The Big Book of Visual Puzzles Available Now on Kickstarter
Eye-Q, Big Book of Visual Puzzles is now available for pre-order on Kickstarter. The book collects over 200 puzzles (maybe even 300, that depends on how the campaign ends) and it includes all my original inventions and my original re-inventions.
The book is beautiful. It is beautiful to look at and it is beautiful to touch. It is a soft-cover, leather-bound 250-page book that measures 8 inches by 8 inches. The puzzles are big and comfortable to work with and the book opens easily and stays open. My inspiration for the design is a leather-bound journal that is a pleasure to hold and to write in.
But most importantly, the Big Book of Visual Puzzles will provide hours and hours and hours of challenging fun. What more can you ask from a puzzle book? Fun, challenging, beautiful, original, unique and multifarious (although judging the difficulty level of some of the puzzles, some of you may call it multi-nefarious.). And who knows but neuro scientists, it may even improve your brain.
Here is the link to the campaign page: Big Book of Visual Puzzles on Kickstarter.
Eye-Q, Visual Puzzles for Artists, Architects and Reason-able People.
Fun, challenging and beautiful. What more can you ask from a puzzle book? Oh, original, unique and multi(ne)farious.
I love creating pen-and-paper puzzles, especially visual pen-and-paper puzzles. The Big Book of Visual Puzzles includes over 200 puzzles, 16 different types. One puzzle is an original invention (Pattern Square), the rest are original re-inventions.
The book is beautiful. It is soft-cover and leather bound with the title embossed on the front cover. Because most of the puzzles are square in proportion, the book measures 8 inches by 8 inches. The puzzles are big and the book is a little like a journal, a pleasure to handle and a pleasure to solve.
The Puzzles Included in the Book
All of the puzzles that are included in the book are visual puzzles. That means that they test your visual intelligence, not your knowledge of words or trivia. Also, they are visual puzzles because they are visual attractive. I made them to be beautiful to look at.
The book includes the following types of puzzles:
- Pattern Square
- Pattern Search
- Building Blocks
- Connect the Dots by Break-ing the Line
- Visual Sudoku
- DeStijl Squared
- Skritches Squared
- Lover's Duel
- What's Different?
- Daedalus Palace
- Daedalus Treasure
- Complete the Melody
- Adventures in Labyrinthos
Recognizing patterns is the crucial ability that has led to the fantastic achievements of the human species. Our understanding of the world comes, in large part, from this ability. It begins with observation which leads to recognition of a pattern which leads to a theory of why that pattern exists which leads to tests of that theory, etc. Our knowledge of physics, astronomy, biology, chemistry has its inception in our ability to recognize complex patterns in nature.
Pattern Square is a puzzle in which you have to identify a two-dimensional pattern (three dimensional in the case of the Pattern Square Pairs and Triplets) and fill-in the missing elements of that pattern.
Each Pattern Square puzzle is made up of a grid of rows and columns. In that grid are different visual elements or visual symbols. Each row and each column has these visual symbols arranged in a way that they form two patterns, a horizontal pattern and a vertical pattern.
But some of the symbols are missing and you have to fill-the empty spots with the appropriate symbol by figuring out the pattern from the symbols that are shown.
The concept is simple, the puzzle is not.
Pattern Search puzzle is like a word search puzzle but you are looking for a set pattern made from visual symbols. The patterns vary and so do the symbols. Each puzzle describes the pattern that you are looking for with letter (like describing the rhyme of a poem).
For example, in the puzzle below left, you are looking for the pattern ABBA, while in the puzzle below right, you are looking for the pattern ABACC.
Unlike a word search, the patterns in the Pattern Search are orthogonal only, up and down, left and right. No diagonals.
Building Blocks and Connect the Dots by Break-ing the Line
In Building Blocks you have to fit a set of different shapes into a Box. This is a little like solving a jigsaw puzzle but requires more imagination and thought. And you get to draw in the shapes.
To add more variety and challenge, Boxes that you have to place the shapes in will be squares, octagons and triangles. And the challenge will range from easiest that use only 6 shapes to most difficult that use 25 shapes
In Connect the Dots by Breaking the Line your task is to do just that. One continuous line has to go through all the dots. You can "break" the line but you cannot curve it or separated it. You also cannot cross the line on itself.
The goal is to connect the dots with the line using a few breaks in the line as you can. The puzzles will range from easiest that use only 3 breaks to most difficult that use 9 breaks.
In solving these puzzles, two features and a rule have been added. The two features are blocks and bridges. The line cannot touch or go through the blocks. The bridges are where the line can cross over itself. Both of these elements are hints to the solution of the puzzle.
The rule is that the line can go up and down, left and right. It can also go diagonally but only at right angles to the horizontal and to the vertical.
Visual Sudoku is just like a traditional sudoku puzzle but instead of using numbers, I use graphic symbols. This allows me to create Visual Sudoku puzzles that range from simplest 4×4 grids to most difficult 12×12 grids.
The use of graphic symbols (I know that numbers are, in essence graphic symbols, but you know what I mean) makes the puzzle an abstract piece of art.
It also makes the puzzle more challenging because it takes the players out of their comfort zone. Dealing with numbers has become second nature to most of us. But these graphics are new. This forces you to be more self-consciously aware and pay more attention. It thus forces you to use more of your skull's CPU power.
For those who work on puzzles to improve their minds, Visual Sudoku is superior to regular sudoku for that purpose.
DeStijl Squared and Skritches Squared
DeStijl Squared is one of my most original maze puzzle design. Skritches Squared is one of my most fun maze puzzle design.
DeStijl does not even look like a maze puzzle but it is. And it has some special Rules of Movement that I will provide shortly.
What makes Skritches even more fun is that it can be played by two players. How? Again, I will provide the two-player rules shortly.
Lover's Duel and MazeSquare
Lover's Duel is a puzzle one or two people can play, while MazeSquare is a puzzle that you solve visually without marking the paths. Instead, you have to count the little squares that are on the paths. The correct solution has a specific number of squares.
This is a classic newspaper puzzle. You have two similar images and you have to find the differences between them. I've complicated this puzzle by arranging the images on the front and back side of a sheet. They are not on opposite pages, so you can't simple look back and forth and compare.
You play this puzzle by looking at the first image closely and then turning the page and circling any elements that you think are different from what you remember of the first image.
Some of the elements that change are large and obvious, like a different figure or a figure positioned differently. Some of the elements that change are smaller and more subtle, like a line positioned differently, or a small object added or subtracted.
These puzzles can challenge beginners and experts. And afterwards, you can color in the first image.
Crossing and Daedalus Palace and Daedalus Treasure
Think of Crossing as trying to get from one side of a stream to the other side by jumping over rocks. This is a form of a maze puzzle that has rules for movement, for how you jump.
The rules are simple. If you are on one rock, then you can jump over one empty space to get to another rock. If your are on two rocks, then you can jump over two empty space to get to another rock, if you are on three rocks, then you can jump over three empty space. You can jump over less but not over more.
It get's more complicated when the rocks are not aligned in a straight line. And it gets even more complicated when multiple levels are added. But that is all explained in the book.
Daedalus Palace and Daedalus Treasure are almost like conventional maze puzzles made from walls as seen in a plan view. The one thing different about these two puzzles is that they have stairs and tunnels that go down another level. There are paths underneath of what is shown and they go in straight lines.
Each stair/tunnel that goes down is paired with a stair/tunnel that goes up. The two are directly opposite each other, although they may be some distance apart.
Some of the Daedalus Treasure and Daedalus Palace puzzles extend over multiple pages. This provides extra challenge.
In PlusMinus you have to fill up a box with dots. You do so by adding dots to it and by subtracting dots from it in such a way that you end up with it full. There are rules, of course. Two of them.
You can only add two boxes together that don't share the same dot or dots. For example, if one box has a dot in the upper right hand corner and another box also has a dot in the upper right hand corner, these two boxes cannot be added together. That is called Doubling. It is against the rules.
Unless, you subtract the dot from one of the boxes. You can do that by using the Subtraction boxes. But you can only use a subtraction box if there is something to subtract from.
The rather complex example below (the puzzle starts out much simpler) will help you understand the puzzle. The top row is the Addition Box. The second row is the Subtraction Box. The third, outlined, row is the Solution Box. It shows the boxes you used in the order that you use them to come up with the full box of 16 dots. The bottom row is there for you to use to help you add and subtract the boxes as you figure out the solution. It is also the "proof" that your solution is correct. It shows the results of the additions and subtractions that you perform.
Architecting and Remembro
Architecting is inspired by the drawing exercises that I had to do in architecture school. You are given three two-dimensional drawings, a plan and two elevations, that you have to turn into a three-dimensional, axonometric, drawing (in some puzzles, the process is reversed. You are given the axo and have to create the 2-D drawings.).
The puzzles begin simple so that everyone can learn the basic rules of this drawing system before the hard stuff starts. And after you complete each axonometric "sculpture," you get to color/shade the art.
Remembro is a visual memory puzzle. Each puzzle contains five different elements. You study the elements and the relationship between them for a while and then you have to recall them by re-drawing the puzzle.
It starts simple. Simple elements and simple relationships. But it quickly builds on that into a very complex work of art that you have to re-draw from memory.
But before you scoff at this puzzle for being a mere memory test. It is more than that. There is always a pattern, a system of relationship, between the elements. You don't merely memorize graphics, you study the system and try to find how everything is related. The puzzle tests you observation skill. It required visual understanding, not just visual memorization.
The puzzle complements Patterns Square and What's Different puzzles.
Balancing and Complete the Melody
Balancing requires rudimentary arithmetic skills but nothing too elaborate. You have to place objects of different "weight" on a scale in such a way that the scale is equally balanced. Your task is further complicated because there are different spaces on which you can place the objects and the spaces affect the weight of the object. You have to place at least one object on each space.
The most complicated Balancing puzzles shift the fulcrum to one side and use more complicated shapes for weights. You can rotate the shapes but you can't "reflect" them.
Complete the Melody is a linear pattern puzzle that is inspired by music notation. You have to complete the pattern by completing the notation. The pattern gets more complicated by having more notes and sometimes you have to complete the end of the melody, sometimes the middle and sometimes the beginning.
Adventures in Labyrinthos
Last year, I published the first Labyrinthos, a maze puzzle in the form of a 28 page book. It is a single maze that you begin on the cover and you have to find you way to the back cover. You take paths or you take jumps or you do a combination of both.
Labyrinthos ties this whole puzzle book together. It is a book length maze puzzle that incorporates all the other single page puzzles into itself. The “Adventures” in Adventures in Labyrinthos are the individual puzzles which are deftly incorporated into this maze journey. You move from puzzle to puzzle through Labyrinthos.
But there are additional adventures in the Labyrinthos puzzle itself that are not the individual puzzles. Stay tuned for more info on this.