||[May. 29th, 2006|05:06 pm]
Perplex City.When not outside, mapping, or watching TV, of late I've been engrossed in |
The slightly tricky thing is that there are two ways of looking at Perplex City. Firstly, and this is the way I got interested, it's a set of collectible logic (etc) puzzles, on cards. You buy packs, which contain 6 cards. The cards are of differing difficulties, as indicated by their colour and points value. You ponder the card (from seconds to hours, depending on the card), and eventually solve it. Heading over to the main site, you tap in the code on the top of the card, and enter you solution. Assuming you got it right, you get the points, rise on the leader board, and hopefully feel smug for having solved the puzzle :)
The puzzles are pretty much all different, which does make it hard to explain what they entail. Most have some sort of logic element to them. Word puzzles crop up in a few, as does code breaking. The odd mathematical equation has been known to crop up. There are the odd inspired ones, be they Egyptian Hieroglyphics, satellite orbits, band name entomology's, name the tune from the harmonics on a string, the list goes on. They certainly make you think, and somehow manage not to repeat themselves.
Oh, and did I mention the cards tend to be works of art in their own right?
The other way to look at Perplex City is as an ARG - alternate reality game. Someone has stolen the most valuable historic artifact in Perplex City, the Receda Cube, and somehow got it to earth. The finest minds of Perplex City (who are really into their puzzles) have sent a series of puzzle cards to earth, to attract attention. Having drawn you in, they need your help to track down the cube. Oh, and if you find it, 100 grand is yours.
Some of the cards lead to phone numbers, websites, secret blogs, cryptic messages, more puzzles, and requests for help. Action takes place in Perplex City (tracking events by email, blog and IRC), and at live events.
I started out solving a couple of the puzzles (the nice people at Firebox having given me a couple of free cards with some orders). Having been interested, I then turned to the two free cards on the website. Then I bought a few packs, then I got hooked. Now I'm ranked 580 of ~30,000, with a few tricky cards still to solve :) Oh, and I read the odd game blog too.
So go on, tax your brain for a bit. Try the two free cards, and see how you get on. I'll even chuck you a couple of my spare cards next time you see me in the pub, if you want. Go on, you know you want to :)