Remember those little hand-held dexterity games you used to play as a child in the days before phone apps were even a science fiction dream? There'd be a tiny ball bearing in a sealed container and you'd have to get it to roll from one end of a maze to the other. More complex versions involved multiple balls and holes through which the balls could drop to end your run.
With the Inside3 range of puzzles from Inside Ze Cube, ball bearing puzzles are making a comeback. But with a couple of twists to up the challenge.
The Inside3 puzzles are plastic cubes. The maze is multi-level, so you have to manipulate the ball bearing from the starting point on the top level to a completion point on the bottom level. Not only does this involve what becomes, in effect, a three-dimensional maze but you have to progress the maze without being able to see the position of the ball. It's this that makes the puzzle more than just a simple exercise in steady-hand dexterity. This Inside3 cube incorporates on its top and bottom maps of each of the levels but the skill in completing the puzzle is being able to visualise and, if necessary, calculate the position of your ball once it has dropped through the hole in a level.
If you get stuck, you can pop the lid of the cube and disassemble the levels that make up the maze. It's that exploded view that you can see in the Board's Eye View photo. Of course, if you take your Inside3 cube apart, you've the added puzzle of working out how to reassemble it. :-)
The Inside3 cubes come in varying levels of difficulty: shown here on Board's Eye View is the Easy Novice version.
Inside3 puzzles are distributed in the UK by JWS Europe.