PREVIEW: Codex Enigmatum
Designer: Rami Hansenne
Availability: Upcoming Kickstarter
We don’t do “previews” for many unreleased titles here at the OG, but a few of us are suckers for puzzles, and so some folks have found our soft underbelly. Rami Hansenne the designer of the upcoming “Codex Enigmatum” offered to send us a review copy of his upcoming “eccentric puzzle book”, and over a cup of some peach ginger tea, I worked my way through it recently and here are some thoughts.
If I ask for peach tea, you should tell me there is going to be ginger, because that’s a divisive flavor. (And if I ran a bakery, and you ordered a brownie, I’d also ask if you wanted a center, corner, or edge piece because it’s a classy touch. Shout out to Chaske at Brown Bear for doing it right.)
Wait, that’s not what you wanted; okay, here are my thoughts on the puzzles.
Rami provided a PDF of the book and I printed it double-sided and two-to-a-page, to best represent solving it in a book. The book is a series of 63 puzzles. Some you can do in any order, and others will involve using the solutions to previous puzzles (though with enough creativity, you may be able to work backwards).
The book includes hints, answers, and some tools – so that you don’t need to look up semaphore, for instance. Some of the puzzles will be familiar, some will be riffs on something familiar, and others will be new.
These types of products are hard to review, as I don’t want to spoil much of what’s inside.
Some of the puzzles were encouraging, as with experience, you know the right path to take. Some of the puzzles were discouraging, as the logical leaps required could be difficult to imagine. It isn’t a book that provides much contextual direction through the theme, worldplay in the instructions, or otherwise, so you’re on your own to determine the nature of the puzzle.
There are puzzles of all types: words and numbers, anagrams and cryptograms, hidden pictures and following directions. There is one type of puzzle, which I won’t name for spoiler reasons, that was used extensively and certainly broadened what I had seen before or thought could be done with the genre.
If you’re looking for something along the lines of Journal 29 or Trip 1907, give this one a look.