On Puzzles:

White Raven on Puzzle Theory >


Puzzle books take many more forms than those represented here, but discounting gas station word search books, the first form listed here, the solvable mystery novel, probably represents over half of all the puzzle books ever made. The next four make up most of the rest. While the last, the immersive puzzle book, is the topic of this site:

The solvable mystery novel >

The branching path novel >

The armchair puzzle hunt >

The puzzle picture book >

The immersive puzzle book >


While MAZE remains the only fully realized immersive puzzle in print, there are several kinds of visual puzzles which use aspects of the genre. Here are some notable examples:

“The Interior of the British Institution Gallery” by John Scarlett Davis >

The Puzzle Paintings of Chris Consani >

Mystery Picture Jigsaw Puzzles >

Hidden Object Games >


In one sense all games are to some degree puzzle-like but only a few are true puzzles, which is to say, they challenge an individual to achieve a predetermined goal while abiding by a set of rules for rightfully obtaining the goal.

Brainteasers >

Scenarios >


The only immersive puzzles that come close to comparing with Mr. Manson’s MAZE are video games. Most RPG video games use include puzzles of some sort in their game play but very few make prolific use of them. Included here are some notable examples of the immersive-puzzle video game genre:

Myst series (1993 – 2005) >

Tomb Raider Anniversary – Croft Manor (2007) >

Dream Chronicles 2: The Eternal Maze (2008) >

Portal (2007) & Portal 2 (2011) >



Below is a sampling of visual non-puzzles that give the strong impression of a visual puzzle and have influenced the concept of the visual puzzle in the modern imagination:

The Gothic Surrealist Art of Edward Gorey >

The Illusions of M. C. Escher >

Alchemy Illustrations >

Masonic Imagery >

Gothic Architecture >


For more on puzzle design and theory:

Puzzles: Further Reading >