Secret Signs is a game of visual riddles, where the point is to figure out what the point is. Each riddle has a unique look, its own mechanic and a secret goal.
Date: 24 April 2019
Most puzzle games follow an age-old recipe: here are the rules, there is your goal. Use logic and deduction to work your way through a series of similar puzzles with increasing difficulty.
Secret Signs is different. It’s a collection of standalone visual riddles that come with no instruction. The point is to figure out what the point is, and to do so you’ll need a big dose of imagination of creativity. Poke it, move it and look at it from all angles, because both problem and solution are hidden in plain sight.
The game was inspired by a quirky question: how do you solve a riddle that doesn’t pose a question? It sounds like a Zen koan with no answer, but sparked a unique breed of puzzles.
“We humans are hardwired to see patterns in everything, real or imagined”, explains Wouter Walmink, creator of the game. “Secret Signs plays on this and challenges you to see clarity in chaos, make sense of the nonsensical, and find purpose in seemingly meaningless things.”
Each riddle contains just enough clues for anyone to find that elusive purpose. Sometimes it takes a fresh perspective, sometimes it comes down to timing. The solution is never more than a few steps away, if only you knew in which direction to walk.
“An early demo showed the universal appeal of a mystery just beyond our grasp”, says Wouter. “I was stoked to see the game captivating 6-year-olds and hardcore puzzlers alike.”
A breath of fresh air is the lack of scores, timers, badges and the like. Secret Signs relies squarely on your curiosity and and those rewarding “Aha!” moments. Stuck on a riddle? Just try another one. Solved it? Challenge a friend and see if they are as smart as you.
Each riddle is inspired by a theme, ranging from everyday objects to impossible shapes, ancient symbols and modern technology. Solve a riddle and it will share its story, celebrating our human ingenuity—and your tenacity to uncover it.
Secret Signs is now available on iOS and Android.
Download to get eight riddles for free.
Unlock all riddles with a single in-app purchase.
Secret Signs creates refreshingly new gameplay by stripping away all distractions, leaving just to good bits:
Early versions of Secret Signs appealed to a surprisingly diverse audience, from 6-year-old kids to hardcore puzzlers. But how? Where most puzzle games rely on logic and deduction, Secret Signs draws on association, imagination and creativity. That’s why it can baffle the smartest cookie, yet captivate your uncle who never plays games (or so he says).
These puzzles are inspired by the tradition of spoken riddles. At first, there is something the riddle maker knows that you don’t, hidden between the lines. Unlike games, there is no race against the clock or risk of losing—it’s just you and your desire to know. Once you discover the key to unlock the riddle, this maker’s secret becomes yours to keep as well.
In Secret Signs, your intellectual victory is rewarded with more than satisfaction. Each riddle has a background story on the real-world subject that inspired it, ranging from everything objects to impossible shapes, ancient symbols and new technologies.
Secret Signs is the brainchild of Wouter Walmink, product designer and game theory enthusiast, whose previous work includes the critically acclaimed puzzler Stickets. It started six years ago with a question: “What happens when you strip a puzzle game of everything a player typically relies on?” A recurring core mechanic? Out. A clearly stated goal? Nope. Some basic instructions then? Uh-uh.
The game’s gentle soundtrack is composed and recorded by the talented Michael Callesen. This game could not have been made without amazing open source projects like React and Cordova, and various support libraries for both.