The ‘Perplex City’ mystery is fundamentally a treasure hunt.

The alternate-reality of Perplex City has lost its sacred artefact, the Receda Cube, and it has been buried somewhere on Earth by persons / for reasons unknown. If you find it, there’s a reward of £100,000 (and roughly equivalent figures in other currencies.)

There’s nowhere to ‘register’ and nothing to download, much as a real-life detective or archaeolgist doesn’t have to do those things to start working on a case. Clues to the location of the cube will be in two forms:

The cards will shortly be available to purchase from several locations around the world and also available via mail-order from online retailer Firebox – £2.50 for a pack of six. Each card presents a puzzle – possibly with more than one answer – for you to solve. We don’t yet know what exact relevance these puzzles will have to the game as a whole. They’re produced by the scholars at the Perplex City Academy and therefore won’t contain information leading you directly to the Cube (as they don’t know where it is either) – however, you’ll be able to post your solution to the Perplex City website to gain ‘points’, earning you personal glory. The cards may also provide clues to other new material, deeper within the game (websites, for example) and are designed for you to learn more about Perplexian culture.

The more general clues will come in a variety of forms – websites, telephone numbers, email addresses, faxes, real world events, text messages – to name but a few! Keep your eyes open. Eventually they may lead you to shadowy and mysterious characters with insider information on what happened to the Cube…

So far, there’s a newspaper website, an Academy website, a blog by each of Sente’s daughters, and an ice cream parlour.

If you want to find out more, first check out the main Perplex City site and then head to the discussion boards, where you’ll find lots of friendly people willing to help. If you want to peruse our total knowledge so far, then check out the wiki. Have fun!

Questions That, I Guess, I Asked More Frequently Than Others
What do I do once I’ve found the cube? What does the cube look like? What’s the cube supposed to do? So many questions!

You’re getting a bit ahead of yourself – much of what we don’t know is all part of the mystery itself. if you’ve managed to work out where the cube is, for instance, then I’m sure you’ll have managed to work out what to do next. Maybe it’ll have a Found The Cube Hotline number etched onto it, who knows?

Haven’t I missed a lot of stuff already?

There’s discussion of the mystery stretching back for almost a year, but you don’t need to worry about it too much. There was Project Syzygy, a recruitment website for would-be game designers, that generated a lot of chatter. Then a very early version of the Perplex City site was launched, generating more speculation, classifieds in papers around the world that lead players to the first truly gamelike website, the PXC Sentinel, and a small real-world meetup that provided a little information on the the city’s history. Then a mini-puzzle resulted in 333 players receiving some prototype cards in the post.

So while there has been stuff, it’s mainly been to build the buzz around the game and bring new players in, not to put them off! There’s also been rather long gaps in between the stuff. None of the information released so far will have provided an advantage in finding the cube. That said, getting up-to-date on it might provide you with a great taster of what’s to come, and don’t pretend that you’d rather beworking. Scour the archives and stick it to the man!

All I can see is a lot of guff to read…

That’s not actually a question… but I see what you mean. So far most of the content available simply adds colour and depth to the alternate-world of Perplex City, allowing players to familiarise themselves with their peculiar ways. Think of it like the opening credits to a movie, with the camera following a few characters as they go about their business. It’s largely by design – there’s no massive, in depth puzzles yet so new players can catch up quickly. So just sit back and enjoy what’s there until the real game hits!

What was all the PDA / arcade-game shizzle on The Culture Show?

Ah, that stuff wasn’t related to Perplex City. That was the work of Blast Theory and PacManhattan. Exactly what weird wonderfulness (or wonderful weirdness) Perplex City will bring is still part of the mystery…