So you loved DASH 7. What’s next?

whatsnextThis site has always declared its constituency to be Escape games, puzzle hunts and more, so makes no apology for focusing hard on puzzle hunts for a while. The coverage of exit games as such is a bit behind; the map needs checking out, the list of exit games needs updating badly and this will be the first month where the League Table feature has missed its self-imposed “1st of the month” regular schedule. That aspect of regular service will resume shortly.

However, if you’re coming here for your first time, or one of your first times, as a result of DASH then you don’t have to wait all year for DASH 8 to get your fill of puzzle fun. This site has previously discussed an upcoming puzzle hunt held at Cambridge University, running non-stop for 24 hours from 4pm on Friday 12th June. It’s run by the Computing and Technology Society and that may well give you a feel for what sorts of puzzles it is most likely to emphasise, though no holds are barred. If DASH left you wanting more, in more than one sense, there are no better opportunities – and this one comes up shortly.

Alternatively, Treasure Hunts in London are running a street game in the capital, starting outside Capital Hall at noon on Sunday 14th June, so if you’re super-hardcore then you could practically back them to back. Rights and LiberTeas is part of the nationwide Rights and Liberties Celebration: Start by meeting Maggie Carta to collect your clue packs, then set off on your journey to explore political history. Discover great (and not so great) leaders, politicians and reformers as you answer clues and complete topical assignments and photo challenges. Meet politicians so independent they don’t appear on any ballot paper in this Scavenger Hunt Street Game around Westminster. Additional tasks are set throughout the game via text and via costumed “Political Party members”, so bring your smartphone. This not-for-profit event costs £15/player, or £60 for a group of five; the ticket price includes interaction with costumed actors, prizes for the winning team and end refreshments to toast the 750th anniversary of the Simon de Montfort Parliament (1265) and the 800th anniversary of the sealing of Magna Carta (1215). Tickets are still available.

The ManorCon board games convention at the University of Leicester in mid-July has included a treasure hunt each year since 2001; this is normally an afternoon’s worth of fun but there have been some very cute things included along the way. For a hunt of a different style, the Armchair Treasure Hunt Club have their annual meeting in Winchester this year on Saturday 12th September and all are welcome.

If you particularly enjoyed the grid puzzles – the logic half of Interview with Rita Skeeter and Monsters – then you can do little better than getting involved with the UK Puzzle Association. The UKPA organises the UK team for the World Puzzle Championship each year; this year’s global gathering happens in Sofia, Bulgaria in October. Part of the team is determined by performances in the UK Puzzle Championship, which surely can only be a few weeks away; over the course of one weekend, choose a 2½-hour window of your own convenience and score as many points as you can by solving a selection of culture-free language-neutral logic puzzles. The championship is always great fun whether you come first or fourth-or-fifth-last, like me.

For something a little more regular still, there’s always Puzzled Pint, in two locations in London on the second Tuesday of each month. The puzzles here come from a rather more DASH-like background, but are deliberately accessible to all and designed to provide an hour or two’s fun for a team enjoying food, drink and good company.

If all that isn’t enough, you could always go and play an exit game; at a guess, a good 80% of UK residents are within an hour’s travel of their nearest game. After all, there are only about sixty to choose from! (If anybody knows a convenient way to generate such an isochrone relating not just to a single point, but to all the points in a single Google Map, please speak up.)

However, this site makes no apology for the degree of DASH coverage it has given this year and will continue to give in future years; this blog is all about helping people to find different sorts of fun that they could have and then helping convince them that it’s the sort of fun that people like them really could enjoy, not just the long-established hardest of the hardcore. With that in mind, you might well enjoy the very cool DASH 7 write-up at QMSM of the experiences of just such a team of puzzle hunt newcomers bringing across little more than (rather a lot of!) exit game experience.

However, the DASH 7 coverage here is by no means complete and there may be something a little unusual coming up before too long. Watch this space!

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