Updated: Jul 14, 2021
Designed by Logan Giannini, Funny Pages is very much a puzzle game. Indeed, it's a puzzle to work out how best to review it without giving away spoilers... Happily, The Enigma Emporium have made a preview version available with broadly similar but different puzzles to those in the main game, so it's those we're showing off on Board's Eye View.
The idea is that the players (1 through to pretty much any number) have a large comic cartoon card (27 x 18 cm) that has clues cryptically concealed within it that reference a day of the week. The puzzle is to discover the clues (which could be within the caption or hidden (maybe in plain sight) somewhere in the drawing to identify the day that the cartoon is referencing. As you might expect, the puzzles vary in difficulty: the Lemon-Lyme Disease cartoon that you can see in our Board's Eye View 360 is one of the 'easiest', in that the clues are mostly relatively obvious; tho' even this puzzle has a sneakily concealed element to it. The puzzles are all very different, so there's a lot in this box to test your powers of deduction and general knowledge.
If you're completely stymied by any of the puzzles, then there's a book of clues. These are encoded: you'll need the supplied decoder bookmark to work out what they say or you can scan the QR code with your smartphone.
The comic artwork is central to this game, and full marks go to Aleksandar Jovic for his cartoons. There are some that may seem overly contrived to conceal the puzzle but the majority work as comic cartoons of the sort that you might expect to find printed in a newspaper. Of course, the cartoon's joke could be central to the puzzle or it may just be a deliberate distraction...
If you enjoy Escape Room, Exit or deduction games, or if you're schooled in decoding cryptic crosswords, then Funny Pages will give you hours of head-scratching entertainment. The puzzles can certainly be attempted solo but you'll probably benefit from tackling them as a group where you can bounce ideas off each other. And the giant format cards mean that the cartoons can be readily viewed by several people at once. You'll need to take notes - and the game includes a notepad and pen - but we've yet to determine the purpose of the small cheese grater that is also supplied in the box. We have around 5000 games in the Board's Eye View board game library but can honestly attest to the fact that this is the first to come with its own cheese grater!
Funny Pages is coming to Kickstarter in July. In addition to the game, there'll be an option to nab the promo cards. Click here to check out the campaign.