Google Offers Up Online Da Vinci Code Quest

Google and Columbia Pictures today said they were launching a series of online puzzles tied into the movie studio’s upcoming “The Da Vinci Code” movie debut on May 19. “The Da Vinci Code” Quest on Google, as a skills based contest, will be open to puzzle fans in the U.S., UK and Australia.

“The Da Vinci Code” Quest on Google, said the two companies, consists of 24 days of online puzzles to “challenge movie fans of all ages”. These puzzles include symbol logic, chess-related codes, city map jigsaw puzzles and video riddles. The first puzzle has been posted today in celebration of Leonardo da Vinci’s 553rd birthday and additional ones will be posted daily.

Google added that these daily puzzles will introduce a riddle to the player that will engage one of an assortment of the search engine’s products, including Google Search, Google Maps, Google SMS and Google Video. The first 10,000 eligible challengers who complete all 24 puzzles correctly by Thursday, May 11th, 2006 will be contacted to participate in the final challenge — a gauntlet of puzzles in which players receive a cryptex replica just like the one featured in the film. Each participant will then have 48 hours to complete this final series of puzzles.

Prizes for the US version of ‘The Da Vinci Code’ Quest on Google include first-class vacations for the grand-prize winner and up to three guests to New York, Paris, London and Rome as well as a Sony Electronics package from SonyStyle, including a Bravia LCD television, VAIO notebook computer, Cyber-shot digital still camera, NAV-U portable satellite navigation system, home theater system and more.

“As a puzzle enthusiast myself, I wanted to bring a unique ‘Da Vinci-esque theme’ to some new twists on classic puzzles,” said Wei-Hwa Huang, a four-time World Puzzle Champion and Google software engineer Columbia Pictures worked with on the project, in a statement. “Players of all ages will have fun tackling these brain teasers as they compete for the grand prize.”