Cryptex Hunt 2021

I joined a team for Cryptex Hunt 2021, and we’re killing it! I had never heard of this contest before this year, but it’s fantastic. Highly recommended for fans of old adventure games like Zork, Monkey Island, Maniac Mansion, and Shadowgate. And huge bonus points to anyone else who has ever heard of my favorite games of that genre- Hugo’s House of Horrors, Hugo 2: Whodunnit, and Hugo 3: Jungle of Doom.

My team, All My Exes Live in Cryptexes (I believe John Bromels, creator of Puzzle Crawl, is the mastermind behind both the team and that name), is mostly based out out Cincinnati, plus my friend Jon (Guy Glum) and me. We’ve been teaming up via Discord and it’s worked wonderfully for talking through the games and comparing notes.

Each day Monday through Friday, 1-2 more text adventure games are released at 7PM central. Clearing the previous day’s games are required to access the next game, and Saturday midday the final few games are released, with the first finishing team being awarded a prize.

We’ve been doing quite well. The first round, we finished 13th out of 600+ teams. Day two we had two top ten finishes, and day three were were 4th and 5th in the two games. Day four we got 19th (ouch, but remember, it’s out of more than 600) and 4th.

I love the format of playing through games simultaneously. It’s been a blast having a slightly larger group of 7-8 players and then mixing it up with different teammates each day. I’m a little disappointed the final day of the contest will eliminate that element, but I’m sure we can find ways to make use of the full team’s talents.

Game #4: Dead Mall Mystery

Having a commitment at 7PM each weeknight has been a little painful- I feel like I barely have time to transition from work to dinner to puzzle hunt to getting ready for bed, but it’s only for one week, and puzzles keep me energized.

Tomorrow is going to be interesting. I need to sign off of work, then drive a minimum of 3.5 hours to get to my family farm in rural Wisconsin, shovel a spot for Christina’s car and mine if the driveway hasn’t been cleared, disable the security, unload the car, activate heat and water, set up a workstation, and hope my wifi hotspot gets me stable internet, all by 7PM. Maybe I can take my last few calls of the day from the road?

I’ll provide another update after the curtain falls on the contest and we can say once and for all how we did.

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