SOMA Crystal
SOMA News 03 Feb 2011
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BABYLON Another puzzle ?

2011-04-26 Breaking news at the end.

You know how we tend to think that all has been found. That no news will probably come. And then suddenly, something appear that you would never have thought.

Well this just happened. Another puzzle description appeared. In a row of mails from William "Bill" Kustes.
I will let you follow the correspondence.



From: William
Subject: SOMA/BABYLON PUZZLE GAME

As I was again perusing the Soma pages, I recalled a SOMA-like puzzle I have had for a long time. I do not recall where/who I got it from.
The set includes the 7 soma pieces, plus the 1x3 block and the2x2 block, 2 dice, and a box. Almost a SOMA-plus set.
You roll the 2 dice. The red die shows white or black, which tells whether to leave out piece 1 or the 1x3 block.
Piece 3 is always used. The color on the white die shows which 4-cube piece to leave out.
Then your challenge is to make the 3x3x3 soma-type cube with the 7 pieces that remain.
The game is called BABYLON, and it was produced by LORENZ, in Germany.


I did'nt quite think this was SOMA related, so I answered:

Hello Bill

Thank you for your interesting mail.
The game sound really special, not like anything I have seen before.
Unfortunately, When I search for "Lorenz.de" and "spiele",
I only find a childrens play company, and nothing about BABYLON.

If you ever find something more about this game, then I will surely be interested.


But then the photos arrived, and my pulse grew. These WERE SOMA related.

The Babylon BoxOpened

The Babylon puzzle pieces


Hi Bill

Wow - Thank you for those photos.
They are indeed interesting, I have never seen this puzzle before.
The Photos are very clear and give an excellent view to the “thing”

I see that the box is foldable.
Is it possible that you might make two high resolution Photos of the flattened box ??


And a few days later they arrived

The Box outsideAnd inside


Hello Thorleif

Let me know if it all arrived.


The game text reads:

Babylon - The master builder's puzzle cube
The tower of Babel was built by many peoples. In the evenings the workers spent their
time with their favorite game, putting together a cube from various building components.
Each group built their cube different to the other. The master Builder observed each
group closely and tried endless combinations until he found the MASTER BUILDER'S
PUZZLE CUBE, a game which could be played by everyone.

Contents
2 coloured dice
7 large building bricks of 4 dice, colours: lilac, yellow, red, orange, green, blue, natural
2 small building blocks of 3 dice, colours: white, black

Instructions
Each building block is a different colour. A complete dice always consist of 6 large and one
small building block. The natural coloured building block is always used.
1. Roll the two coloured dice and lay the two building blocks which are the same colour as the
eyes on the dice to one side.
2. Assemble the magic dice from the remaining 7 building blocks. t doesn't matter which two
building blocks are missing, the MASTER BUILDER'S PUZZLE CUBE can always be
assembled from the remaining blocks!
3. Keep calm and have fun!
You can build MASTER BUILDER'S PUZZLE CUBE alone or play against one another.
One player rolls the dice and everyone with a complete puzzle cube starts. The quickest "Master
Builder" wins. Either points, a prize or a reward.




It turns out that this puzzle, which in some ways exploit an idea similar to the SOMAplus set,
Also include the very interesting aspect of a dice game, suddenly making this not only a puzzle but also a game.
   See: Newsletter 2000.08.14 Is there a SOMA+plus ?, by Thorleif Bundgaard.

The product is indeed originally German, produced by:

   Verlag: Heinz H. Lorenz KG
   Straße: Elbestraße 45
   Ort: 82538 Geretsried
   Land: Deutschland
   Homepage: http://www.lorenz-holzspielwaren.de
   "Babylon, der Rätselwürfel der Baumeister"

However the production has stopped, and the puzzle is now unavailable, although it appear randomly on auctions and EBay.
Babylon on Ebay


Breaking news. 2011-04-26.

From a News-Letter reader "Frank Griese", I have just received the information that the Babylon game has been re-issued by the compagny Jumbo as part of a three solitaire games collection.
Frank has even supplied a number of interesting links:

An article in the SPIELBOX in 2002 prior to the "Essen fair" where the three games were released.
http://www.spielbox-online.de/spielarchiv/sbmessen/spiel022all.php4 Do a search for "Babylon"

http://www.spielarchiv.de/spiel/r/raetselspiele/cover.jpg A picture of the 3 games.

There are three dfifferent games that "Jumbo" has combined in a collection, these three separate games can be combined to play three additional games.
Almansur http://www.gamemob.de/index.php?site=spiel&id=1446&navu=spieltipp&nav=spieltipp&nava=Spiele+solo
Babylon http://www.gamemob.de/index.php?site=spiel&id=1450&navu=spieltipp&nav=spieltipp&nava=Spiele+solo
Stern von Basra http://www.gamemob.de/index.php?site=spiel&id=1467&navu=spieltipp&nav=spieltipp&nava=Spiele+solo

And then the largest picture on the net for the 2002 Jumbo edition of the game
http://toys.brandora.de/DBImages/products/JUM09229_1_f.JPG

I have tried to find the game on Jumbo's homepage - but they dont advertize it, so... You will have to try your luck on "Gamemob.de" or in the German stores. "Karstadt, Kaufhof, Toys 'r' Us, Vedes".


many thank's to Bill for informing about this puzzle, and allowing us to share these wonderfull pictures.
And many thank's to Frank for informing about the current availability.


Submitted by William Kustes <williamkustes@bellsouth.net>
Edited by Thorleif Bundgaard <thorleif@fam-bundgaard.dk>

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