In this article you can read about some non-twisty puzzles which can also be challenging. If you are a Rubik's fan probably you will love these too. For example the wooden Snake Cube, the magnetic Neo Cube, the Hungarian Rings where you have to arrange coloured balls, the Happy Cube 3D jigsaw puzzle, the Hanayama Cast Disassembly Puzzles, the Babylon Tower or the Rubik’s Brain Racker. Find the complete list below.
The first thing that comes to our mind when someone mentiones puzzles is the jigsaw puzzle. This classic tiling puzzle consists of small coloured plastic or cardboard pieces which form an image when they're joined together. 3D puzzles also became popular which are built around a sphere or any other shape.
Read more about the jigsaw puzzles...
At first sight the solved Snake Cube might seem to be a wooden Rubik's Cube, but when you try to twist the faces you realize that this is something else. The small cubes are linked with a string so the cube can be pulled apart. The challenge is to put it back together.
The Snake Cube manufactured by IQGames is 6x6x6 cm, made of high quality dark wood and comes in a decorative packaging so it's a perfect gift for any ages.
The NeoCube is a toy composed of 216 individual high-energy rare-earth magnets and it allows you to create a number of shapes and patterns, providing you with hours of fun. It is is perfect for gaming, expression, stress relief, dual hemispherical brain stimulation and much more. It is available in golden or silver colours. To build a 6x6x6 cube you need 216 neo-balls which costs about 25 Euros. To make bigger structures you can combine more sets of Neo Cubes.
The Happy Cube 3D puzzle which was invented in 1986 and became bestselling classic amongst educational puzzles because it's suitable for all ages. It's like a 3D jigsaw puzzle where your goal is to build a perfect cube shape using the 6 pieces which fit together only one way. Using more than six pieces you can build more cubes together. You can find these kind of toys in various ways, some of them are made of wood or plastic. The coloured one on the attached picture is an eraser. The "Happy Cube Family" produces 4 different versions with different forms and difficulties.
Hanayama Cast Disassembly Puzzles
Hanayama is a Japanese toy company producing Cast Disassembly Puzzles made of zinc. These puzzles are ranked by difficulty levels, 1 being the easiest. The difficulty level of the Hanayama Cast Elk puzzle (on the picture) is 6 which means that is one of the hardest Hanayamas out there. An average people can solve it in about three hours with no help.
You can buy these metal puzzles for about 12 euro apiece and they are a perfect gift for anybody.
The Babylon Tower, also called Tower of Babel or Ivory Tower is a sliding puzzle designed by Pap Endre in 1982. It is made of some sliding disks stacked up into a tower which can be rotated around an axis. There are 36 small balls labeled by colours. You can push in one of the bottom pieces creating a gap and so the balls can slide up and down using the empty gap. The puzzle moves very smooth and the pieces interlock with each other. The solution is very similar to the solution of a 15 puzzle.
Rubik's Brain Racker
The Rubik's Brain Racker is a plastic ball with 20 triangles on it, labeled with colours and numbers on them. First you have to make a gap by popping one of the triangles out, then the remaining triangles can slide using this empty place. It's more like a 15 Puzzle on a globe. The good thing about the Rubik's Brain Racker is that you can make any pattern you like using the four colours, so there is not just one solved state.
The Hungarian Rings sliding puzzle is another big classic. The two interwoven circles can interchange their balls. The challenge is to bring the colours next to each other again. You can try to play the Hungarian Rings online clicking here. Use your mouse scroll hovering the circles to move the marbles.
This puzzle contains ten wooden pieces sliding on a tray which are arranged in a given starting position. The challenge is to take the biggest piece out on the little hole without lifting the pieces. Completing the task takes not less than 103 moves.
Khun Phaen was the protagonist in a Thai Legend, and when he tried to escape the prison he had to break through nine sentries. The largest piece represents the main character of the legend.
The Rubik's Clock is an official WCA event. The puzzle has nine small clocks on each side arranged in a square. The player can manipulate the hands with gears and buttons. The goal is to set all clocks to 12 o'clock. Click on the image for a more detailed description!
Play with the Hungarian Rings online here.
Rubik's Dice Cube
This puzzle has been invented by Rubik Ernö and Bognár József. There are seven white plates inside of a hollow cube punched out marking a dice. The white plates have red dots on them and stay adhered to the sides of the cube with magnets. The goal is to move the plates to the sides in a way that no red dot is visible on the holes.
This folding puzzle used to be an official WCA competition event until 2013 when it was taken out becasue the puzzle has to be solved the same way all the time and it's more about fine motor skills than puzzle solving. It contains 8 black tiles having rainbow-coloured circles held together with a fishing line which allows the folding. Click on the image for more details.
Another classic (also called Rubik's Twist) is a coloured folding puzzle containing 24 triangular prisms which can be turned but not separated. You can use it to form various shapes and forms.
Varázsgömb (Magic Sphere)
Another Hungarian product from the 80's. Coloured tiles moving on the surface of the Sphere and of course the goal is to group the colours together. The version which depicts the Earth is called Földgömb.
Inside out 2x2x2 (Vadász Kocka)
This is the 3D verion of the 15-Puzzle. 7 cubelets sliding in a cage using the empty space. The player needs to find a way to match the colours together. 3x3x3 and 4x4x4 versions also exist.