Thrift Treasure: SwitchBack

Thrift Treasure: SwitchBack

Along with board games, you know we love puzzles. And what’s extra special is that the ones we find at thrift stores usually haven’t been solved or even attempted because the original owner was too intimidated. That’s fine for us – we’ll always try, even if they prove to be too difficult!

This week's Thrift Treasure is a 90's-era sliding puzzle by Binary Arts. SwitchBack is proving to be a lot more challenging than it looks! - SahmReviews.com

This week we happened across a slider puzzle by Binary Arts. Now known as ThinkFun, we’ve highlighted a couple of their other puzzles previously, including Brick-by-Brick and Top Spin. This new one, SwitchBack, is a design we hadn’t seen previously. Originally issued in the mid 90’s, the style and color palette look like it would be right at home on the set of Saved by the Bell. Similar to the small slider puzzles we all played with as kids, this variation proves to be much more challenging.

This week's Thrift Treasure is a 90's-era sliding puzzle by Binary Arts. SwitchBack is proving to be a lot more challenging than it looks! - SahmReviews.com

Two dozen colored marbles are sealed inside of the plastic housing. Eight open spots in the puzzle are all you have to maneuver them around trying to get them in one of the four printed patterns.

This week's Thrift Treasure is a 90's-era sliding puzzle by Binary Arts. SwitchBack is proving to be a lot more challenging than it looks! - SahmReviews.com

The rows slide from side-to-side and tilting the unit allows them to move vertically. SwitchBack requires an equal amount of hand-eye coordination as puzzle-solving abilities since you will need to move the balls one at a time rather than an entire row at once.

This week's Thrift Treasure is a 90's-era sliding puzzle by Binary Arts. SwitchBack is proving to be a lot more challenging than it looks! - SahmReviews.com

Sounds simple, right? Because of the dexterity requirement, it can actually be quite frustrating. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t fun – it just adds another level to the complexity. I’m sure that’s why it was named “The Maddening Marble Puzzle”!

This week's Thrift Treasure is a 90's-era sliding puzzle by Binary Arts. SwitchBack is proving to be a lot more challenging than it looks! - SahmReviews.com

SwitchBack isn’t part of ThinkFun‘s current retail line, but you can still find copies on eBay (and of course at your local thrift shop). For a buck or two, it’ll provide hours and hours of entertainment! And that’s a bargain!

Scott

About Scott

A former manufacturing executive, Scott now balances his family life with ownership and backend administration of websites such as SahmReviews.com, GiftCardCollector.com and a number of other online properties. He also is an occasional writer and full-time board game fanatic.

20 comments on «Thrift Treasure: SwitchBack»

  1. Nuno Santos says:

    I would go mad with a game like that in my hands.

  2. Dave Racette says:

    Gotta love a good thrift store find

  3. Stephen says:

    Looks hard.

  4. Jeanine says:

    I love checking thrift stores for games, especially for game night. This looks like something my husband would enjoy. I’ve never heard of it before, but looks fun!

  5. I don’t usually check out thrift stores but I’m sure there are lots of goodies there including games. Might be the place for me to get a new game.

  6. Michele says:

    Intimidated–no. Frustrated beyond my ability to control the feeling I want to throw the puzzle out of a window-definitely-and that is what would happen to this puzzle if it happened to get into my hands!!

  7. Dogvills says:

    That sounds tough. We also love board games and puzzles. Next time, I will check the thrift stores for games like this.

  8. Dandi D says:

    I’ve never played this, but it looks really fun!

  9. I love puzzles! It keeps me going for hours and hours! It is also great brain exercise, putting our analytical skills to a test. Best part of it, is that it keeps our brain sharp and our thought processes smoothly running.

  10. Debbie Denny says:

    I do like puzzle games. This sounds like a bit of fun

  11. Stefany says:

    I love that you said it looks like it could belong on Saved By The Bell! ha! This one looks a little harder than what I could do but it sure does look fun.

  12. diane says:

    What an interesting concept. I am a huge puzzle fan myself and this looks challenging!

  13. That sounds challenging. I’ve never been very good at this type of game but I’d love to try!

  14. Shelley says:

    Oh man, this looks fun but crazy addicting. I’d never get anything done! I need this for our next road trip for the kids!

  15. Allie D. says:

    I remember this vaguely from when I was a kid. I have horrible hand-eye coordination, and games like this frustrated me. I know my cousins had fun playing with this game.

  16. I LOVE thrifting! Great find!

  17. Susan Hartman says:

    I don’t remember switchback but it looks interesting.

  18. Brad R says:

    What Thrift stores are you frequenting for these finds? I assume it also depends on population density and propensity to board game purchasing in the area but I have yet to find any games (complete at least) in my local thrift stores.

    1. Nicole says:

      We generally find them at Goodwill and Salvation Army locally, but also pick up several at other thrift stores when we travel to Chicago, across Iowa and down to Alabama. As an example, today we were traveling back from the Chicago Toy and Game Fair and stopped at a few Goodwill stores and one Savers and found 7 new games including one SET that was still in the original shrink wrap. As with anything at thrift stores, it is really hit and miss though. Sometimes we find a lot and other times nothing.

  19. James says:

    Very interesting

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