Puzzle Book – Extraordinary Investigations
Extraordinary Investigations: The Morgan File is a conspiracy thriller where the plot unfolds through the reader solving puzzles, cracking codes, and following the clues. It tells a twisted tale of espionage, deceit, and murder, through hours of intriguing investigation.
The Morgan File (TMF) is a beautifully produced game book, that from the outside looks like any other puzzle book, but the age old saying of “don’t judge a book by its cover” rings very true with this behemoth of a book!
Once you open TMF and start working on the case, an intricate story unfolds, as based in reality as a puzzle book can be, that means it is all to easy to go “down the rabbit hole” with this case file and end up deep into the lore, history and tales of the book’s subject matter.
The book is very well produced, within its glossy pages are high quality images at every turn. The story is revealed chapter by chapter, giving a linear feel to the book that makes it easy to put down if it gets a bit overwhelming. The book is accompanied and guided through the website https://www.extraordinaryinvestigations.com/ which nicely keeps the theme and immersion with the eQUIPS system, which given its almost dos like interface really feels like you are relaying the information you’ve found to head office!
The book is jam-packed with puzzles of all types, word, logic, math (a fair whack of maths) codebreaking, cyphers, visual, and spatial awareness and (although I don’t normally talk about difficulty) I found the difficulty ranged from incredibly easy to infuriatingly hard, there were puzzles that came to me instantly and puzzles that truely stumped me and left me high and dry (although this is purely subjective, you may find the puzzles I had difficulty on easy as pie!)
There are a fair few times throughout the game that outside knowledge, google and wikipedia come into play, and this is encouraged to delve into the lore of the story.
Puzzles were mainly logical and fair, and once you get over the precipice of some they were enjoyable to solve. Sometimes though getting that to that precipice was thwarted by overthinking, and over-googling (in my case I spent at least an hour down the google rabbit hole).
The signposting is quite subtle in places, and this is where that outside knowledge is needed, it would have been nice to have a little bit of signposting at certain points in the game.
There were quite a few moments where my “escape game” knowledge certainly came in handy.
The book had a good flow, as the use of the website eQUIPS directed and guided to help the flow, albeit a very linear one.
TMF is definitely a book for serious puzzlers, could it be done in an evening…. I’m not sure. I broke the book down and did it over about 4 different evenings, spanning about 6 weeks!
There is a clue system at the back of the book that offers different levels of help, these range from cryptic to more straightforward, and they were of great help at a few points during the game.
TMF is an intrictly detailed book, that blurs the line between fiction and reality, by using real scenarios and tailoring them to the book’s story, creating puzzles that perfectly fit the narrative too. A great time, that gives plenty of entertainment for a very fair price of £14
TMF is available on amazon.co.uk