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LibOrbRate, By MW Puzzles.

Updated: Sep 4, 2022



Kyle Chester-Marsden

In 2021, a mysterious black block of anodised aluminium started to pop up in puzzle enthusiast’s collections.

The cuboid of metal was named ‘3 the Peg’ and would ultimately pave the way as the first devious little outlet from Matthew Williams, an engineer from the Midlands, UK.

3 the Peg

3 The Peg, Matt’s debut puzzle design received great reviews and was aesthetically simple yet pleasing with an equally straight forward goal. Naturally, it wasn’t long before this was followed up by a more intricate and more difficult sequential discovery puzzle called ‘The Penny Pincher’.

The Penny Pincher

Penny Pincher, a satisfyingly tricky SD puzzle showcased Matt’s keen eye for unique mechanisms and did a great job at having you second guess how much dense puzzling can be packed into a machined puzzle. Metaphorically whipping the rug beneath you on more than one occasion.

Lib-ORB-rate is the third puzzle by MW designs, and retains the now iconic cuboid design, whilst introducing unique mechanisms and iterating on some existing ones. The goal of this latest SD puzzle is to first free the cylinder, and then to find and free the ball bearing (The Orb) within.

Lib-ORB-rate prototype

With each puzzle that Matt is designing, it is clear to see that it is an engineering marvel that he can pack so much within such a small volume of brushed anodised aluminium.

Lib-orb-rate, in my opinion, is slightly less intimidating and difficult than Penny Pincher, but retains a difficulty level that means it won’t be a quick solve either. I started off making a few immediate discoveries, and then backtracking to repeat those steps to fully understand what I’d done. After some hard thinking time and a few trial and error situations, I was able to progress, and with each step letting a delightful “Ahhh, so that’s how that works” audibly slip out of my mouth.

The anodised, almost complete copy.

Once I had completed the first goal of the puzzle, it was very satisfying to know I wasn’t quite finished yet, as when looking at the included card, it was clear that I certainly hadn’t liberated the orb (I use this specific wording in the unlikely event you were wondering where the name of the puzzle came from?!)

Awaiting logo laser etching, newly introduced for this puzzle. The final trick of the puzzle is one that is both satisfying and devious in equal measure, and really shows that Matt has accomplished an identifiable style, and has the engineering ingenuity to suit. I cannot wait to see what comes from the brain behind MWPuzzles next.

Complete with laser etching

Lib-Orb-Rate will be available from MW Puzzles in early September for £150.00 and will ship worldwide.

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