The Nintendo Ten Billion Barrels was designed by Gumpei Yokoi in 1980, almost a decade before he designed the famous Nintendo GameBoy. This game is very similar to professor Ernõ Rubik’s infamous “Magic Cube” originally from 1974 (renamed Rubik’s Cube by Ideal Toys in 1980) but the Ten Billion Barrels is much much harder to solve.
The puzzle has 23 colored balls arranged in five columns spaced evenly around the sides of the barrel. The barrel itself has six rows. Two (nonadjacent) columns have only 4 balls, which lie in the middle four rows. The other three columns have 5 balls, and the extra balls either lie all in the top row or all in the bottom row. The black central core can move up or down, and that moves those three columns along with it. The middle four rows lie in two discs, which can rotate. By rotating a disc, the balls in the two rows it contains are moved around to the other columns. The aim is to place four balls of the same colour in each of the five columns, with the three black balls filling up the top of the longer columns. See more at http://www.geocities.com/jaapsch/puzzles/nintendo.htm
Mine is near MINT and in original box!