The 'Knotiverse' may sound suspiciously like an adaptation of a routine from veteran comedian Ken Dodd but it's actually the home of Nodus, Murray Heasman's beautifully designed puzzle game based around interwoven Celtic knots.
Inside each Nodus box you'll find 25 plastic tiles in a mix of five different shapes. The puzzle and challenge is to fit these together to create interlocking patterns. There are 30 challenges in the booklet but that certainly isn't the limit of the patterns you can create; especially if you get hooked and decide to add further sets.
When you first start, it's best to take an incremental approach: try using the pieces to form a simple knot and then add and substitute different shaped tiles to build a bigger knot with more loops. Designs often have more than one 'solution' and its rewarding to explore to discover these. As a solitaire game, you'll find Nodus addictive, in the same way that folk get addicted to Sudoko and Wordle puzzles. And it's surprisingly therapeutic: it's refreshing to have a puzzle game that feels calming and relaxing rather than one that elevates your stress levels.
As you might glimpse from our Board's Eye View, Nodus currently comes in two colours (or rather shades): dark blue and light blue. Get both and the tiles can be combined to make more complex Celtic knot patterns, and there are extra challenges supplied that are predicated on players' access to two sets of tiles. And having both boxes also opens up the possibility for competitive play: two players racing to 'solve' a puzzle and assemble a given knot pattern. Tho' obviously playing Nodus as a two-player puzzle-solving race does rather inject some adrenaline into the exercise.
The three-dimensional plastic tiles are well made with a satisfying heft, and the Celtic knots, when assembled, look good enough to leave out on display. If you're looking for a novel, attractive and very affordable Christmas gift, then Nodus is definitely worth checking out. If you can't find it in your friendly local game store, click here to order it direct from Knotiverse.com.