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An interactive puzzle novel written by Mike Selinker, with enchanting illustrations by Pete Venters.
An interactive puzzle novel written by Mike Selinker, with enchanting illustrations by Pete Venters.
An interactive puzzle novel written by Mike Selinker, with enchanting illustrations by Pete Venters.
2,630 backers pledged $171,146 to help bring this project to life.

New artwork, hints, and the Gamesmaster badge

Pete has graciously shared three more pieces in progress for The Maze of Games, which he dubs "The Ladies(?) of the Labyrinth." These aren't final. Forthwith, here are The Orc Scouts Den Mother, The Sphinx, and the Vampire.

Open up the hint line

Starting at the 24-hours-to-go mark (2 pm PST), we're opening up a hint line for all the puzzles in this campaign. Send an email to uvagf@ybarfunextnzrf.pbz (you might want to do this first) with your requests, and a puzzle ninja will get back to you as soon as she can.*

Also, this is a grand time to announce the inclusion of Tanis O'Connor as the book's editor. Tanis is a longtime staffer and editor on Lone Shark's puzzle projects, and most recently has been an editor for Dungeons & Dragons and a developer for Lone Shark's upcoming Pathfinder Adventure Card Game. She will bring a deft touch to The Maze of Games.

The Maze of Games Kickstarter Metapuzzle

Now that you're on your way to gaining all those badges, we're announcing our final badge, the Gamesmaster badge. That is gotten by placing your answers in some order in the following blanks, as modeled at the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament by Mike and Conundrucopia authors Patrick Blindauer, Brendan Emmett Quigley, Will Shortz, Eric Berlin, Deb Amlen, Francis Heaney, and Tyler Hinman.

The shaded squares will get you a phrase that will help you get the answer, but that phrase is not the answer. The answer is what we hope we've gotten you into over the last 44 days. Type that single word into the site and you'll get the Gamesmaster badge.

We hope you like the puzzles we've sent your way. And of course, thanks for the monumental support.

Mike and the Sharks

*And yes, we were completely unaware that our company name rot13ed to a phrase with the words "Bar fun" in it. At least, that's how we're reading it.


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    1. Monty Ashley on March 14, 2013

      One more riddle and I'll be done!

    2. schala on March 14, 2013

      That's an interesting take on the Sphinx. And "Orc Scouts Den Mother"? I like the imagery of such, hehe.

      And yay, a little less than $10,000 to freeing Will Shortz from the cage! There are already so many great contributors that I can't wait for the book. Even though the KS update puzzle maze is stymieing me. ;)

    3. Lone Shark Games 5-time creator
      on March 13, 2013

      I made a mistake in suggesting the mystery print would be decided before the pieces were actually finished. We'll do that after the campaign when we have all the art to look at.
      Regardless, people who order a single print will get to decide which print they want of the three we offer.
      By the way, the vampire does not want to give Colleen and Sam a puzzle. She just wants to kill them.
      Thanks to all for the compliments!


    4. Gina Howard on March 13, 2013

      I'm debating on buying a print or an ebook. But I don't have a device that an ebook would work on. I hope to get a kindle fire but who knows when that will happen and since it will be available after the kickstarter, I may spend my last "splurge" on a print. If we get to choose a print, I want the Gatekeeper. He's the one who started it all for me. Steampunk on facebook posted his picture minutes after the kickstarter launched. Had I not checked facebook and seen the print, I might never have learned about this project or be one of the few who got to back it in its early hours.

      Thank you Gatekeeper.

    5. James Lawrence on March 13, 2013

      Brilliant design. That's the most puzzling fun I've had in a long time. I especially loved putting the maze together. It reminded me of what Mike says about giving the solver pointers that they're on the right track along the way - you really know when it's coming together.
      Thanks for a wonderful and incredibly engaging campaign, and many congratulations on the phenomenal success of the project. I would say I can't wait for the book, but since some people have been waiting 18 years...

    6. Mark Navarrete on March 13, 2013

      I've known of Mike from my earliest days as a puzzle enthusiast. So when I heard of the Maze of Games, I knew that I had to check it out -- and, of course, I was sold on it right away after seeing the sample puzzles and art and the who's who of contributors. (Not to mention the fantastic little puzzle hunt. Now I've probably been spoiled to expect all Kickstarter campaigns should be this fun.)

      Congratulations to everyone who contributed to the success of this project -- to Mike, the Sharks and all backers! The Maze of Games will become a reality!

    7. Missing avatar

      Sean Gugler on March 13, 2013

      Oh, I LOVE the Orc Scouts Den Mother. Fertile grounds for fresh character, comedy, and no small amount of intimidation, just from looking at her! But then again, I can't seem to tear my eyes away from the Sphinx.

    8. Dylan Hutchison
      on March 13, 2013

      My vote's for THE SPHINX. In terms of its place in a puzzle book, the sphinx best captures the problem-solving spirit with an air of mystery. The Orc Scouts Den Mother comes in second for her uniqueness-- who would've thought of making an orc into a puzzlemaster? THe reversal makes for a few laughs. As for the vampire, I can't see how she would fit into the puzzle scene- she should stick to horror flicks.

    9. Steve Williams on March 13, 2013

      Brilliant. Thanks for a wonderful campaign!

    10. John du Bois on March 13, 2013

      I've got the "not the answer" phrase, and I think I know how it's supposed to lead to an answer, but I'm stumped there. This may be a "sleep on it" challenge.

    11. Gary Levin on March 13, 2013

      I would include the first letter. "Y Bar Fun" seems more appropriate to this team.