This puzzle survived for years at the bottom of the toybox. Well, I don’t know where it really was for all those years since the 1980’s but I had lost track. When it surfaced in the last year or two I noticed it was broken inside and wouldn’t stay together. I stuck it in a box and forgot about it. But then I noticed they were being mass produced again. Then I remembered I had a spare core and screws from a 3×3×3 cube that I wasn’t using. So my Octagonal Prism puzzle has new life.
It solves sort of like a 3×3×3 cube. But it has some extra challenges. For one, the shape of the corners makes it harder to manipulate than a cube. More importantly, because the corners have unique colors rather than matching the sides, you can get to the end and have a problem. It looks like you need to swap one pair of corners to be finished. Impossible situation on a cube. But if you could solve it by swapping one set of corners, then you could also solve it by swapping a set of corners and a set of edges. This is quite possible on a cube. Alternately, you could just memorize where the colors have to end up to work, and solve it that way to begin with. But I would rather apply one algorithm that I already know and enjoy, than memorize the color scheme. And since I’m never in a big hurry when solving a puzzle, it doesn’t matter to me.
Another problem that crops up sometimes is having one edge piece that needs to flip at the end. Impossible situation on a cube. But on the Octagonal Prism the middle layer edges look the same regardless of orientation. So if a top layer edge piece needs to flip, flip it along with a middle layer edge piece.