Pessimal's Puzzle

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Pessimal's Puzzle is an online puzzle game with a Discworld theme on the Roundworld internet. It was created by J. Ryan Opp in 2016. The puzzle style is known as an Einstein's Riddle, in which an array of characters (A) must be totally associated with their belongings and preferences across a number of attributes (B). The dimension of Pessimal's Puzzle (AxB) is 9x8. The theme of the puzzle is that Sergeant Colon and his partner, Nobby Nobbs have had an exciting day of police work around Ankh-Morpork. They have taken 9 characters into custody as well as some food, beverages, and objects carried by the various suspects. Since they don't do any paperwork, they have to rely on snippets of their memories to recall the day's events. These snippets are a number of clues (between about 65 and 85 in total). You, the player, taking the role of A.E. Pessimal, the Watch's forensic accountant, are the one tasked with making sense of this mess, which you will do with a picture-coded grid. If all of the items and characters are placed correctly, you will be rewarded with a funny, modular, fanfic story about Colon and Nobby's day, and more importantly the Watch can process this riffraff and you can have a report on Vimes desk in the morning.


The game is written in java script and should run on most modern browsers. It also works on most phone and tablet browsers that support long touches as right clicks. The game is hosted on Opp's personal website which has no advertising and no one makes a penny whether you play it or not.


In classic fanfic form, the game "borrows" artwork from many different places on the internet, and the designer, Opp, also made some original pictures, icons, and compilations, including the splash screen of Pessimal in his office, which was based on a cosplayer photo online. Of all the omitted attributions, this one seems the worst to Opp, and if anyone knows who that fellow is, please update this page to reflect his celebrity status.


The charm of this little puzzle is that it is chock-full of Discworld references, and since a random computer algorithm constructs the puzzles, the associated references are often bizarre or oddly appropriate. At any rate, many of the observations coming from Colon are presented as though they are common knowledge. Below is a list of all 72 elements in the game so that a Discworld fan who is rusty with particular references can peruse this wiki to read up on them.

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