Get perplexed -- New Games at the Practice

Feb 1, 2013

Since the moment he received one for his birthday, Dr. Diesburg knew he had to have one of these in the practice: The Perplexus Original, quite possible the most addictive waiting room toy you'll ever encounter. We picked ours up at Hopscotch Toys in McMinnville, where they often go out of stock. You shouldn't have to wait more than a few minutes for your appointment at our office, but if you do, we've got a new game in the waiting room that will make the time pass quickly. The Perplexus is a highly engaging 3-D maze. By turning the globe, the ball bearing proceeds through the maze, through several different paths and obstacles. Some are super easy, others challenging. Generally, you get hung up on one and drop the ball until you have mastered it and can move on, and some paths are more fun than others, but the spatial skill required to play the game, especially the original version, helps fine-tune fine motor skills. It reminds us a lot of the classic 80s Atari game Marble Madness, or the 1979 physical game Run Yourself Ragged. Kids LOVE the Perplexus -- they pick it up naturally and know intuitively how to proceed, even if some of the steps between paths can take a little practice at manoeuvring. Just the other day we saw two young sisters stay with the game, completely mesmerized, before handing it off to each other as they went in for their dental cleanings with Nick. But it would be a real shame to leave this one to the kids. There is a thriving subculture of Perplexus fiends out there and we are finding our household among them. We had two in our house at Christmas time, the Perplexus Epic (with a whopping 125 paths), and the Perplexus Twist. There was some haggling over who got to play them -- and we're talking about Mrs. and Dr. Diesburg here, not the kids. But the world of the Perplexus really opens up when you read about the story of Michael McGinnis, who has been creating 3-D mazes since the early 70s. If you've met a Perplexus, and you realize you've met you're match, just take a gander at one of McGinnis's Superplexuses, giant, one-of-a-kind mazes he creates for art patrons. But wait, that's Nick at the door, time for your cleaning!  
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