Created for the 2018 MIT Mystery Hunt, puzzle designer Colin Liotta is offering a limited amount of his layered card puzzle Marked Deck for sale through Etsy.
Marked Deck is constructed from a standard 52-card deck of play cards, plus two jokers, that have had pieces cut out. Once players start stacking the cards on top of each other, that’s when all the puzzle magic begins to happen.
“After arranging the cards in the correct order a series of letters are revealed on the side of the deck,” describes Liotta. “These letters can then be deciphered to discover the final message… The solution is also provided along with the deck (in a sealed envelope to avoid spoilers). The deck arrives in its unsolved, shuffled state.”
The puzzle designer had been secretly making over 100 copies for this year’s annual running of the renowned puzzle hunt, using a laser-cutter to create the intricate design needed on the playing cards.
Liotta has used the laser cutting techniques to create many pieces of three-dimensional layered art, but this would be his first puzzle using the method. The designer has previously created two cube mazes that are currently retired from production.
Marked Deck can be purchased on the designer’s Etsy store for $50 plus shipping, Liotta hasn’t indicated how many copies of the puzzle are available.
The puzzle designer’s company Liotta Design is based out of Berkeley, Calif.