Games

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

Da Vinci-inspired mechanical p...
Codex Silenda tells the story of an apprentice caught in a trap in Leonardo Da Vinci's workshop
Codex Silenda tells the story of an apprentice caught in a trap in Leonardo Da Vinci's workshop
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The book is made up of five individual puzzle pages 
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The book is made up of five individual puzzle pages 
Codex Silenda tells the story of an apprentice caught in a trap in Leonardo Da Vinci's workshop
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Codex Silenda tells the story of an apprentice caught in a trap in Leonardo Da Vinci's workshop
The story spans the full five pages, so finding out what happens is a matter of solving the puzzles
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The story spans the full five pages, so finding out what happens is a matter of solving the puzzles
Each page is made of laser cut wood, and users can assemble their own copy 
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Each page is made of laser cut wood, and users can assemble their own copy 
One page is made up of fourteen sliders which need to be appropriately arranged 
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One page is made up of fourteen sliders which need to be appropriately arranged 
Geneva gears make up another of the puzzles
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Geneva gears make up another of the puzzles
The book is designed to look good on a coffee table as well as acting as an interesting challenge
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The book is designed to look good on a coffee table as well as acting as an interesting challenge
The first stage is unlocking the mechanical iris on the cover
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The first stage is unlocking the mechanical iris on the cover
Each page, laid out individually
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Each page, laid out individually
The book has a hint of the Da Vinci code about it, but that's the way the designer wanted it 
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The book has a hint of the Da Vinci code about it, but that's the way the designer wanted it 
The book is a challenge for hands-on readers
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The book is a challenge for hands-on readers

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.

The book is a challenge for hands-on readers
The book is a challenge for hands-on readers

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

Codex Silenda: The Book of Puzzles

2 comments
Tom Lee Mullins
I think that is really neat. I think Davinci is really cool. I think he was way ahead of his time.
Milton
Neat toy. But I fear these guys are in for a world of hurt when they realize that $150 for an assembled unit is way too low. The assembly time alone is going to eat away at any margin they think they had. Ouch.