Enigma (video game)

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Enigma icon.png
Enigma Icon
Developer(s) Ronald Lamprecht, Raoul Bourquin, Andreas Lochmann, Daniel Heck (founder), ...[1]
Composer(s) Andrew Sega, Clifford J. Tasner
Engine Custom
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, GP2X, Linux, FreeBSD
Release December 20, 2014; 2 years ago (2014-12-20) (version 1.21)
Genre(s) Puzzle
Mode(s) Single-player

Enigma is a transport puzzle video game based on Oxyd, and is released under the GPL. Enigma continues to be very popular as an open source multi-platform derivative of Oxyd now that Oxyd is no longer maintained. The open source fangame Enigma has been praised in reviews.[2][3]

Enigma is a marble game. Landscapes usually take the form of logic puzzles, although frequently, dexterity with the pointing device (the only form of input) is also required. The game is based on a traditional square grid map (2D computer graphics) and a realistic physics simulation.

Enigma is compiled for Mac OS X, GP2X, Microsoft Windows, FreeBSD and Linux (with packages available for several distributions).


Enigma screenshot of level Enigma IV, #2: Double-Spiral

Enigma consists of approximately 2500 levels, known as ‘landscapes’, which may be played in any order. The player controls one or more marbles using the mouse, and interacts with the landscape purely through the marble. Levels fall into two broad categories: Oxyd landscapes and Meditation landscapes. Some levels may appear to fall into one category while actually being in the other.

Obstacle course navigation[edit]

Often in each level, apart from the introductory ones that introduce the game gradually to the player, each level either contains a puzzle, race or many hazards (which tax the player's problem solving/logical skills, dexterity, patience and speed; these factors determine the overall difficulty of the level) which the player must solve, win or avoid or risk making the level impossible to solve (in which the player must restart it) or risk having the marble sink, fall down an abyss, destroyed or crushed. This takes away one of the players lives shown in the form of spare marbles in the inventory. The level automatically restarts from the beginning when all lives are lost, with the Oxyd colours randomly shuffled again. Some levels even are/have mazes which the player must find his/her way through.

Scoring system[edit]

Enigma also contains a score system which tracks how fast the player finishes the level. When a level is completed, a "personal record" for the level is made. All levels have two records which the player can try to beat: PAR (Derived from the golf scoring format) and World Record. PAR usually takes some quick doing to achieve and even changes with time in the newer versions and setting a new World Record is near impossible even for the dedicated player except through sheer luck. World Records are usually formed by groups of very dedicated players who have mastered moving the marble quickly but precisely and have known the ins and outs of each level.

Score statistics are published every month at the official website of Enigma.[4] The most important categories are World Record Statistics and Solved Level Statistics. Due to the large number of levels and the variety of challenges involved, achieving 100% level completion is no small task. According to in-game published statistics, as of December 2010 only one person has managed 100% level completion.[a]


Since 2002, Oxyd is abandonware.[5] That same year 2002 was the initial release of Enigma.[6] In 2007, Enigma reached stable version 1.01.


Level design[edit]

The landscapes are generated by scripts in the Lua programming language, making the creation of complicated landscapes relatively easy.[7] A level editor exists, but it is currently not used very much.[8][9]

Example script:

Welcome level
ti[" "] = {"fl_lawn"}
ti["#"] = {"st_box"}
ti["O"] = {"st_oxyd"}
ti["@"] = {"ac_marble_black"}

wo(ti, " ", {
"#                  #",
"#                  #",
"#   O          O   #",
"#                  #",
"#                  #",
"#        @         #",
"#                  #",
"#                  #",
"#   O          O   #",
"#                  #",
"#                  #",


  • ti = tiles
  • wo = world
Prefix Object Example
fl_ floor fl_lawn
st_ stone st_box, st_oxyd
it_ item it_key, it_yinyang
ac_ actor ac_marble_black
ot_ other ot_rubberband


Composer of the menu music 'Pentagonal Dreams' is Andrew 'Necros' Sega.


Enigma does not currently support the popular cooperative two-player network games that were available with some versions of Oxyd. However, most of the two-player landscapes are playable in single-player.


As well as the 624 standard landscapes designed for it, Enigma also includes 20 tutorial landscapes, 149 landscapes adapted from various Sokoban games, 161 landscapes adapted from the Oxyd games, and 91 landscapes adapted from Oxyd's predecessor, Esprit. This makes a total of 1045 landscapes.[a]

Additionally, Enigma is capable of reading and playing landscapes from the data-files of the original Oxyd games, potentially adding another 389 landscapes to Enigma's collection. Although some Oxyd-series features are not yet implemented in Enigma, most of the landscapes are fully functional.

Oxyd landscapes[edit]

  • Marble → Uncover Oxyd stone pair

In Oxyd landscapes, being the most common level types in Enigma, players must activate matching Oxyd stones. When Oxyd stones are hit by a marble, laser beam, or certain types of moving brick, they open to reveal a coloured circle. If two matching Oxyd stones are activated they remain open, while if non-matching Oxyd stones are activated the first one closes. There are a maximum total of twelve different colours in Oxyd stones. When all Oxyd stones are open the level is complete.

Two main actor landscapes[edit]

Yin-Yang item
  • Control black marble ← Yin-Yang → Control white marble

In this landscape, the game adds an additional marble for the player to control. However, Enigma is a single-player game so the game includes a Yin-Yang item that is automatically added to the players inventory when the level is started or located somewhere around the level which the player has to find. This item, when activated, switches control between the black and white marbles respectively. Normally, this level includes special bricks which change colour to the opposite colour of the marble or only let a marble of the specific colour pass through.

Meditation landscapes[edit]

  • Small white marble → Hollow

In meditation landscapes the player must place small white marbles into hollows in the landscape, with one marble in each hollow. Meditation landscapes may feature large marbles and Oxyd stones as a distraction. Some meditation levels have too few or too many hollows, in which case the player must produce extra hollows or remove existing hollows in order to complete the level. This level type has all marbles moving together so the player has to be careful when positioning other marbles into the other holes or navigating a hazard. Otherwise, a single jolt that's too strong may send marbles that are already in the hole out, requiring the player to reposition them.


Enigma has been praised in reviews as open source fangame and clone of Oxyd.[2][3] While included in many Linux distributions, Enigma was downloaded alone over Sourceforge between 2011 and 2016 over 100,000 times according to their download statistic.[10]


  1. ^ a b Enigma version 1.01, released May 25, 2007.
Inline citations
  1. ^ "Credits". Official site. Daniel Heck and contributors. Retrieved 2015-04-11. 
  2. ^ a b Barylick, Chris (2005-11-11). "The Slacker's Guide - Enigma and Gypsy Mod". The Mac Observer. Retrieved 2014-12-26. 
  3. ^ a b Lindner, Mirko (2004-09-22). "Enigma - Bloß nicht zittern". Pro-Linux.de (in German). Retrieved 2014-12-26. 
  4. ^ "Score Statistics". Official site. Daniel Heck and contributors. Retrieved 2014-12-26. 
  5. ^ Heck, Daniel; contributors (2013). Enigma manual (PDF). p. 1. Retrieved 2015-04-19. 
  6. ^ Heck, Daniel (2002-05-14). "Release 0.40". enigma-announce (Mailing list). Retrieved 2015-04-18. 
  7. ^ Heck, Daniel; Machata, Petr; Westram, Ralf; Lamprecht, Ronald; Lochmann, Andreas; Abraham, Andreas (2013). Enigma reference manual (PDF). Retrieved 2015-04-19. 
  8. ^ "BlackBallEd". Level-Editor for Enigma hosted by Sourceforge. Retrieved 2015-04-11. 
  9. ^ "Level Development". Official site. Daniel Heck and contributors. Retrieved 2015-04-11. 
  10. ^ enigma-game - stats on sourceforge.net (2016)

External links[edit]