Cryptography is the process by which folks keep their communications a secret; it’s a practice at least over two thousand years old.
Cypher, a new game coming soon to Steam on February 20th from the developer Matt Brown really grabbed our attention.
It’s a both a history lesson and game all in one.
Players wander around a series of rooms only to come across plain black text that contain cryptographic puzzles. Each puzzle is based on specific type of cryptography. Solve the puzzles and type the answer into a nearby console to proceed to the next room.
The first room is basically all steganography—aka the act of hiding the coded message in plain sight—and its first puzzle involves finding a spy’s note left on a military supply list.
The final puzzle in the room involves binary code. It’s a sentence reading “Science is knowledge is power.” but the fonts used throughout are slightly different and we suspect we are supposed to decipher them into ones and zeros based on which font is used.
Once you beat the majority of puzzles there you can move on to the next room, then learn a bit more of the history of cryptography, and then apply those lessons to a new set of puzzles preseneted.
This game offers basic hints if the player wants them. By the third room, our notepad was full of failed solutions to the transposition puzzles and our browser tabs were open to binary code translators, theories on how exactly to crack the Zodiac Killer ciphers, and even a detailed historical depiction of Nazi Germany’s Enigma machine.
Cypher gives away just enough info to get a puzzle started without spoiling it for the end user.
If you dig puzzles or even simply want to learn more about cryptography you can buy up Cypher on February 20th for only five bucks.