Who are the organisers of the Singapore Puzzle Hunt?
The Singapore Puzzle Hunt is created and organised by the Puzzlesmiths, a volunteer group of puzzle enthusiasts with over 30 years of combined experience in international puzzle hunts. (In other words, it's a secret. Take part and you'll find out!)
Why are the Puzzlesmiths volunteering to organise this non-profit event?
The Puzzlesmiths believe in growing a sizeable and strong puzzle community in Singapore. By creating a challenging annual puzzle event -- the Singapore Puzzle Hunt -- we hope to give local puzzle enthusiasts the opportunity and depth of an experience akin to those of international puzzle hunts. We hope you can take part, have a good time, get to know other puzzle enthusiasts, and grow our local puzzle community together.
I played a number of Escape Rooms and Escape Games. Are the puzzles in the Singapore Puzzle Hunt going to be similar?
The similarity is that the hunt puzzles also do not contain instructions, and require one or more intuitive leaps of thinking to figure out the solution. The three key differences are that:
1) You do not need to leave your seat to find puzzle pieces. All the essential elements of the puzzles are provided in the puzzle document. In other games, you need to spend time searching around the room for other puzzle pieces. However, Puzzle Hunts do also have event puzzles where you have a unique and fun opportunity to interact with other teams. And some other puzzles may require interaction with Hunt HQ (eg. an answer may be "SAY HI TO HQ"). So instead of running around searching for clues, you get to have more time to solve the puzzles in a relaxed atmosphere, interact with organisers and other teams, and immerse in the game theme and storyline. Rest assured your powers of observation are also not redundant for Puzzle Hunts. You will still need them to spot clues within the puzzles infront of you, in order to figure out the ahas to solve them.
2) Each puzzle, other than the metas, is provided standalone with the necessary clues to solve it already. This helps to eliminate the ambiguity whether you have all the information required to solve a particular puzzle, and whether a puzzle is only meant to be solved later. In other games, you typically need to find and combine two or more physical pieces of a puzzle in order to solve it. e.g. you may need to find and combine several digits to a combination lock, or combine two similar-looking puzzle pieces--one with a puzzle, and the another with the answer extraction grid. The only exceptions to this in a Puzzle Hunt are the round metas, which require the answers for each of the round's puzzles as inputs to solve.
3) Most importatly, puzzles usually have an additional layer of content theme/topic. In other games, there is only the layer of puzzle type (e.g. cryptogram, braille, sudoku), with no extraneous content knowledge required. Whereas to solve the puzzle type, hunt puzzles typically have a popular or interesting content theme reference, e.g. 80s pop songs, trigonometry, alliterative movie names etc, which you need to make use of. So if as a team, you happen to be somewhat well-versed in that topic, you will no doubt have fun identifying the references and intermediate clue answers in the puzzle. Even if you are new to the topic, you can easily search online for the required information, and enjoy learning some new popular knowledge or interesting tidbits on a topic. The ability to access information resources online is often needed to supplement gaps in topical knowledge.
The style of hunt puzzles being referenced around a content theme gives an added dimension to solving such puzzles. Besides being fluent in various puzzle types, you will also need to be well-read and have a broad base of knowledge to be able to identify the thematic references in the puzzles. Hence it encourages a continuous pursuit and quest for knowledge, learning not for or towards academic success, but to broaden your own horizons and satisfy your curiosities. And since no single person could expect to be familiar in all areas, solving of hunt puzzles require immense teamwork amongst the members to support each other, lending your individual expertise and knowledge. Even an inexperienced solver could provide a critical aha to a puzzle with a theme he or she is familiar with.
Is there also an immersive storyline and experience to this hunt, like other similar puzzle games and hunts? What is the theme?
Yes! There is a storyline and theme to this hunt, and teams will assume the roles of the main characters to help solve the puzzles and hunt mystery. But in the style of the MIT Mystery Hunt, you will only be given the teaser for the theme now to keep the suspense! More clues will be shared with registered teams in our communications. Feel free to speculate about theories on the theme leading up to the hunt! The detailed storyline will only be revealed during the hunt kick-off at the start of the event.
What kind of skills or puzzle solving experience do I need to take part?
A variety of skills will help: analytical thinking, logical thinking, word skills, research, general knowledge, obscure knowledge (or just being good with search engines), mathematics, and other disciplines. Experience with other puzzle hunts is not necessary, though it helps!
How long will the hunt take?
The hunt will last for several hours on the given day, including a wrap-up presentation to go through the answers. This duration is longer than other games due to the number and difficulty of the puzzles, and the fixed team size. We have estimated this to be a comfortable duration for teams to solve without the need to feel anxious or rush to complete the hunt. Unlike other games, this is not a competition or challenge to finish in as short a time as possible. So do take the time to interact and mingle with the organisers and other teams. Treat the hunt also like an annual meet-up for local puzzle hunt enthusiasts, and do have fun!
Why is there a registration fee?
Because venue rental is expensive! The registration fee is used to offset the costs of venue rental and other logistics for the physical event. The fees charged are nominal compared to other shorter Singapore puzzle events. The puzzle hunt is a non-profit event and run by the volunteer Puzzlesmiths out of interest. We hope to be able to continue to charge such nominal registration fees in future. If you or anyone you know is keen to be a sponsor for the puzzle hunt, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know how you wish to help.
What is the prize for the first team to complete the hunt?
The warm glow of victory. Like most other puzzle hunts and games, there is no actual prize for the first team to complete the hunt. The fun and challenge of the experience of the puzzle hunt is what makes every participating team a winner. Even after the first team completes the hunt, other teams can continue to solve the puzzles and try to complete the hunt too. The first team to finish gets bragging rights, as well as a hunt memento.
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