What's That Spell

Light blue tower against a dark blue background, with lightning bolts around the tower. Orange and yellow text reading "What's That Spell? / A puzzle hunt by Nathan Curtis"

What's That Spell is the first puzzle hunt fully produced by Tortoiseshell Studio. What's That Spell was funded by a Kickstarter campaign in the summer of 2016, presented as a live hunt in the Boston area in September 2016, and first went out to at-home solvers in the spring of 2017.

What's That Spell contains 12 puzzles and 3 metapuzzles. In the original format, the metapuzzles for What's That Spell incorporated physical artifacts that were shipped to solvers. After the initial release, the physical artifacts were replaced by digital illustrations and descriptions of the artifacts, conveying the information needed to solve the metapuzzles.

In addition to the puzzle hunt itself, What's That Spell includes a number of bonus puzzles that were unlocked as stretch goals in the Kickstarter campaign. The first volume of bonus puzzles was released in the fall of 2016, a bonus puzzle hunt was made publicly available at http://tortoiseshellstudio.com/wu-xing/puzzle/index.html in January 2017, and the second volume of bonus puzzles is expected to be released in April or May 2017. The bonus material includes four puzzles by Nathan Curtis, a small puzzle hunt by Denis and Marc Moskowitz, and individual puzzles by Pavel Curtis, Neville Fogarty, Jeffrey Harris, Tanis O'Connor, Joon Pahk, Erin Rhode, Kevin Wald, Scott Weiss, and Gaby Weidling.

Although the Kickstarter campaign for What's That Spell concluded in July 2016, the hunt and bonus material is still available for purchase from the Tortoiseshell Studio store. You can check answers and get hints and errata via some of the links below.