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Recommended Age for a Puzzle Hunt

We will provide recommendation about the age group for which our puzzle hunts are suited. Having worked with gifted children, typically it’s not so much the difficulty of a puzzle that determines the suitability of a puzzle quest. I am the first one to admit that often our teen-aged daughters solves puzzles quicker than me.

Here some criteria that makes a puzzle hunt more suited for adult audiences:

  • A puzzle might contain a deeper, potentially disturbing subject matter. Examples would be if a story has horror elements, or intense subjects like dealing with dementia or loss of a loved one.
  • Especially in puzzles that are hidden or contain no instructions it might be required to have some background knowledge that children typically do not posses. Examples would be the outline of a dart board, which children might not be familiar with, or a hint like ” There are stones rolling down the mountain”. If you are not aware that there is a music group called Rolling Stones, chances are that this puzzle will be unsolvable for you.
  • Some puzzles might require programming skills, again knowledge that a child will typically not have.
  • Puzzles might require a high level of perseverance. E.g. I know of one puzzle hunt of 52 puzzles that took teams around 4 years before it was solved for the first time.

As can be seen, it is often not the difficulty of the puzzles that determine the age group recommended for a puzzle hunt. In reviews we will address clearly why a puzzle hunt might not be considered suitable for children.

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What is a Puzzle Hunt?

A puzzle hunt is a set of connected puzzles, usually involving a story. Puzzle hunts sometimes hide the puzzles, e.g. what looks like a book about furniture might actually contain puzzles. And often no instructions are provided on how to solve a puzzle, or what to do with the solution. Typically, the solutions from all puzzles are required to solve one (or several) final puzzles, the so-called meta-puzzle.

The fun of a puzzle hunt is that you are not simply solving puzzles to solve a puzzle, but the solutions of the puzzle will unravel a story, or allow you access to more puzzles. It is also a great training opportunity for problem solving, and an excellent team activity.