TAXI


Back in 2002 Oskar van Deventer and George Miller designed a wooden brain teaser called TAXI (George produced it finally) which was used as their IPP contest puzzle the same year. When I was trying to contact George Miller 2 months ago to ask whether he has still some IPP puzzles from his homepage for sale, he answered that he stopped producing puzzles and let his homepage run for the reason of a vast amount of background information shared there. However, he told me he is on a skiing vacation and once he is back he will have a look if he still has something of interest for me and I shall give him my mail address. One day a good month back a small package arrived out of a sudden containing 4 IPP puzzles George sent me as a gift as I found out after contacting him--> that was an overwhelming moment as you can imagine.

The TAXI puzzle he sent me is the same as the IPP competition puzzle but out of plastic instead of wood. It consists out of 2 mazes which are put together with two different "Pins" or "cars/taxis" and the ultimate goal is to drive both taxis out of their respective mazes. It has an easy start-up but soon one discovers that you have to maneuver back and forth on both sides in order to make progress until you have succeeded. Then of course you have to "drive" them back again. I was not able to find a difficulty rating for this puzzle so I personally rate it a 4 out of 10. It took me about 10 minutes to get the cars out and another 10 mintues to get them back again.

Finally I have to say it was real fun to play with this puzzle and the way of solving it is unusual (at least it was for me). Unfortunately, after a bit of research, I could not find a shop or person to sell it and I proceed on the assumption that it is no longer available. If you should spot it somewhere and have the chance to buy it please do so - it is really cool.