Coming up on Friday: RED DOT hunt, an online puzzle hunt from Singapore

RED DOT hunt logoIt’s been a while, hasn’t it? I’ve somewhat lost my blogging voice, so let’s ease back into things with something simple and exciting.

The RED DOT hunt is an online puzzle hunt that starts at 3pm UK time on Friday 29th September and neatly wraps up 48 hours later. The hunt is open to teams of one to four people, located anywhere in the world. “A mysterious talent contest has shown up in town. Auditions will begin in less than a month’s time and sign-ups have already begun. Do you have what it takes to win the contest?

There will be two rounds of puzzles, each with its own metapuzzle. The first round has twelve puzzles plus its meta; if you solve the round one meta, or wait until the last 12 hours of the hunt, you’ll get access to the smaller second round. There’s no hint request system, but hints will be released automatically along the way. Solving the second metapuzzle reveals access to a final puzzle; “Once solved, the final puzzle will direct teams to a physical location in Singapore. The first team to complete the task at this location (represented by any number of actual team members) will win a ~mystery prize~.” You can have plenty of puzzle-solving fun without having any members present on the island.

The FAQ page reveals a little more, notably that “We’ve aimed to make this a pretty chill and beginner-friendly hunt. Experienced teams are warned that they might end up breezing through it — though we hope all teams will have fun, regardless of how long they spend solving! Solo solvers should also find the hunt manageable.” That is a delight to read! The FAQ page also explains a (very) little more about who the organisers are and their puzzling background.

Excited? I am! If this sounds like it might be your cup of tea, especially with the self-professed “beginner-friendly” tag, you can take a look at the house style by taking on four warm-up puzzles, three of which have answers. The date for the next DASH has been announced and it’s almost a full year away – but, while you wait for DASH, get your fill of RED DOT!

Around the World: blogs from South-East Asia

Public domain map of Malaysia and SingaporeMalaysia is pictured in white above, and Singapore in red. This site is not yet aware of any exit games in Brunei (green, towards the East), though it’s amusing to imagine that the Sultan might have a private one in what is recognised by Guinness as the world’s largest palace.

Another exciting consequence of the new Escape Room Directory is that it lets the world know about some very cool blogs on the topic of which this site was not previously aware. The more people talking about the genre, the merrier. There are two covering Singapore and two covering Malaysia, both of which are heavy hitters in the world of exit games.

escaping.sg is a crisply-presented, very well-written review blog about games in Singapore with a laser focus on consumer guidance. Well over thirty games have been reviewed so far, along with overall impression pieces about the sites in which the games can be found. The site is particularly strong in terms of detailing for whom each game is most suitable and how the game might best be enjoyed. Accordingly, this blog has a very valuable role to play in the important job of helping people find the game that is right for them and their team, recognising that not one size fits all.

S-capegoats is the elder of the two Singaporean blogs. Not only does it have neatly rainbow-coded reviews scoring different exit games in each of six categories published weekly, it also has some more discursive pieces focusing on specific aspects of exit games. In part this is to explain the philosophy behind their rating system, and in part this can be taken as a set of tips to help you think about the way you play these games.

Escman League is a site with real escape game reviews from Malaysia and beyond; it’s very interesting to see additional perspectives on some of the Singaporean sites, and also a review of a game in Hong Kong. Some posts also have polls asking people whether they were successful or not at the game in the review, providing a real-time independently-measured difficulty report for each game. The site is written by four friends who clearly have enjoy what they do, and that shines through in their writing.

Enigmatic Escape is a primarily Malaysian site and the longest-running of these blogs, probably making it the original English-language exit game blog, unless you know otherwise. Posts date back to January, but cover reviews of games played both last year and this year. They also review events put on by exit game companies; the particularly interesting Escape Run 2014 event bears similarities to what might be considered a short (and physical!) puzzle hunt elsewhere. Your authors are dPace and Dscry, the latter a mainstay of the Intervirals forums.

This site has chosen not to go down the review route, but there is definitely plenty of room for further UK exit game blogs. Be sure that the exit games themselves would be keen to see them, and that this site would love to link to them!