X-Ball, designed by Roger von Oech, is a set of thirty identical magnetic building pieces.
The puzzle can be played alone as well as in combination with the Y-Ball, Star-Ball or the Ball of Whacks.
It is interesting to see how the idea for this puzzle was developed:
Roger von Oech had the inspiration for this puzzle when he looked at a skeletal icosidodecahedron
which had the shape of a ball. In this geometrical form every corner is linked with further corners by four edges.
If you halve the four edges, you obtain a X-shaped object, therefore the name of this puzzle.
This X-shaped object has strong earth magnets on each of its corners. Due to the strong earth magnets
different figures and shapes can be built.
The puzzle can be played with in different ways. Many examples can be found in the accompanying booklet.
I like especially the following ways of playing:
Similarly to tangram, given figures can be built. This is not very difficult and therefore also well suited for children.
However, I find it much more interesting to build new figures and shapes.
The puzzle is accompanied by a 96-page booklet. The booklet is divided into three parts:
-Play With It
-The Inspiration for the X-Ball and Other Golden Information
The part about the Creativity Workshop is especially interesting. The Creativity Workshop consists of 12 exercises.
Each exercise deals with a special topic and is performed with the help of the X-Ball. In addition to the exercise itself,
there is background information and a questionnaire. The questionnaire aims to apply the lessons to everyday life.
Creativity is an imaginative activity which cannot be learned over night. Nevertheless, it is possible to foster the creativity.
In my point of view the book together with the puzzle provide a good stimulation, especially as the exercises are not difficult.
The puzzle is well suited for everybody who likes to construct figures and patterns and who likes to use his imagination.
The puzzle is very absorbing, therefore it is in my point of view the perfect desk toy to distract from problems.
You can buy X-Ball on the website.