The Perplexus Games Series by PlaSmart includes three different units, the Perplexus Original, Perplexus Epic, and Perplexus Rookie. Each unit is an enclosed sphere that houses a game in maze format. While there are distinct differences to each game, the basic premise is that you roll the sphere around in your hands as you guide a marble across tracks, down tubes, through tunnels, around corners, as you avoid barriers and other obstacles in your way. Being a maze, you are not able to determine the correct path simply by looking at the sphere. Instead, you must navigate as you go in this action packed game. Since the sphere is completely encased in a hard, clear plastic shell, any of the Perplexus Games are perfect for traveling, as you never have to contend with lost pieces. Also, each of the Perplexus Games is attached to a flat stand that displays the game ball when not in use. This battery-free game system is a nice alternative to the other technological games on the market. You will never be stuck with low power with the Perplexus no matter how many hours you are sucked in to it!
This game series also provides an educational aspect thanks to the logic of the puzzle itself. Players can sharpen their logic skills including spatial reasoning, cognitive reasoning, memory, and hand to eye coordination as the marble is balanced through the twisting maze. You can also play the game solo, which is a great alternative to the old standby of Solitaire, or challenge others to timed contests or to battles when you own more than one Perplexus Game maze ball.
To play, simply remove the sphere from the clear plastic stand that holds the ball when not in use. Then begin rolling it between your hands to locate the small metal ball floating around in the unit. Flip the Perplexus until the ball rests on the START mark. The Original and Epic in this Perplexuses series both have three start marks, while the Rookie version of the game has only one. Roll the Perplexus game as you manipulate the metal ball around the track of the maze. While each of the Perplexus Games have this basic premise to for playing, each unit is different in order to provide you with fresh game play.
Perplexus Original Maze Game
The Perplexus Original is a clear plastic sphere filled with neon green, bold purple, and vivid orange tracks, tubes, and obstacles. A small, shiny metal ball completes the maze that is surrounded by a single purple ring that can be used to grip the sphere for better control as you are maneuvering the puzzle. The Perplexus Original measures at 7 5/8 inches in diameter, and it weighs in at approximately 10 ounces.
Throughout the Perplexus Original there are 100 different obstacles to overcome including a tightrope, a swing arm, and a super spiral. As you tackle each of the three different puzzles provided with the single unit, you can keep yourself in line by noting the numbers engraved at each obstacle, 1 to 100. Of course, at 100 you have reached the finish line!
The second Perplexus Game in the series is the Perplexus Epic. A wider unit measuring in at 8 ½ inches in diameter, the Epic weighs the same as the Original at approximately 10 ounces. As with the Original Perplexus, the Epic version has three puzzles. One of the puzzles in the Epic is modeled after an Escher painting, with stairwells crisscrossing through one another in a troubling maze of confusion!
In terms of color scheme, the Perplexus Epic features a maze that is turquoise and white. Other alterations in the Epic include the addition of 25 barriers bringing the total to 125 obstacles that you have to overcome. Another fine change to the Perplexus Epic is the visual clues. This game sphere allows you to see the determining marks of START, of which there are three, and END and the numbers more clearly visible since these are printed in gray letters mostly on white pieces.
The most recent addition to the Perplexus family of maze games is the Perplexus Rookie. As with the previous two game spheres, the Original and the Epic, the Perplexus Rookie is made from a clear sphere. This sphere is filled with mind tingling mazes, in purple, red, green, and yellow, that will give you countless hours of puzzle play to complete. However, the Rookie takes the Perplexus to the extreme!
The Perplexus Rookie is the smallest of the series measuring in at 6 ¾ inches in diameter and weighing only 8 ounces. Yet this Perplexus really packs a punch! With the Rookie you will get the same 100 Original version obstacles, as well as 70 Rookie obstacles. While it may seem that this would make the Rookie too difficult given the smaller diameter of the sphere, the Rookie has been designed using more rails to make the game easier, as well as thicker and wider obstacles so you have more control over the metal ball as it rolls through the game. A denser track layout gives you an edge as you are able to keep a better eye of your path than with the previous Perplexus games. The Rookie also features bolder numbers using deeper impressions along with the addition of arrows that help you to identify your path.
Other features that distinguish the Rookie include the use of only one START mark as well as a more easily defined END mark that is made from a 1-inch wide bubble. The 70 Rookie obstacles that are added to this Perplexus are completely different than ever before with new types of tubes, tunnels, and stairwells. Unlike the Original and Epic Perplexuses games, the Rookie version does not have the mechanical barriers such as the bucket or swing arm. This allows the player to have a better handle on the maze itself, as there are no moving parts to get in the way of the ball. You will also not find any watermarks or logos on the clear sphere of the Perplexus Rookie, as you would find on the Original Perplexus, which has the benefit of allowing you a better visual of the ball at all angles.