Da Vinci-inspired mechanical puzzle book makes for a challenging story

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Codex Silenda tells the story of an apprentice caught in a trap in Leonardo Da Vinci's workshop

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There's something fascinating about the mechanical puzzles faced by action heroes and explorers in novels and movies. Pull the right stone and the ancient tomb opens, make a wrong step and gruesome death awaits. To try and let average Joes experience a similar challenge – minus the gruesome death – a startup has created Codex Silenda, a wooden puzzle book that requires each page to be solved before the next is unlocked.

Frustrated with cheap puzzles that were only fun the first time around, Brady Whitney set about creating a challenging, well made puzzle that doubled as a piece of desktop art. The result is this five-page wooden book, which tells the story of an apprentice in Leonardo DaVinci's workshop.

When the apprentice goes to open the Codex sitting in the workshop, he's pulled into a trap. The trap is made up of five challenges, and he needs to solve each one to escape before the master returns. Doing so will prove he's worthy of DaVinci's tutelage. Each page contains a snippet of the story, so the only way to finish the tale is to complete the whole puzzle.

Each page of the book is made from laser-cut wood, and each features a different mechanical puzzle for the user to solve. Having opened a mechanical iris, there's a rotating hidden maze to navigate, before the user is forced to correctly align a set of Geneva gears. There's also a set of sliders to manipulate, before the trap is disabled by a cryptex lock.

Currently, the team is seeking funding on Kickstarter and has raised over US$160,000 of its $30,000 goal with 21 days remaining. Pledging $35 is enough to get a t-shirt and set of coasters, while $80 will get you a copy of the laser files to etch your own Codex.

At the moment, the rest of the pledge offerings are all gone - although there was an option to reserve a fully assembled book, the people behind the Codex haven't added any more for fear of creating a massive production backlog. Before the pledges were all taken, early birds could put their name down for a fully assembled book with $150, and unassembled books would set you back $80.

If all goes as planned, deliveries are expected to take place in April 2017. A video of Codex creator, Brady Whitney, explaining his creation is below.

Source: Brady Whitney

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