When scavenger hunts add an element of uncertainty in the form of riddles or puzzles, they can be far more satisfying to participants… particularly if they are older and thus enjoy the added mental challenge. This variation of the traditional scavenger hunt is often referred to as a clue hunt, and is recommended by Scavenger Hunt Scout as the type with the most potential for enjoyment and the least effort required to set up. The main difference between a standard scavenger hunt and a clue hunt is that the items players must find are not explicitly stated. A list is still provided to participants, but the list contains hints or riddles that must be solved to identify items they refer to. This difference can change the flavor of a scavenger hunt from a more physical, race-like dynamic to an intellectual contest where the fastest mind is most likely to win.
Clues or puzzles can add difficulty to scavenger hunts if that is your desire, but they do not necessarily have to. The key is the difficulty of riddles and hints that you incorporate. In most ways, designing a clue hunt is less demanding than a regular scavenger hunt. Because the items on the list you create must be deduced, there is no need for them to be hidden, scarce, or far away. They can be in plain sight, because until a riddle is solved no one will know they are looking for them! An indoor clue hunt could be planned from start to finish while sitting on a couch and looking around the room at items to make clues for.
Clue hunts offer much more flexibility when it comes to planning for specific age groups or ability levels. If you have a birthday party for young children, they might be discouraged by hard to find items. The answer is to make the items easy to find… put them right out in the open! Then make up an easy riddle that describes the item. If you have a globe as a list item, you might give a riddle such as “What’s round and sits on a stand, has a north pole and Afghanistan?” For adults, the challenges can and should be more difficult. If a list item was a towel you could give the hint “What gets wetter and wetter the more it dries?” Or you can involve obscure references and make the clues downright diabolical (just beware of making the clue hunt too hard to be fun).
One variation that a clue hunt lends itself to very well is hiding riddles along with list items, so that each must be found in order to receive the next clue. If you plan this kind of hunt, it’s a good idea to prepare a way to get things moving if one or more clues stump your participants. Another thing to consider is some players may watch or even follow others instead of solving riddles themselves. The “one at a time” clue hunt method is best when it is intended for a single participant. Some people have even used it to set up a marriage proposal, with the final clue leading to an engagement ring!
A clue hunt can be the easiest type of scavenger hunt to create, as mentioned earlier. The bulk of the setup is simply coming up with riddles. Scavenger Hunt Scout offers advice for coming up with clues, but an easier and much faster option is to use software made especially for designing scavenger hunts. RiddleMe is an affordable option that has thousands of riddles based on hundreds of common items and is endorsed by Scavenger Hunt Scout. The software will basically create the whole clue hunt for you in minutes, or you can use it to customize your own creation. It has a 60 day money-back guarantee, so it is definitely worth looking into. Click here to learn how it works: RiddleMe