A Puzzle Hunt Competition in 8-bit Text Adventures

Hello, everyone!

I forgot to announce here, but some of you may be interested because it’s text adventures. I run a yearly puzzle hunt competition with a different theme and format each time.

This year, we’ve made a number of games in Adventuron. Ha! I keep introducing my players to my nostalgia (2018 hunt was in a MUD).

We release two small games daily, and in each game is a hidden puzzle (like an easter egg). The hunt lasts for a week and ends this weekend.

It’s not too late to join the Cryptex Hunt if you are interested!

( We have around 600 teams and currently, 467 of them have solved the first day. I’m doing my part in spreading the IF love around. ^_^)


@Errol is being very modest. This is the best thing that has happened to text adventures in the last 40 years. I have played and completed the first four games and I’m loving every minute of it. They are very hard, but very fair. If you like text adventures and you like puzzles, you MUST give these a try.

Here’s a little more explanation for the uninitiated.

Visit the Cryptex Hunt 2021 web page. Read all the rules and make sure you know what to do. This page includes a link to the Crytex Jam web page. Click the Submissions tab to view all the games. There are 12 games altogether. They were written by various authors, so they have different styles, but the theming is consistent throughout. Errol did most of the graphics and the graphics are superb! Most of the games have an in-game map. You can play the games in any order, but I’d recommend starting with #01, as this has an in-game tutorial at the beginning, then play the rest in sequence. You need to complete #10 to get the password for #11 and you need to complete #11 to get the password for #12.

All the games were written in Adventuron and are playable in a web browser. Although you can play them on most mobile phones, it is recommended that you play them on a desktop computer or laptop because the mobile phone’s virtual keyboard takes up half the screen real estate.

There are two aspects to every game. You must play the adventure to solve the adventure, but you must also find a hidden code embedded within the game. This is the code that you need to enter on the Cryptex Hunt web site, but you must register if you want to do that. The web site will then let you know if the code is correct. If it’s not, you can play a bit more and try again.

The code is not presented to you up front. You must decode the clues and this may require some external research or Googling to find the answer. In at least two of the games I’ve played, the game will appear to end, even though you haven’t found the clues for the code. In this case, just restart the game and you will find that there are some subtle changes that will allow you to find what you need.

I hope this helps. Further hints for the games are available on the Discord server and the Cryptex Hunt web site.

According to a message on the Discord server, there have been well over 2000 plays on the first game alone, so that’s a hell of a lot of new people being introduced to text adventures, all thanks to Errol and his team. They deserve some sort of IF community award of some sort!


^ agreed.


Regular IF puzzle writers will certainly have to up their game if this is the new standard!

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Wow! This must be absolutely incredible to garner that amount of praise. I’ll have to check it out.

Better than X as a synonym for EXAMINE? Cuz I gotta tell you, that was a good one.


It must be one of the best things to happen to text adventure recognition and mainstream appeal in a long time, that’s for sure. (Although I’m sure The House Abandon did its share of introducing new people to text adventures.) Personally I’m still stuck at the phone keypad in the first game, and since this is a competition I can’t very well ask for help, so naturally I hate it. (Just kidding…)

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All opinions expressed are mine and mine alone. I’ve been playing, writing and writing about adventures on and off for 40 years and I can’t recall being this excited about a series of adventures. Mind you, they are very hard (particularly the out-of-adventure code hunt at the end), so they’re not going to be everybody’s cup of tea. I like escape rooms, I like puzzles and I like text adventures, so these appeal to me.

I’ll be interested to see the game play statistics at the end of the month. I just finished game #5 and I note that 507 teams have finished this game. There are usually multiple people on a team and there would be many people that haven’t finished, so I don’t doubt the 2000 plays for the first game. In fact, it’s probably much higher, so that’s a hell of a lot of people that have been introduced to text adventures.

The feedback on the Discord server has been very positive and a handful of people have been drawn to the Adventuron Discord server as a result. Will they be future text adventure authors? We shall see.


Nothing could be further from the truth. The Cryptex Hunt Discord is chock full of people looking for hints. I’m impressed at how responsible they are. People ask for help and others respond. Spoilers are obscured. It’s like reading a censored document from WWII with all the blacked-out bits. :slightly_smiling_face:

There’s also an official hints page. I’ve certainly resorted to these, especially for game #5. Don’t be ashamed or embarrassed about looking for hints for these games.


Oh wow, thanks, Garry! I really should visit here more. I do admit I’m in recovery mode after running that thing.

For those that do want to take a look, please note that there are still a lot of bugs that need to be fixed. I placed the game in the theme of a puzzle jam, to give me an excuse to have bugs! However, there were a lot of games created in a five-six month period, which is a lot for me.

One of my main design goals was accessibility to non-players of parser based games. I knew there were going to be a lot of people who don’t normally play these types of games, so I tried to come up with ways to keep it fun and different for them (and the different authors gave different styles).

Still ran into so many hunt-a-verb problems, but I’ll always run into those problems. :smiley:


These games seem pretty good! I’m trying one out. Is it okay to add these to IFDB?


I heading over to enter the fun. What a great adventure!

Thank you

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Of course, they are text adventures, after all. Can you add the Cryptex Hunt Jam first (under competitions) if that hasn’t already been done, then you can associate each one with that competition.

I haven’t added many competitions before, but I should be able to figure it out. I’ll try adding the competition and then the pages. Anyone’s welcome to edit things in the mean time

It looks like game 12 requires a password, so I can’t access the information to post it:

I swear though that the password was made public as part of the jam. Is there any info on that?

Edit: Ah, I see, you need to beat game 11 for it. Well, whoever does that first, would you mind adding the page for game 12? We can post a link to game 11 and describe the password process in the description section.

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Perhaps wait until 1 April 2021. The competition is open until 31 March 2021, so the organisers probably don’t want people cheating before then. They may remove the password restriction after that.

You can play the first 10 games in any order, but you can’t enter the final code on the CryptexHunt web site until you’ve entered the code for the prior game(s). You can’t play game 11 until you’ve finished game 10 (and got the password for game 11). You can’t play game 12 until you’ve finished game 11 (and got the password for game 12).

This was done so that teams could not play the last three games simultaneously. This gave one-person teams a fairer chance at the final leaderboard.

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I made some enquiries.

The password has been removed from #11 and you can now play that. I just confirmed it and it looks pretty creepy.

Apparently game #12 doesn’t make too much sense without the puzzle hunt part and @Errol said he intended to keep the password on #12 as it’s not a complete game.

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