The Genius: Black Garnet, Coming Soon!

  I’m breaking my long bout of blogging laziness to bring you important news: The Genius is coming back for Season 3 on October 1st. That’s next week! The subtitle for this season is “Black Garnet,” which conjures up all sorts of thoughts about potential betrayal and trickery. Will there be some new type of garnet introduced that has a negative effect, so players will be trying to get rid of it? Could it be some sort of hot potato for Death Match candidates? I’m glad the mechanic of the black garnet (assuming there will be one) hasn’t been revealed…

Skirmos: Open Source Laser Tag

I was Googling “laser tag” the other day, trying to find somewhere local to play, and the link for something called Skirmos: Open Source Laser Tag came up in the results.  It turned out to be a Kickstarter-funded, Arduino-based laser tag gun, and it looks pretty sweet!   The gun has lots of cool features, including: Glowing LED lights inside LCD screen that shows important info and stats Rumble vibration MP3/Wave sound card And the open source part means that you can program the guns however you like, making your own play modes, setting certain constraints, and probably a whole bunch…

MIT Mystery Hunt 2014 Recap – Part 4

At long (LONG) last, here is the final installment of my 2014 MIT Mystery Hunt Recap. Keeping in mind that I only have the 2013 hunt to compare to, let me list some of my pros/cons about 2014. Things I particularly liked about this year’s Mystery Hunt: Smoothness – Everything seemed to be run extremely smoothly. The event started promptly (almost too promptly!), and there seemed to be very few hiccups. Quality of Puzzles – I’m not the best judge of puzzle quality, but they seemed pretty darned good. Funny Puzzles – I was crying laughing as we worked through The…

MIT Mystery Hunt 2014 Recap – Part 3

I woke up from my One Big Sleep at around 6pm on Saturday evening. I saw that I had missed a call from Todd, but a quick look through the Hangout chat seemed to indicate that I hadn’t missed out on anything too important (like, say, a Runaround). I got cleaned up, and used Hangout again (so convenient!) to check on the dinner situation, then headed back over to campus. I’m reminded as I write this that when I had left for the hotel that morning, it had been pouring down rain. (My socks and shoes were soaked by the…

MIT Mystery Hunt 2014 Recap – Part 2

In my last recap post, I had spent most of my Mystery Hunt so far running around campus investigating strange images, verifying data, and solving location-based clues. As Friday night became Saturday morning, my work got a bit more puzzle-centric. It’s hard to remember exactly what happened when during those long hours of the night. We tackled a lot of different puzzles, and I’m mostly just referencing our Team Log to see what was released and when we solved it. Solving Common Bonds opened up a few new puzzles, including one called Monster Potatoes. We figured out the first a-ha…

MIT Mystery Hunt 2014 Recap – Part 1

It’s that time of the year again, time for my multi-part MIT Mystery Hunt Recap Extravaganza!  I was thinking it wouldn’t be as long this year, but since this was a much more action-packed Hunt, it will probably be just as long, or longer than last year.  As usual, this is a play-by-play account of my personal hunt experience, meant more for my own future reference than any sort of reporting or entertainment.   Pre-Hunt: I was really looking forward to returning to Boston this year with all of the knowledge I had gained from last year.  This included being…

Puzzle Break #1: Escape from Studio D

I was pretty excited to hear that Seattle was getting its own live action escape-the-room game, called Puzzle Break, in November.  We decided to give them a few weeks to work the kinks out, and after hearing lots of rave reviews from fellow puzzlers, Nick and I bought our tickets for last Saturday.  We invited a friend whose puzzling experience was limited to one Puzzled Pint. We picked up our friend on Saturday and found street parking about a block away from the studio where the game was being held.  Our friend told us this was a pretty hip part…

Tuesday Round-Up

Lots of little bits of news floating about lately…  In particular, Seattle is flush with escape-style games!   NEW:  Puzzle Break Seattle  There is a new escape game in town, and it’s called Puzzle Break.  Games started in late November and ticketing is available through the end of January so far.  Word on the street is that it’s really fun and well-run.  I’ll be playing this Saturday with Mr. Cryptica and a non-puzzling friend.   REG: Escape from the Werewolf Village to run in Seattle And if you want even more escaping action, Real Escape Game has you covered with…

The Genius: Rules of the Game

  The Genius: Rules of the Game is a South Korean reality TV game show that pits players against each other in various games of wits and strategy.  The show debuted in April of this year, so it’s still super fresh, and I highly recommend it to anyone who is into smart TV. The game starts off with 13 players, some are fairly well-known celebrities, others are simply bright minds, but all are selected for their particular talents and skills which might be useful in the game.  Each episode focuses on a different game, in a segment called the Main…

Friday Round-Up

Seems like there are a lot of relevant bits of news and such going on right now.  Also, Puzzle Pile is taking a short hiatus, so I might try to do this type of newsy post a bit more often in the meantime (sorry though, no crossword tournament updates from me!).   Scary Music Playlist Need some scary music for your Halloween party this weekend?  Or maybe a soundtrack for your Betrayal at House on the Hill games?  I put together a short playlist of scary instrumental tunes (which is made up entirely of tracks from The Ring soundtrack) that should be…