Video encyclopedia

Mechanical puzzle

Popular in this category (10)



The 15-puzzle is a sliding puzzle that consists of a frame of numbered square tiles in random order with one tile missing. The puzzle also exists in other sizes, particularly the smaller 8-puzzle. If the size is 3×3 tiles, the puzzle is called the 8-puzzle or 9-puzzle, and if 4×4 tiles, the puzzle is called the 15-puzzle or 16-puzzle named, respectively, for the number of tiles and the number of spaces. The object of the puzzle is to place the tiles in order by making sliding moves that use the empty space.


Peg solitaire

Peg solitaire is a board game for one player involving movement of pegs on a board with holes. Some sets use marbles in a board with indentations. The game is known simply as Solitaire in the United Kingdom where the card games are called Patience. It is also referred to as Brainvita.


Impossible bottle

An impossible bottle is a type of mechanical puzzle. The term refers to any bottle containing an object that does not appear to fit through the bottle's mouth.


Combination puzzle

A combination puzzle, also known as a sequential move puzzle, is a puzzle which consists of a set of pieces which can be manipulated into different combinations by a group of operations. The puzzle is solved by achieving a particular combination starting from a random (scrambled) combination. Often, the solution is required to be some recognisable pattern such as 'all like colours together' or 'all numbers in order'. The most famous of these puzzles is the original Rubik's Cube, a cubic puzzle in which each of the six faces can be independently rotated. Each of the six faces is a different colour, but each of the nine pieces on a face is identical in colour, in the solved condition. In the unsolved condition colours are distributed amongst the pieces of the cube. Puzzles like the Rubik's Cube which are manipulated by rotating a layer of pieces are popularly called twisty puzzles.


Puzzle box

A puzzle box is a box that can only be opened by solving a puzzle. Some require only a simple move and others a series of discoveries.



The Skewb is a combination puzzle and a mechanical puzzle in the style of Rubik's Cube. It was invented by Tony Durham and marketed by Uwe Mèffert. Although it is cubical in shape, it differs from Rubik's construction in that its axis of rotation pass through the corners of the cube rather than the centres of the faces. There are four such axes, one for each space diagonal of the cube. As a result, it is a deep-cut puzzle in which each twist affects all six faces.


Yoshimoto Cube

The Yoshimoto Cube is a polyhedral mechanical puzzle toy invented in 1971 by Naoki Yoshimoto , who discovered that two stellated rhombic dodecahedra could be pieced together into a cube when he was finding different ways he could split a cube equally in half. Yoshimoto first introduced his cube in 1972 at a solo exhibition entitled "From Cube to Space," and later developed three commercial versions. In 1982, Yoshimoto Cube No. 1 was included in the Museum of Modern Art's permanent collection.



Baguenaudier is a disentanglement puzzle featuring a loop which must be disentangled from a sequence of rings on interlinked pillars. The loop can be either string or a rigid structure.


Skewb Ultimate

The Skewb Ultimate, originally marketed as Pyraminx Ball is a twelve-sided puzzle derivation of the Skewb, produced by famous toy-maker Uwe Meffert. Most versions of this puzzle are sold with six different colors of stickers attached, with opposite sides of the puzzle having the same color; however, some early versions of the puzzle have a full set of 12 colors.



Equilibrium, also known as "Equi-librium" is an interlocking puzzle in the shape of a sphere. Copyrighted in 1974 by Reiss Games, Inc., it consists of 6 closed arch pieces, 5 of which have pegs on their straight center. The two pegs block the other pieces from being shifted back or forth, only the sixth piece is different having only one peg and two notches. These notches are above and below where the peg would be located on the other pieces, allowing only this notched piece to be moved at first. When it is moved so the notch fits over another piece's peg, the two pegged piece can be moved. Once a two peg piece has been slid to the side, the notched piece can be moved to its second notch and lifted off. Once the notch piece is removed, all the others become loose and the puzzle usually crumbles into its remaining pieces. The challenge is to put it back together. Equilibrium was sold in a cardboard box, with a solution sheet enclosed."It looks tranquilizing till you take it... apart, that is. But getting this well-designed sphere back together again won't be easy."