I recently found one of my white whales of board games, Perplex City at a thrift store. Best of all, it was only $3! It is a good trivia board game with a very interesting story.
So Perplex City was a big global Alternative Reality Game (ARG) with a lot of innovative ideas. It was sold in booster packs like a Trading Card Game (TCG). Each card had puzzles which leads to a seemingly endless rabbit hole. Due to the collectible nature of the game and the fact many puzzles are very hard (one of the puzzles was just solved, Finding Satoshi), it encouraged people to work together. Also it had a cash prize which definitely help build the buzz around it. Long story short, the Receda Cube that was invaluable to Perplex City was stolen and it is hidden somewhere in our world. The person who first finds the cube and returns it to Perplex City will get the big prize. The game started in 2005 and I wished I knew about the game then. This type of game is right in my wheelhouse and it would have been so much fun. I am pretty sure there hasn’t been anything like it since.
To be clear, this board game is not part of the ARG but it has some story elements and references to it. It even has its own puzzles that seem to lead to its own scavenger hunt but unfortunately all the websites that this game points to are no longer active. In the rule book, I count at least seven websites to explore, one email and a couple of other puzzles that probably lead to something bigger. I tried the Wayback Machine to check out these sites but with a quick glance, it seems to be missing too much to go any further.
I have been trying to track down anything related to Perplex City at a reasonable price but I had no luck until now. Despite how innovative the game was, it only had one season (the second season was teased but was never live) so everything related to Perplex City has been long out of print. I am happy to find the board game but I will also continue to look for the cards relating to the ARG.