Nomis Piy – Graffiti [Hivemind Review]

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

Sample illustrated pages of Graffiti, printed in color, with cartoon illustrations.

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, scissors

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. Most of the book needs to be solved in sequential order, but there is one section that can be done in any order. Once you solve a puzzle, you enter the answer on a webpage, and it will verify if you are correct or not. Sometimes it will give you additional information for a later puzzle. There is a hint page that you access from one of the early pages online.

Cindi S’ Reaction

Having really enjoyed Missing, I was excited to play Nomis Piy’s newest book Graffiti, only this time I was prepared for the challenge. Flipping through the book, I viewed each page with suspicion: is that image just a random thing or an important part of a puzzle? (Hint: It’s never just a random thing.) Nothing is as it seems and clues are often hidden in plain sight. The puzzles are very cryptic, requiring observation, searching, and making connections between seemingly unrelated items. The hint section provides vague nudges for most puzzles, but they did not always help me find the solution. One puzzle was misleading, and I struggled with it for quite some time before having an “aha!” moment and finding the answer. In fact, each successful solve feels like an enormous victory and gives a strong sense of accomplishment. If you like straightforward puzzles with obvious directions on how to solve, this isn’t your puzzle book. But for those who want to think outside the box and stretch their brain power, you need to try Graffiti!

Andrew Reynolds’ Reaction

Graffiti builds on the framework of Nomis Piy’s other puzzle book offering, Missing, and improves on it in a significant way. Much of what I wrote in my review of Missing holds true for this game as well: Nomis Piy designed an attractive book that forces the player to interact with the pages in surprising and often delightful ways. On the negative side, the company decided to again offer no solution page in case players are very, very stuck. Thankfully, putting Graffiti down for a few days was enough for me to reset myself and figure out the solutions…but I also brute forced a puzzle or two for which I still don’t know the proper solution path. Overall, this is another puzzle book from Nomis Piy that is challenging in a (usually) fun way.

Matthew Stein’s Reaction

Graffiti was a brilliant and worthy successor to Nomis Piy’s previous puzzle book, Missing. Like Missing, Graffiti was packed to the brim with clever puzzles that took full advantage of the physical book format. While Missing at times felt like a scattered proof of concept, I found that Graffiti’s puzzles flowed somewhat more cohesively, with a consistent progression of complexity and thoughtfully designed metapuzzles.

Hiding secrets in plain sight can be as risky as it is rewarding. Graffiti struck an impressive balance with this overall, but it didn’t always get it right: a few puzzle sequences either revealed their final secrets far too early or proved too subtle in presentation, even after realizing what had to be done. Additionally, like with Missing, the tiered online hints system often skipped essential steps and was useful only up until it wasn’t.

Nomis Piy has fully won me over with both Graffiti and Missing. They fit an impressive density of visual-oriented ahas into a fairly unassuming package and are amongst the best options out there for creative physical puzzle books. I am excited to see what they design next.

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