the end of July, price from Amazon for the main puzzle , with a chance of winning big, is £34.99 :
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