Did anyone else seen those? I almost bought one at one store today. Pretty similar to Oskar Cooksey maze?
Except for using a cylinder instead of a flat surface, it's not really similar to Oskar's Cooksey mazes.
The distinguishing traits of Groove Tube
are 1) a spring-loaded pin permits you to 'skip' over the maze when putting the ring on, but requires you to traverse the whole maze to take it off; 2) the maze is hidden from view at all times, so it has to be solved entirely by feel. These features don't depend on the cylindrical shape--they could have been implemented on a flat maze.
Likewise, the distinguishing traits of Cooksey Maze
are 1) there is no continuous path--the maze is made up of small disconnected regions; 2) you can 'switch' between the two different sides at any time, thus jumping between two regions. Unlike Groove Tube there's no spring-loaded pin, so you have to go through the whole maze to put the ring on or take it off. Also unlike Groove Tube, you're supposed
to look at the maze while you solve it but you face the challenge of navigating between paths that aren't directly connected to each other.
I've actually implemented a flat version of Cooksey Maze, shown here under the title of Cooksey's Griddle
. It's inherently a two-sided maze, but I designed mine to be flipped so the user has to solve a second two-sided maze (interleaved into the first). I wasn't satisfied with it as a puzzle (too complicated) but it demonstrates how Richard Cooksey's premise of a switchable maze
doesn't require the use of a cylinder.