There are different kinds of puzzles for different purposes. Some exercise the mind by challenging our mental faculties, while others are meant to help while away the time in a relaxing manner. There are also puzzles that reward their players with interesting art pieces that they can exhibit with pride on walls or on shelves. Of course, a puzzle can be all of those, providing good exercise for the brain while promising a beautiful display in the end. This hit puzzle from Japan does that and more because not only is the final result a stunning piece of art, each puzzle piece itself is a beautiful testament to creative design and quality craftsmanship.
Designer: Iwai Press
There are many things that people will immediately associate with Japan and its culture, a long list that includes sushi, manga and anime, giant robots, samurai, and ninjas. There are, however, also things in nature that call to mind the Japanese spirit, like the smooth slopes of Mt. Fuji or the gentle curves of flowers like cherry and plum blossoms. The latter, especially sakura or cherry blossoms, have become almost representative of Japan, and now you can keep such a beautiful flower on your desk without worrying about it ever wilting away.
ZIREL is a new kind of puzzle hailing from Japan that will really test your patience but reward your tenacity. Unlike a typical puzzle where each piece is visually unique and has clear marks on what it’s connected to, many pieces of this puzzle look almost so identical that you might presume you can simply interchange them. You might be shocked or even frustrated to learn that each part actually has minute differences and has its own specific place, and the discovery of its position might almost feel like reaching enlightenment.
Some people say good things come to those who wait, and that’s definitely the case for this puzzle. Presuming, of course, you’re actually solving it rather than expecting it to magically solve itself after staring at it for hours. Once all the metal pieces slide into place, you are left with a beautiful Sakura (cherry blossom) or Ume (plum blossom) cast in stainless steel with a mirror finish. Thanks to extremely small gaps of 0.004mm, you won’t even see lines that will mar the beauty of these floral art pieces. Feel free to place them on your desk as a gorgeous paperweight or make them stand proudly atop a table or shelf. After hours of hard work, you definitely deserve the gloat.
Beyond the charm of the finished puzzle, each piece is designed with Japanese ingenuity and craftsmanship. Despite their hard metal surfaces, the pieces effortlessly slide into each other when you have discovered their correct place. Acute attention to detail and disciplined quality control ensures that each piece has the highest quality, resulting in a whole that is just as great as the sum of its parts. Challenging, satisfying, and rewarding, this all-metal puzzle can help keep your mind sharp while also providing a feast for the eyes on your desk or shelf.