May 31, 2023

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The exciting revival of old puzzle books in Labyrinth City: Pierre the Maze Detective

Of course! Why did no one think of this before? Or perhaps they did and I’ve never heard about it: it wouldn’t be the first time. I’m talking about turning books, things known for being still, into games, and in the process adding to them. Giving them new life, new energy. I’m not talking about word-books and adaptations of stories into games, because we see those all the time. I’m talking about picture-books that were already, confusingly, a kind of game.

The one I’m reminded most strongly of is Where’s Wally? That book series about finding a curly-haired, bespectacled explorer in a city of charming chaos. And you know I’ve been told I rather resemble him – I always knew he was a handsome cad! Do you remember it? Massive books with massive, double-page picture spreads, filled with the smallest, most intricate details. People everywhere, up to all sorts, every shenanigan you can think of. They might be in Ancient Egypt, a pirate town, a medieval battle: wherever the book’s creators could dream up a visually powerful theme. And you’d look at these pictures for hours, probably with friends, until you’d found every Wally (or Waldo if you’re American), every Wizard, every dog’s tail, and whatever else the book-game wanted you to find.

What if you turned that into a video game? What if you animated it and brought those evocative, frozen-in-time snapshots of chaos to life? Well, that’s what Labyrinth City: Pierre the Maze Detective does, and it’s an absolute delight.

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