In the test: Spin Master Perplexus - a nerdy ball maze for children and adults

The Spin Master Perplexus Original ball labyrinth is one of the Preplexus variants that can be classified as medium difficulty (Photos: Sir Apfelot).

I am glad that a long time ago I added the section "Nerd stuff“Introduced. This way I can also accommodate a few things that do not fall directly into the topic of computers, but still cause so much enthusiasm in me that I want to mention them with a blog post. One of those things is definitely the ball maze Spin Master Perplexus.

The Spin Master Perplexus Original ball labyrinth is one of the Perplexus variants that can be classified as medium difficulty (Photos: Sir Apfelot).
The Spin Master Perplexus Original ball labyrinth is one of the Perplexus variants that can be classified as medium difficulty (Photos: Sir Apfelot).

If you don't know exactly what a ball maze is, imagine these little advertising media games in which you have to bring a small metal ball through a maze to a target. Sometimes there are obstacles such as holes or the like to overcome. And if you really drill these little games, make them really difficult and build tracks that run not only on a two-dimensional plane but even three-dimensionally, then you have an approximate idea of ​​the Spin Master ball labyrinth.

The labyrinth is located in a transparent plastic ball, so that you can always see where the ball is going.
The labyrinth is located in a transparent plastic ball so that you can always see where the small metal ball is running.

Different versions and levels of difficulty

If you look at Spin Master's website or in Amazon, you will find different models of the perplexus ball maze (the individual Amazon product pages are linked here, where you can take a closer look at the balls):

Personally, I only bought the “Perplexus Original”, but I've already watched a few videos of the other models. The "Rookie" model is no longer available if you already have the "Original", because Rookie is even easier and probably only has enough difficulties to offer for children aged 5 to 8.

I think the "Perplexus Original" model is the best entry-level model. You might get through the rookie too quickly and then he'll be in the corner.
I find the "Perplexus Original" model to be the best entry-level model. You might get through the rookie too quickly and then he's in the corner.

The "Perplexus Star Wars Death Star" model is certainly one of the greatest models for Star Wars fans, because it even has light and sound effects, but it is also significantly more expensive than the other versions - probably also because of the license fees.

Of the "Perplexus Wasp” has a slider that requires you to push the ball a few distances while maintaining balance, and the Twist has spinning wheels at the top and bottom that allow you to rotate larger pieces inside the ball.

Of the "Perplexus Epic” is, after all, the model for people with high frustration tolerance. I've read that sometimes you feel like you're being punished if you fail somewhere in one of the 125 obstacles. It is therefore advisable to start with a different model before doing the “Epic”. The "Star Wars Death Star" model would probably be of a similar level of difficulty, but not nearly as "nasty". I think there will soon be another post in which I will present the individual models in detail. I've already ordered the Epic. ;-)

The "Perplexus Original" also has moving parts, such as the bucket on the right. Roll the ball into the bucket over the track in the picture on the left and the bucket then swivels to another place where you can continue.
The “Perplexus Original” also has moving parts, such as the bucket on the right. The ball is rolled into the bucket via the track on the left and the bucket then swings to another spot where it continues.

Design and processing of the Spin Master Perplexus

My wife said a few days ago, "That thing looks like a toy from the toddler group!". I personally find it has an appealing look like a Rubik's Cube or something similar. It's certainly not the design element you want to put in your stylish living room, but it still looks so interesting that almost everyone who sees it (excluding my wife) wants to pick it up.

There is little to complain about in terms of processing. It's 99% plastic, but it's not "rickety". I think it would survive falling off the table a few times, but if the transparent hemispheres are scratched, you can't see much of the inner workings. So you have to be careful with the ball.

For the wobbly plastic stand, I wouldn't give the Perplexus a great rating, but everything else is just right.
For the wobbly plastic stand, I wouldn't give the Perplexus a great rating, but everything else is just right.

My age recommendation: from 8 to 99 years

I bought the Spin Master Perplexus Ball Maze for my kids, but of course I was curious about it when I first saw it. I like such little games of skill and I was sure when I bought it: If no one else likes it - I do!

The difficulty with the game is to turn the Spin Master Perplexus so that the little ball inside stays on the path and rolls around certain obstacles without falling off. This assumes that one is constantly aware of the direction in which gravity is currently acting on the ball, because this ultimately drives it through the labyrinth.

If you put the perplexus in the hand of children, you will quickly notice that it is not only adults who have skilled and gross motor skills. But don't worry: everyone has their strengths somewhere ... if you don't master perplexus, you are far from being untalented.
If you put the perplexus in the hand of children, you will quickly notice that it is not only adults who have skilled and gross motor skills. But don't worry: everyone has their strengths somewhere ... if you don't master perplexus, you are far from being untalented.

When watching some of the children who came to visit, I was very surprised at how big the differences are in understanding the effects of gravity - even though the children even go to the same class. Some of them understood very quickly how the thing works and managed the obstacles from 1 to 30 (out of 100) relatively quickly and others first had to understand how to hold the perplexus so that the small steel ball was moved by gravity and the slope of the path rolling in a certain direction.

Educational valuable? Definitely!

In any case, this toy promotes hand-eye coordination and trains three-dimensional imagination, because you definitely need both when the track suddenly bends vertically upwards and then makes a turn so that the ball moves on the underside of the track, on the you were previously on the top.

In some places the ball is diverted in such a way that you have to turn the labyrinth completely and then continue rolling overhead.
In some places the ball is diverted in such a way that you have to turn the labyrinth completely in order to continue playing overhead.

From the age range, I would say that you can start with the normal perplexus at the age of seven to eight. The "Rookie" model should be solvable for 5 to 6 year olds. When you put the “Epic” in the hands of a child, they have to be pretty good at dealing with defeats and happily digging into problems so they don't get frustrated.

On the other hand, it is precisely these small “defeats” that teach you how to deal with setbacks for life. And you don't always have to start at 0 with perplexus, you can also start directly at obstacle 30 or 60. In life, unfortunately, sometimes you have to start all over again from 0, but that's another story. ;-)

Using starting fields 1, 2 and 3 you can either start over or enter at obstacle 30 or 60.
Using starting fields 1, 2 and 3 you can either start over or enter at obstacle 30 or 60.

Despite its bright colors, the Perplexus is definitely not just for children. Even as an adult, I have a lot of fun with the ball labyrinth and I'm always happy when I've mastered a difficult part that just didn't work in the ten previous attempts. It often helps to take a close look at the spot and to think about which movement you have to make with the perplexus ball so that the small metal ball follows the safest possible path. And trying things out is by no means stressful. Every now and then I used it to distract myself from work for five minutes or spend a few minutes in the evening when I just "didn't feel like doing anything".

The difficulty: appropriate, but not mean

If you're wondering how far I've gotten with perplexus: I had a run on the sofa with my kids earlier and managed to do everything up to obstacle 98 for the first time. Since the "Perplexus Original" only has 100 obstacles, the Epic will probably end up here on the sofa table soon (already ordered!). ;-)

Sometimes it is quite literally a ride on the razor blade when you lead the ball through the maze.
Sometimes it is quite literally a ride on the razor blade when you lead the ball through the maze.

I think the first 30 obstacles are not really a problem for beginners. Then the level of difficulty gradually increases, which is how it should be, so that you have something to "nibble". There are a few spots where I gave up after 10 minutes to get back down, but eventually those worked too. So you never really get frustrated and you do have your little sense of achievement.

I think you should still be the puzzle type to have fun with the Spin Master Perplexus, but then it's really a nice pastime that keeps motivation high as there are no really nasty parts.

The obstacles in the Perplexus Original are beautifully made and demand spatial imagination.
The obstacles in the Perplexus Original are beautifully made and demand spatial imagination.

My conclusion: push children forward and buy!

The Spin Master is of course clearly designed for children. For real men, one would have long since had a titanium version with neodymium magnets and Flux tubes crafted. But apart from the design, the "Spin Master Perplexus Original" is definitely good as an adult toy. That sounded wrong now, didn't it?!? You know what I mean…

Perplexus Original, skill game, 100 challenges
  • A challenging game of patience and skill for 1 player
  • PerplexusTM challenges you to test your patience and skill. Here are coordination skills and ...
  • 100 challenges

Due to the price of approx. 20 EUR, the toy is also perfect for children's birthday parties or similar occasions. And if you are still looking for an original gift idea for your geeky or nerdy work colleague, you are also on the safe side with this thing. Depending on the nerd level of your colleague, you might be able to go straight to the “Perplexus Epic" grasp.

Perplexus Epic, ball maze
  • Great for parties, family nights, and even road trips Spin Master Games are always there when you need a good laugh and ...
  • From TV adaptations to classic board games like Stratego, there's a game for everyone in the family.
  • Exercise your imagination and creativity with all of Spin Master's games. Share fun moments with family and friends, ...

If you are looking for a cheaper option for children, you can look at the “Spin Master Perplexus Rookie" look at:

PERPLEXUS 20068987 Master Games 6022079 - Perplexus Rookie, Skill Game, Beginner, 70...
  • AN INCREDIBLE LABYRINTH: a sphere with a 3-dimensional labyrinth that must be handled with care so that ...
  • 70 obstacles: be careful, if you make the smallest mistake you have to go back to the beginning
  • Ball with a diameter of 15,5 cm
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The page contains affiliate links / images: Amazon.de

2 comments on “In the test: Spin Master Perplexus – a nerdy ball labyrinth for children and adults”

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