Nomis Piy – Missing [Hivemind Review]

Missing is a puzzle book created by Nomis Piy in Singapore.

Nomis Piy Missing Escape puzzle book cover and demo interior pages printed in a colorful, cartoonish style.

Format

Style of Play:

  • Puzzle book

Who is it For?

  • Puzzle lovers
  • Best for players with at least some experience

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection, pen and paper

You need an internet connection to check your answers. A pen is necessary to record your answers on the answer sheet. Paper is helpful for notes, but not necessary.

Recommended Team Size: 1-2

Play Time: There’s no clock. Expect 4-6 hours of play, perhaps more.

Price: S$25 (roughly 18.41 USD) plus shipping from Singapore

Booking: purchase and play at your leisure

Description

This is a puzzle book with a light story and lots of puzzles. As you solve each puzzle, you input the answer online. If correct, you get instructions to fill in the answer sheet in the front of the book. Sometimes you get information you will need for a subsequent puzzle. If incorrect, nothing happens. You need to use different parts of the book in unique ways to solve the puzzles. One section is sealed and only available when you’ve reached that section.

Andrew Reynolds’ Reaction

Missing is an interesting and dense puzzle book, weighing in at a small but mighty 24 pages. You’re going to become very familiar with every single page as you advance through the five chapters. For the most part, this is a spectacularly designed book. The planning that went into it ensured that nothing went to waste. The introductory chapter laid the groundwork for how the rest of the game would be played. Any frustrations I had were based around two areas: an over-reliance on a particular solving method, and an incomplete hints webpage – including a lack of answers in case a puzzle just doesn’t click with you. You can message the company on Facebook for more hints, but that requires an out-of-game interaction and dealing with Facebook. The in-book interactions are much more satisfying and produced many an excited aha moment.

Cindi S’ Reaction

Missing is a workout for your brain! This puzzle book is relatively thin, but don’t let that fool you – it is packed with unique and challenging puzzles. The first three are warm-ups, giving you a glimpse of what’s to come. Each puzzle required outside-of-the-box thinking to solve, and sometimes it helped to just walk away and come back later with a fresh perspective. There is a hint section, which helps just enough to give you a nudge, but if you are completely lost there is really no way to proceed. One section was somewhat repetitive, as it was based on the same mechanic, but it was still used in really unusual ways. A few puzzles were quite cryptic and really made us think; let’s just say, there were high-fives (and huge smiles) when we finally figured those out. I enjoyed this book so much I have already passed it on to a friend, and I’m excited to play Graffiti, the sequel to Missing.

Tammy McLeod’s Reaction

This book was of a good physical quality, but the solving experience was somewhat inconsistent. The first portion of the book was fun, but the puzzles in the latter half seemed insufficiently signposted, and were occasionally ambiguous. The hinting system, unlike most others I’ve encountered, doesn’t provide any final answers, so if you were stuck, you would not be able to progress in the game. One puzzle’s errata was provided only on the page you see after you enter the right answer for that puzzle.

Matthew Stein’s Reaction

Nomis Piy’s Missing was exceedingly clever and inspiringly creative. I loved its approach to puzzle design — dozens of small puzzles explored variations on the themes of missing things, Morse code, and searching, and the book was filled with multi-layered solves and satisfying ahas. In mechanic, the puzzles felt like a puzzle hunt, with most solving to a single-word answer and with multiple metas throughout. Yet the book was also presented as, and equally successful as, a sort of escape room. Solving puzzles represented unlocking rooms and often involved in-depth searching around the house. The puzzles required no outside knowledge, though players used to escape rooms’ single-use rule may be caught off-guard by the especially extensive reuse of information.

As much as I adored the clever puzzle design in Missing, it was sometimes a bit too clever for its own good. While I honestly wouldn’t change much about the core puzzle mechanics, there often was insufficient cluing and signposting, especially for puzzles that utilized multiple elements throughout the book. Furthermore, the hints provided online were quite sparse for many puzzles and sometimes skipped over key steps.

Missing is a puzzle book for puzzle lovers. While some puzzles could have been smoothed out in their presentation, even those that were slightly under-clued felt satisfying rather than arbitrary when I finally arrived at their solutions. Packing an incredible amount of polished content into a mere 24 pages, this instantly became one of my new all-time favorite puzzle books – highly recommend!

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