Puzzazz, the Redmond-based puzzle technology startup, is turning its creative energy loose on Kickstarter with a new campaign to fund a year-long “puzzle hunt” — aiming to bring a puzzling tradition to a wider audience and support the ecosystem of independent puzzle constructors.
A puzzle hunt is a collection of unique puzzles that combine to create a larger puzzle as they’re solved over time. Here’s the first puzzling twist: The company’s Kickstarter campaign page is a mini puzzle hunt unto itself, starting with three puzzles to find and solve, with more added during the 37 days of the campaign.
One of those puzzles is embedded in the Kickstarter video, which features pictures contributed to the campaign by puzzle fans and luminaries including actor Neil Patrick Harris and composer Stephen Sondheim.
The campaign, which launched overnight, aims to raise at least $9,973 to deliver one puzzle a month, with additional stretch goals to increase the number of puzzles in the hunt to as many as one per week. People who pledge at least $19 will get the full year of puzzles if the campaign is funded. Larger pledges will receive bigger rewards, such as a unique puzzle shirt at the $75 level and custom puzzles for higher pledges.
Roy Leban, the founder of Puzzazz, helped to launch the tradition of the Microsoft Puzzle Hunt during his time at the company.
“Puzzle hunts are one of the most fun things in puzzles. Being able to bring puzzle hunts to a lot more people is a great opportunity,” Leban said.
At the same time, he said, the project helps to show the difference that human creativity makes in puzzle construction, vs. other companies that rely on computer programs and algorithms to construct puzzles. People who buy the “Year of Puzzles” puzzle hunt can solve them in the Puzzazz app for iOS, or via the company’s website.
The Kickstarter campaign runs through Jan. 23.