Today, we are happy to review Gearly by No Way Puzzle — it’s an innovative gear-like puzzle labyrinth made in the form of a 3D wooden puzzle.
We are always excited to review something first-hand, especially when the creator of a puzzle contacts us with the request to review their piece.
|Name:||Gearly: 3D Gear Labyrinth Puzzle|
|Brand:||No Way Puzzle|
|Level (Complexity):||Hard (8)|
|Type:||Wooden Puzzle / Wooden Gear Labyrinth|
|Object:||Disassemble and assemble the puzzle|
|Number of components:||2|
|Estimated time:||30-60 minutes|
|Size:||10 cm / 3.9 in|
|Packaging:||cardboard 14.56×7.28×1.96 in (370×185×50 mm)|
|Materials used:||Laser cut Birch Plywood|
|Where to Buy:||PuzzleMaster|
About Gearly Puzzle
First of all, it is very important to mention that my affinity towards puzzles that have a “discovery element” made me fall in love with Gearly right away. It is really reminiscent of Lotus puzzle by Wil Strijbos, and I am excited to see future makings of No Way Puzzle and Christian Poliziani. Maybe someday he will also make something in metal, and it will be even more amazing.
Gearly is a very interesting 3D Wooden Labyrinth puzzle created by an Italian puzzle designer Cristian Poliziani. Being a transportation engineer, he decided to realize his passion for puzzles with his brand — No Way Puzzles.
Gearly is the first item of No Way Puzzle’s lineup, so we’re definitely looking at a conception of something truly amazing.
The puzzle might look big at first because it is encased in a dark brown box, but the actual puzzle is inside. The Box is adorned with a trinket that has a silhouette of Italy lasered out, there’s also a logo and puzzle’s title engraved at the sides.
Gearly presents itself when we take it out of the box: the whole construction consists of 2 gears of around 10 cm in diameter that are interlocked with each other at the center. I have to admit that I liked the color scheme of the box and gears — the central layer of the gears is colored in light green which goes well with the deep brown color of the box — it gives away an amazing contrast and stands out immediately.
The interlocked gears are different with various shapes and paths cut out on the inside. One gear has more vertical (or should I say — circular) paths cut out that allows for more or less free movement and the second one has few notches inside and on the edges that allow rotation.
All in all, our goal is to disassemble the two gears, find all the hidden tricks and then assemble them back to fit in the box.
The quality of the puzzle is good but can be rough around the edges at times. Because you need to rotate the gears a lot and try various combinations of moves — some parts (especially edges) will get scratches very quickly.
At the same time, it is nice to see that the puzzle was almost fully handmade. It brings me a feeling that the puzzle was made specifically for me.
Design and construction
Christian describes the main goals of his products as:
- Simplicity, but at the same time it is impossible to solve on your first try.
- Vibrant colors
- Always a feasible and intuitable logical path to achieve the solution
- Showcase objects with good, well finished, and treated materials
- A pleasant and intriguing complexity to share with friends.
- Durable items and hours of fun
Everything started from the idea to have two gears interlocked together, and the goal was to free them.
During the prototyping phase, the first two gears have been created by Christian first hand. Successively, Cristian decided to reproduce the puzzle in design software to laser cut it: for the successive 3 months, Cristian created many models with different materials and with the internal maze every time more elaborated, until he finally decided to use particular birch plywood used for model-making, because of its elasticity and resistance. Finally, Cristian decided to globe some magnets make everything more interesting and difficult: calibrating magnet intensity and location required many trials.
Apart from that, it was very important to choose durable, yet eye-pleasing material that will look good and will not be in a way to the solution. During the trial and error process gearly was made for a variety of materials, even plastic, and metal.
Next, came the phase of many interactions, then assembly of the first Gearly puzzles that Christian was doing manually:
All in all, the assembly of Gearly comes in a few stages:
- Laser cutting
- Gluing the discs together
- Assemble, treat and finish the box
- Adding lubricant
- Complete the package
Safe to say it is amazing to see that every puzzle is made manually and is also tested by Christian himself before sending it to the new user. That’s some amazing dedication and hard work!
THE REAL DEAL
There are a few tricks that Gearly has to offer. We will not disclose everything here, but there are a few things that are visible right away and cannot be considered a spoiler.
First things first, there is a “key” part. A small triangularly shaped part that can be disconnected from one of the gears. Upon placing it back, you will understand that it contains a magnet, as it will slide inside the notch by itself. Consequently, if you try to place it back with the wrong side — it will eject itself automatically.
Feeling excited yet? The “key” thing will help you with your solution, but there are also a few more things that you will be able to discover to conquer Gearly completely.
One more peculiar thing that you will notice right away is that there is no apparent “exit” point to which you need to align your gears. So how it’s going to be possible to disconnect it if there’s no exit point?
Nevertheless, it’s not overly and frustratingly hard, everything is very logical and quite fair. It took me around 25 minutes to disassemble the gears and another 30 or so to put it back together in the box.
It’s a very nice puzzle and after assembling it back for the first time, after around 20 minutes into this article, I have found myself thinking that I want to do it one more time to fully understand how the puzzle works. I did it again, and then again and a few times more, until I managed to master the puzzle and solve it, and put it back together in a stable manner.
I think this is something we need to value in puzzles. Some puzzles you can solve just one time, but there’s something magical in Gearly that makes you come back to it again and again.
Where to Buy Gearly Puzzle
- Made by Cristian Poliziani creator of No Way Puzzle
- The puzzle can be placed back in the box only when it is assembled properly.
- You can find the full solution below.
- Take a very close look and inspect the puzzle carefully. Note everything that might stand out.
- You will notice that there will be a part that can be moved (looks like 3 stripes of wood connected) — but it does not move for now. We need to unlock it.
- On the other gear, you will notice a small triangular part (“Key”) that can be disconnected. Take it off of the gear and insert it next to the locked part — you will see how it will slide in perfectly.
- Note: there is a magnet inside, so if the Key pops back, just insert it on the other side.
With the key inserted in the notch, try bumping the puzzle lightly against your palm. Make sure to place the locked part parallel to your palm (it will help to unlock the mechanism).
We made Gearly video solution, check it on our YouTube: