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Usbourne Puzzle Adventures

Default Smiles Imagine you’re living your ordinary life. Maybe going to work, or the museum, or hanging out with friends. Suddenly, things get complicated. Your get a mysterious phone call, or launched into space, or step into the past. There are codes, torn letters, and mysterious footprints everywhere. Clearly there is some deep conspiracy going on!
Sassy Sharky Or you’ve accidentally stepped into an Usbourne Puzzle Adventure.
Happy Smiles Very likely. But if you have, it’s a great place to be! The illustrations are colourful and fun, and the advantage of the entire adventure being printed together is that failure to complete a puzzle doesn’t mean you can’t finish the story. Even if that does seem kind of cheating.
Default Sharky I wouldn’t say a ‘great’ place. Sometimes have to dodge a lot of people trying to kill you.
Default Smiles But it always works out in the end! Not like a choose your own adventure book where you have every chance of failing badly. You can’t fail here! Just get stuck. So I’d still say these books are a great place to be in. They’re halfway between a comic book and a book of puzzles. Isn’t that a great idea?! Actually, I think the best thing to do is let the books speak for themselves. Each of them comes with an introduction.

Usbourne Intro

Default Smiles So, we want to keep an eye out out for details. And these illustrations are very carefully done to be consistent and clear, so when the story stops to ask you if you can spot something to help with the next problem, you’ll always be able to.
Happy Sharky2 Well. Unless you don’t notice it. The point is, they go out of their way to make sure you’re not stuck because of printing errors or blurry text. One of the books we have is more of a mystery story, so of course we instantly started paying close attention every time a character would show up, looking at what they were wearing, what they were holding, and what time was showing on the clock. Just in case they started spouting off alibis.

Usbourne Poison

Shocked Smiles Then something like that happens and you're left frantically flipping back through pages to make sure you didn't miss catching the culprit red handed. That one’s not strictly a puzzle adventure. In fact it comes under the heading Usbourne Whodunnits, a series we’d never heard of before, but we’d sure like to see more of.
Happy Sharky We’ve mentioned how great interactive books are before. This is on the lower end of interactivity, but it’s still great fun to try and piece together torn letters

Usbourne Note

work out codes

Usbourne Code

find your way in dangerous landscapes

Usbourne Trail

find a way out of a sticky situation

Usbourne Escape

or compare what’s happening now with what you know from before. This is where we got to work out those alibis.

Usbourne Alibi

smiles-intensifies And it’s WONDERFUL. It adds such a visual element to the thrill of following along with the clues of a detective story. Personally, I’m a more visual person, so I’d definitely love more thrillers and mysteries if they came like this.
Happy Sharky2 I wouldn’t complain. Sure, it’s fun to have a scene described in the narration and try to catch out the details, but there’s something special about being able to SEE if for yourself.
Default Smiles Shame you don’t get the photographs and torn letters as real, physical objects. But you can’t have everything. If anyone knows of other books where you can play your way through a story, let us know! And definitely check out one for yourself, they're a great way to pass some time.

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