Let me start by saying this — the glorious ISIS puzzle was designed with one mission in mind — to be the most difficult puzzle ever made. Handmade in England using aluminum alloy, the puzzle not only is insanely challenging, it looks really, really cool sitting on your table.
Each spherical puzzle has a set of movable bands, covered with hieroglyphic images. You’ll need to decipher a set of 10 encrypted clues in order to figure out the correct sequence for the glyphs. Since each puzzle is unique, you’ll need to register online to reveal the specific set of clues for your ISIS. If you manage to crack the puzzle, you’ll get access to the maker’s “Award Zone”, which gives you a chance to win some actual cash prizes and gifts. But finishing the puzzle is probably reward enough.
The ISIS comes in both a monochromatic silver/black finish and purple/gold version that reminds me more of New Orleans at Mardi Gras than ancient Egypt. They measure about 2.75″ in diameter, and weigh in at about a pound, so they’re definitely substantial. At $199 each, they’re not inexpensive. But if you have a serious puzzle fanatic on your holiday shopping list, this really is something special.