This is cool. It’s a sign of how successful exit games have been in the Toronto area, and how popular their blogs have proven, that two of them – Escape Games Review and Escape Room Addict have been able to attract sponsorship from seven exit games in their area to offer a total of nine prizes for an online puzzle hunt that starts tomorrow. The prizes are all credit for the games themselves and so less likely to be of use to people from outside the area, but a cool puzzle is fun by itself and the hunt is open globally even if you’re not going to turn up and take use of the prizes in practice.
The rules set expectations clearly. Any size team can participate, but the prizes dictate what sorts of team sizes are sensible, and the puzzle hunt’s front page suggests what sorts of skills are likely to be tested by the variety of difficult puzzles over the course of the hunt: steganography, involving manipulating both images and audio files to extract messages, cryptography and research (with Board Game Geek a likely frequent starting-point).
Puzzles will be posted daily; teams are required to comment on the first puzzle to register within ten days of starting and then to comment on every puzzle thereafter. The first team to complete all fourteen puzzles gets first choice of the prizes; the remaining prizes will be split by random draw among teams who have completed all fourteen puzzles by the end of the fourteenth day. The difficulty level is likely to be reasonably high, but hints will be posted on Twitter on a schedule, and additional hints are available on request after 24 hours. The whole thing will be wrapped up by the end of the month, no fooling around.
Extremely exciting; good for those hunts who have sponsored – hopefully they will enjoy the extra attention they receive and perhaps this might be a model that could be repeated elsewhere. However it turns out, it’s one to enjoy wherever in the world you are!