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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Davidson

ENIGMA: A Puzzle Wrapped in a Riddle Wrapped in a Warm Fuzzy Blanket of Fun

ENIGMA: A Puzzle Wrapped in a Riddle Wrapped in a Warm Fuzzy Blanket of Fun

Let’s face it, as human beings, we love puzzles. We love the mystery and challenge of working things out; for others, they enjoy the higher functioning cognitive processes involved. It’s no wonder why escape room companies and escape room board games and subscription boxes have become immensely popular. From the award-winning Exit: The Game to the Hunt a Killer subscription service, the market is struggling to meet the ever-growing demand.

Unfortunately, the previous puzzle games require you to purchase the product and spend several hours with your friends pulling, drawing, folding, and calculating your way to victory. These products are perfect for game nights that offer a party-style experience without reaching for the typical party games—Apples to Apples, Cards against Humanity, Just One, and Time’s Up, etc.

Enigma: The Interactive Escape Book Game, designed and published by Frank Eno, allows fans of the mystery/puzzle genre to play solo while on the go.

Want something to sink your metaphorical teeth into while your literal ones tear through a tuna sandwich on your thirty-minute lunch break at work? Enigma.

Want to destress after a long day during your subway ride home: Enigma.

Waiting at the Dentist’s office: Enigma.

Waiting to see if your date will stand you up or not: Enigma.

Something to occupy your mind while in the confines of the toilet: Enigma.

Do you like to read or do crossword puzzles in bed before you call out to your smart device: “Alexa, turn off the lights” You guessed it. Enigma.

So, what is Enigma exactly?

Without spoiling all the fun: Enigma is a paperback book filled with linear puzzles ranging from mathematical solutions to optical challenges—like a series of numbers—in an abstract way. Players open up the book and start on the first page. On the page, a puzzle—of some sort—is shown. The object of Enigma is to solve the puzzle on page one before moving on to the next page and next puzzle. To check your answer, pull out your smartphone, scan the QR code, and enter your answer (or, in my case, my wild guess). Once you have made the puzzle your bitch, you are free to move on to the next challenge. Oh, but no skipping forward! Sometimes the answers to previous puzzles build into useful information to solve future dilemmas. The back of the book includes a handy-dandy section for notes to write down anything important you may want to remember. Besides the book, a writing instrument, internet access, and a scissor, you have everything needed to attempt the challenges that await you in Enigma.

There is a lot to love about Eno’s Enigma book. First of all, there are sixty puzzles within, which is nothing to sneeze at due to the complexity and ingenuity of some of the puzzles. Next, unlike the competitors, Enigma is akin to the math textbooks you were forced to study in school—the answers are in the back of the book. Now, this writer is not endorsing or promulgating the idea of cheating; of course not; however, when you get stuck, you are stuck, right? It’s lovely to know—should you struggle with a puzzle—a safety net is only a few page-turns away. Also, as previously mentioned, I am not stellar at figuring out codes and puzzles. And yet, Enigma preserves the variability and difficulty of the challenges—unlike similar products where the difficulty level ramps up exponentially after the first two puzzles. This means even regular Joes like me are allowed the dopamine boost of self-esteem by figuring a puzzle out on my own! Because of what I do, I cover a lot of games and game concepts. Enigma is not the first of its kind; however, it is hands-down my absolute favorite. Full stop.

Overall, Eno’s Enigma is fun; Willy Wonka’s everlasting gobstopper amount of fun. From the first puzzle to the last, Enigma is perfect for anyone looking to stray from their Crossword and Sudoku lives and branch out into a dark and damp alley of something new, something different, and something well-worth every moment of their time. Figuring that out, my friends is no puzzle.


A copy of Enigma costs $12.90.

To purchase a copy, please visit:

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