I have to play with a lot of gadgets and games to do my job at IWOOT (yes, I know – it’s a hard life) but it’s very seldom that I let my professional “mystique” slip and go absolutely crazy over a product. Life was so much simpler when all I could think about was Rubik’s cubes (I WILL NOT BE BEATEN), but then the lovely Ella from buying slinked her way over to the Creative Island and plonked The NeoCube Alpha on my desk.

ME: What are these?

ELLA: They’re called The NeoCube Alpha. They’re a magnetic puzzle.

ME: What do I do with them?

ELLA: You just sort out of play with them.

Then as quickly as she had appeared, she was back at her desk having left the most dangerously addictive desktop puzzle I’ve ever laid my hands on sitting on my desk looking at me with 216 shiny magnetic eyes.

This puzzle has no solution. No matter how many times you rearrange the ball bearings you will not complete it. That’s because you have to set your own personal goals – want to make it into a pyramid? You can. A cube? No problem. A surrealist sculpture depicting the Madonna and her boy child saviour? Why not, it’s all subjective.

It’s been 3 months since the puzzle was given to me and I am a complete and utter slave to it It works best for me as a stress buster and I’ve spent many an hour at my desk absent mindedly grinding away at the magnets whilst waiting for inspiration to hit me round the head with a mallet. Don’t listen to me though – there’s no right or wrong way to play with it, so get your own and make up your own game.

My Rubik’s cube lies forgotten, gathering dust on the corner of my desk, once bright colours fading in the halogen light of rejection. Maybe one day I’ll pick it up again, but for now my heart belongs to the NeoCube.


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