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Puzzle Hunts vs. Escape Room in Singapore | Which is better for Team Development?

Who doesn’t love a thrilling Escape Room with a strong storyline but what about Puzzle Hunts?

Puzzle Hunts are outdoor adventure activities where players solve mysteries while exploring various precincts of Singapore. What makes Puzzle Hunts stand out are that these games revolve around the use of the area’s natural surrounding as part of the gameplay!

The Ransack’s Puzzle Hunts centres around Pepper the… oh so slightly clumsy Dinosaur and the many shenanigans that he gets himself into. Pepper seeks the help of participants to solve the games and save his day!

With a Puzzle Booklet, Map, Puzzle Tool and Pencil at hand, you’re equipped to help Pepper on his great escape through the rugged yet fascinating Fort Canning Park. However, Pepper the dinosaur has recently fallen into a chest when rex-ercising which left him saur all over.

He spotted a small book nearby filled with puzzles on it and needs help solving them to find the right key! Don’t just stand (or sit) there – Pepper has appointed you to go on an adventure to seek clues and his pet rooster Cluck Norris to set him free!

But wait…

How are Puzzle Hunts different from Escape Rooms?

1. Puzzle Hunts are held outdoors at different landmarks.

Compared to Escape Rooms, Puzzle Hunts encourages people to explore landmarks, solve puzzles and collect keywords to complete the final puzzle. Located outdoors, players can fully immerse themselves in the natural atmosphere and view through the lens of an explorer.

In Ransack: The Crate Escape Puzzle Hunt, players get to explore 8 different landmarks such as the idyllic Pancur Larangan and ancient Balinese style Sang Nila Utama Garden to solve puzzles using surrounding elements at those locations.

2. Puzzle Hunts require the use of the location’s natural surroundings.

Created based on the surrounding elements of the location, Puzzle Hunts require players to interact with the landmarks through sight and sound. The key to solving the puzzles depends heavily on spotting a specific structure or symbol and analysing it.

3. Puzzle Tools are an essential part of Puzzle Hunts.

Ahh… here’s what makes solving the puzzles interesting! Puzzle Tools are an addition to the booklets for players to closely examine and make use of to solve the first clues and get the keyword.

In the Crate Escape Puzzle Hunt, players are given a translucent Puzzle Tool printed with a mix of various shapes, alphabets, and military-themed symbols. When viewed with the naked eye, the tool makes no complete sense. It is only useful when the participants are at the various landmarks solving the puzzles.

Psst... want an exclusive hint from us?

Don’t tell Pepper we told you... read the instructions of each puzzle carefully and cross-reference them to the puzzle tool, you might end up spotting something!

4. Group size is flexible in a Puzzle Hunt.

Puzzle Hunts can be large-scale activities; anywhere from 2 people to 100 (and more!). Group sizes are usually small with 2 to 6 people per team, allowing for more interaction and opportunity to bond!

However, Escape Rooms are smaller, typically with no more than 11 to 12 people per team. As such, players may not be able to interact with one another more closely.

5. Puzzle Hunt has an element of tech and digitalisation.

After solving every puzzle, players are required to type in a single keyword into the URL – to attain the hidden token. However, that’s not all, the token is the first part of solving the final puzzle, not the answer. That’s what makes Ransack’s Puzzle Hunts so unique!

6. Side Quests are a thing with Puzzle Hunts.

Photo credit: Darwin Fan

Players who are speedy and finish the puzzles are encouraged to take a selfie with a sighting or animal! For the Crate Escape Puzzle Hunt, players have to spot roaming wild chickens similar to Pepper’s pet rooster Cluck Norris take a selfie with it, tag @pepperthedinosaur and use #foundclucknorris in the caption!

Moving onto Escape Rooms…

7. Escape Rooms do not require big-time strategising.

Compared to Puzzle Hunts, Escape Rooms are free for all; allowing participants to freely roam, check out the challenges, jump into a task and start scrambling to put the pieces together. Players are able to work at their own pace and have fun exploring the room.

8. Escape Rooms offer a variety of themes to choose from (some based on movies!)

From horror-themed rooms inspired by the movie Annabelle to science fiction and thrillers such as Jigsaw, Escape Rooms offer a wider variety of themes catered to various skill sets and interests. Companies can also consider the skills they wish to unlock in the players and choose a suitable theme accordingly.

For example, if they want to build the skill of attention to detail, a mystery-themed room such as this is suitable to get players to put on their thinking caps! 8. Escape Rooms can be done virtually.

Virtual Escape Rooms are now becoming all the rage, especially with how COVID-19 has changed working arrangements from home. Convenient and easily accessible, players can participate remotely, no matter where they are, and it can take as little as an hour to complete!

Similar to a regular Escape Room, players will be given a series of puzzles to solve as a team where they’ll have to communicate and apply their problem-solving skills.

So, which activity is better for Team Development?

Before we jump into deciding which activity is better, let’s define what is Team Development first!

Team Development aims at taking a group of employees, teaching them to appreciate the differences between one another and learning to work towards a common goal. Each member of a team provides value to the common goal in their own way, bringing a unique set of skills to fulfil a team role.

Putting the fun aside, Team Development activities are also effective in enhancing their soft skills in addition to connecting on a professional level such as:

  • Self-awareness and purpose

  • Communication and acceptance

  • Problem-solving and creativity

Now that’s out of the way, let’s get down to business – which is better for Team Development.

Ransack’s Puzzle Hunts stand out as they make exploration of Singapore fun and engaging. With a set time limit of 1.5 hours to 2 hours, players are pushed to interact with their own colleagues and bond over the success of getting a clue.

Though Puzzle Hunts and Escape Rooms are closely similar with set time limits, the incorporation of the location’s natural surroundings in Puzzle Hunts increases the size of the playing field.

As such, it creates a different, more expansive experience which can make solving the puzzles more challenging as the boundaries are not set to an enclosed space in Escape Rooms.

Moreover, with the flexibility of group sizes for Puzzle Hunts, groups are typically smaller with 2-6 players per team while teams in Escape Rooms can consist of up to 11-12 players.

With all the scrambling and “fun stress” going on, players in a larger group may not have the chance to communicate and understand one another’s differences, skills, and values during the game. Whereas players in smaller groups are pushed to step out of their comfort zones and work with their team to ensure the success of the game!

Lastly, FUN!

Fun can be highly subjective, depending on your interests or even preferred themes when talking about outdoor activities or games in Singapore.

Round 2… (officially entering the zone of personal opinions again haha!), I feel that Puzzle Hunts are an outdoor version of an Escape Room but more challenging (who doesn’t love a good challenge?) as the playing fields have expanded. In addition to solving puzzles, players are also required to explore new locations to search for and decipher an item or even a landmark.

Moreover, with the theme of Ransack’s Puzzle Hunts at various local historical precincts, the environment creates an immersive and “real” experience in exploring the heritage and history of the locations while solving the puzzles!

Concluding this almost TL; DR paragraph, Puzzle Hunts are more effective for Team Development as it encourages players to communicate and value the skills that other players bring to the table to fulfil their role.

Coming together as a team where one person’s weakness can be another’s strength allow players to be leaders in their own way and work towards the shared goal of completing the Puzzle Hunt!

That’s all we have for you folks! Has our explanation of Puzzle Hunts tingled the Sherlock Holmes in you to solve puzzles?

If you’re interested in solving a couple of puzzles while exploring cultural and historical landmarks in Singapore, check out these Puzzle Hunts created by us and our wonderful friends at Ransack!

With 4 different locations to choose from – classics such as Chinatown, and Little India to the exciting and interesting Fort Canning and Fort Siloso, brimming with history and memorabilia from WWII.

Need more visual information on the Puzzle Hunts?

Fret not, check out our teaser video of what you can expect at our Crate Escape (Fort Canning) Puzzle Hunt with us!

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