Currently seeking funds – and heading towards the end of its rightfully successful Kickstarter campaign as of the time of writing – Spencer Beebe’s clever puzzle game Lost in the Shuffle promises to certify players as geniuses, albeit under one condition: that they solve the mysterious, missing puzzle number 53 in this 54-card deck of puzzles.

Reader, it pains me to tell you that currently, I’m definitely not a genius.

Despite my clear lack of mental majesty, Lost in the Shuffle is a game that’ll repeatedly – and often – make you feel extremely clever, though it does this by being exceptionally clever itself.

Let’s rewind a bit. Beebe’s clever creation arrives as an almost unassuming, deceptively minimalistic deck of cards. The packaging is fairly plain, feeling handcrafted and basic.

That, however, like so much of Lost in the Shuffle, is blatant, devious misdirection. When you open the box, you’ll find one which tells you to check out the game’s website; from there, this absolute rollercoaster of a journey begins.

It’s difficult to talk about beyond that point – or even share much in the way of images of the cards themselves – without spoiling the joy of discovery that you’ll have at various steps of the journey thereafter, but suffice to say that this is a brilliantly constructed series of puzzles that can be tackled in any order, at the pace of your choosing – and it’ll even save your progress for you as you solve puzzles too, so you can put it down and come back to it whenever you’re ready.

Though the lack of direction at the beginning felt a little off-putting to my Autistic brain, it didn’t take long for me to get sucked into the experience despite the order and guidance that my mind so often craves.

Part escape room, part co-op tabletop game and all mind-melting puzzle goodness, Lost in the Shuffle is an experience that’s genuinely impressive in its depth and scope; it’s also an experience that’s pretty unlike anything else I’ve tried in terms of tabletop gaming.

Unlike Escape Room style games such as Exit, Lost in the Shuffle’s cards don’t need to be marked, folded or otherwise altered in any way – so they can be passed on to other members of your family, to friends or even to stupid enemies if you want to make them feel even more like the losers they so clearly are.

If you’d like to check out – and secure yourself a copy of – Lost in the Shuffle, the Kickstarter campaign is running until the 7th of November; the game’s page can be found here. You can also check out Lost in the Shuffle’s website at this link.

Who knows? Maybe you can be the next certified Lost in the Shuffle Genius. Or maybe you’ll be joining me in the ‘too dumb to reach puzzle 53’ gang. Either way, you’re in for quite the unique experience – that I can assure you.

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