Mechanical puzzles are a splendid way for adults and children with diverse brains to test their problem-solving skills and have a great time while doing it. Maybe you’ve already exhausted the selection of mechanical puzzles from other stores. Maybe you need something hands on to give the family a break from staring at screens. Or, maybe, you deserve something to look forward to each month with a tangible goal in sight. Chances are, if you’re fan of games and puzzles, you’ve come to relish the feeling of accomplishment that comes from solving a difficult puzzle, stepping back, and gazing in awe at the piece of art you’ve created.
The solution is, of course, a puzzle subscription box! Sign up for a membership, get a brand-new boredom-buster delivered to your front door each month, and dive into the calming serenity of a secret puzzle box or mind-bending Burr puzzle. No repeats, no pilfering through a friend’s cast-offs with missing pieces, and no scouring the internet for different ideas. We don’t discriminate here at Kubiya; fun and learning should be accessible to all people, no matter what your relationship to puzzles or games may be. There are three levels of subscriptions to the puzzle boxes: The Player for beginners, The Explorer for experts, and The Thinker for masters. Each box comes with one or two mechanical puzzles—think mazes, locks, and cubes—along with a mini keychain puzzle, step-by-step solutions, and a sticker! You don’t have to commit upfront, and you can cancel or change your plan at any time.
If you’re wondering which box might be the right choice for you, take a look below to get a general idea of the vibe for each box, and an example of puzzles with a similar difficulty level. Remember, though, the actual puzzles that will arrive in your own subscription are a surprise!
This is the perfect box for beginners. Let’s face it, hobbies should not be stressful, and free time is precious. Kubiya has already done the work of selecting a wide variety of puzzles best suited for those looking to break their way into the world of puzzles. As the most universally appealing subscription offered, these selections will be perfect for anyone ages 7 and up, with puzzles averaging out to a difficulty of 3 (out of 5).
What you may find inside: THE SNAKE CUBE
For this puzzle, build your skill and patience as you twist the snake of 27 cubes back into its’ original 3x3x3 cube. This brain-teasing puzzle’s difficulty is legendary, and so satisfying when you return the winding length of little cubes back into its original cube form. Snake cubes are a bestseller, very unique, and they come in an assortment of different colors with each color having its own solution! People love that they get to pick their favorite color, and it makes for a fantastic fidget toy while working out the solution. It’s the type of puzzle where even after you solve it, you might find yourself absent-mindedly putting it back together while you watch TV to keep your hands busy. We recommend this puzzle for anyone ages 7 and up.
This option is an intermediate/expert level box that will offer puzzles at a medium level of challenge for the enthusiastic puzzler. If you’re not sure exactly where your skill level will be, but would like a bit of everything, this is a great choice for people looking to explore (well, of course!) the world of puzzles but who are not quite ready for the behemoth of a challenge that the tip-top level of puzzles presents.
What you may find inside: LOCKED STICKS PUZZLE
This wooden brain teaser is made of eight wooden sticks (burr pieces) that interlock inside a box frame. The first challenge is to remove all the pieces. Then, the real challenge is to fit all eight sticks back into the box correctly so they interlock. You’ll notice themes of trial and error, codes, and solutions where the order of actions matters a great deal. Not being able to view the pieces inside while you work is what makes this puzzle so infuriating and entertaining, and the puzzle has only two correct ways that the sticks will fit back inside. We recommend this puzzle for ages 7 and up, and it’s another puzzle that is small and portable.
Can you complete a Rubik’s Cube in record time? Laugh in the face of 2,000-piece puzzles? The Thinker Box is for “Masters,” meaning this is not your grandpa’s old wooden puzzle box (or maybe it is, if he was a savage puzzler). These puzzles are level 4-5 (out of 5) challenges made for the most committed players, chosen from Kubiya Games’ most popular wooden mechanical puzzles. I can tell you from personal experience that the difficulty is not exaggerated. At all. Brace yourself for some invigorating, deliciously maddening head scratchers.
What you may find inside: THE GRANDFATHER BURR
This one truly is the granddaddy of difficult puzzles, and probably one of the most difficult interlocking style puzzles available from Kubiya. The Grandfather Burr Puzzle was designed by W. L. Van der Poel, a Dutch computer scientist that used to design and create puzzles as his hobby. There are 18 pieces, all with notches, and the design makes it extremely difficult because of gaps in the interior of the puzzle body. The Grandfather Burr makes our list because of the challenge it presents, and the classic nature of the style and shape. We recommend it for expert puzzlers looking to dedicate themselves to a real challenge. The difficulty level is, you might have already guessed, a 5.
Finally - alongside the academic perks of the individual puzzles themselves – it’s worth noting that the subscription box format is hot right now. Facts are facts, and monthly subscriptions are selling well for tangible reasons; people from all walks of life enjoy the suspense of looking forward to each month’s package and wondering what it might contain. Waiting for that shipment each month – not knowing what mysteries lie beneath the packaging but knowing the fun of a new puzzle is imminent – gives a special kind of adrenaline rush. And, buying the puzzles in subscription box format saves our subscribers about 20% of what they would normally pay through direct purchase! So, don’t fight the tide, why not treat yourself to a monthly birthday present? Time is relative, and standard gifting rules need not apply!
Cheers as always, and happy puzzling.