Perplexing

Every so often, someone suggests something and I find myself entering some wide, varied world I knew nothing about. The first time that happened was when we were told about Odyssey of the Mind as something that would be good for Katie. We had a few wonderful years with that.

Things like fencing and ballroom dancing have followed in the years since and yes, most of this seems to involve the kids.

Not this time. My pal, KC Carlson, sent me a care package and in describing the contents, he started telling me about this new puzzle card game he had gotten hooked on, PerplexCity. He had some spare cards and was sending them along to show me what he was talking about.

The box arrived yesterday and we had something like a dozen cards to work with. At first blush, you think it’s something like Magic or the other collectible, customizable card games that have proliferated since the 1980s. Not so. Each individual card is a puzzle and also possesses one of eight border designs that fit together in groups of four. Each card is a unique puzzle asking you to possess some knowledge of math, science, pop culture, literature and more. The 256 cards comprise, what I can only imagine is the first set, and 192 of those cards contain images that form a 3-D map of PerplexCity itself.
Once you solve the problem, you can scratch off a box that contains a unique code that allows you to post the answer and receive points.
So, Deb was having dinner in the city last night and I told Robbie we’d check these out over our own meal. We worked through the cards at dinner and once he realized each one was a puzzle, he got energized. I figured a few out on my own but he went after it with relish. I have to admit, I was rather proud that he recognized a Robert Frost poem while also mastering a logic problem. Me, I figured out a beer label and named a Blondie album. I had to leave for a Finance Committee meeting and when I returned an hour later, he was on the web site entering answers. At the moment, we have a mere 50 points and are ranked something like 3844th out of 13,000+ plus entrants. I know we have at least two other cards right but can’t seem to state it the way the web site wants it. I kind of like how you get locked out for 24 hours after three attempts so you really think about your solution. (There’s also a forum and sadly many of the cards are solved under spoiler headings which provides way too much temptation for some. Robbie, though, wouldn’t dream of it – he likes the challenge.)

Anyway, each pack contains six cards and retails for something like $5 per pack. Created in England, the cards are sold in a limited number of outlets. According to the website, only two retail outlets in America carry them. The rest buy from on line sources.

Mark my words, once this is more readily available, it could be one of the next fads in America.

4 comments

  • Could be worse, could be Sudoku…

  • darrik

    Wow, this sounds great! I’m going to have to see if I can order the starter set (it has 4 packs, along with a cd and some booklets).

  • darrik

    Oh, also if you order them online, you can get 4 packs for around $17 American. (although you can’t choose which wave you’ll get, so you’ll wind up with about 3 wave 2 packs for every wave 1 pack.)

  • darrik

    Sorry to post yet again, but I noticed this line,

    “I know we have at least two other cards right but can’t seem to state it the way the web site wants it.”

    and I think I have an idea of how to solve the problem. The game site uses British spelling, so you might need to change it to fit their style of spelling. (i.e. use colour instead of color)

    It’s just a guess, and it might not work, but I figure it might be worth a shot.