Puzzle kit review: Nomis Piy: Quest for the Merlion Eye

Their description: During this holiday season, we present to you a treasure hunt puzzle game that will bring you deep into the heart of Singapore. Play it with your family, friends or play it solo. Do it at your own time and at your own pace. Travel to five locations using the SMRT lines to search for clues. The treasure awaits. Will you find it?

Following their excellent puzzle book, Nomis Piy has released a play-at-your-own-pace outdoor puzzle game kit, reminiscent of similar offerings in Tokyo. Quest for the Merlion Eye is a delightful experience on multiple levels, showcasing Nomis Piy’s established strengths while introducing new aspects.

First, the game is a chance to rediscover parts of Singapore. The locations are chosen well: interesting, easily accessible, close to shelter (and cafes), and without too much walking. There’s no danger of getting lost.

Second, the puzzles are up to the usual high Nomis Piy standard: clever, logical, and fun. Though the game starts off simple, it soon increases in complexity. There’s lots of subtle but conscientious clueing, and all the intuitive leaps are fair. One danger of outdoor puzzle events/kits is that ‘info collection’ may be trivial. Apart from one or two early instances, that isn’t the case here; you’re really using your surroundings to solve puzzles, not merely collect info.

Third, the production values are great, from the cute artwork to some very cool surprises that are revealed in the act of solving. The hands-on, physical aspects of the kit are a highlight; to say more would be spoiler-y, alas.

The narrative is perhaps the only aspect where the game doesn’t shine; though sustained, it’s a little thin. Nonetheless, that doesn’t detract from the overall experience, which is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED as a great puzzle-y way to spend an afternoon.

Each game kit costs S$35 including postage (or S$32 if you’re buying 5 or more), which is a very reasonable price for several hours of gameplay. We spent about 2.5 hours including travel time (with some walking), but I imagine most teams might take longer. Although a whole group could, in theory, just share one kit, I’d recommend having at least two kits — though of course the ideal would be one kit per player.

Puzzle difficulty: 3.5/5
Puzzle logic: 5/5

Physical kit aspects: 4/5
Storyline integration: 3/5

Their suggested number of players: n/a
My suggested number of players: 1 to 4



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