A Bitcoin is the prize for solving these 24 puzzles. Players can solve them on their own or play with others. Players can leave hints behind for others, or confuse them with red herrings that lead them down dead ends. After all, only one person can win the bitcoin in the end.
This is the pitch for Montecrypto: The Bitcoin Enigma, a new puzzle game from developers Gem Rose Collective launching on Steam on February 20. It’s a series of puzzles set in a maze players explore in the first person perspective. Whoever solves them first gets a real life Bitcoin, the developers say. After that, the game is over.
The game costs $1.99 and a single Bitcoin is currently worth a little over $9,800, so it’s possible that one lucky user stands to make a bunch of cash.
One interesting clue that we have even before Montecrypto is released can be found on its FAQ page, which links to the GitHub page for btcrecover, "an open source Bitcoin wallet password and seed recovery tool." The GitHub page explains that btcrecover is designed for cases when users know most of their passwords, but need assistance in trying different possible combinations.
“We are trying to keep our identities secret for now,” Gem Rose Accent wrote in a press release. The developers have said they’ll reveal their identity once a winner claims the Bitcoin. “But we can say we are a group of game developers and that we had a crazy idea for a game. As huge fans of treasure hunts we took inspiration from riddles like la chorette d’or (the golden owl), a statue of the owl was buried in 1993 at the same time a series of clues was published, and still nobody has solved the clues to find the owl and claim the 15kg (33lb) statue made of gold and silver.”
On the Trail of the Golden Owl was a French treasure hunting book published in 1993. Anyone who could solve its mystery would learn the location of the buried golden owl. No one has, and the long running puzzle has been the source of legal trouble ever since.
We've reached out to Steam to ask whether games on their platforms are allowed to offer monetary rewards to customers. From what we can see on Steam's submissions guidelines, they can.
We've also reached out to the developers to ask why they want to be anonymous and will update this post when we hear back.