How do Clue Town Books work?

All outdoor hunts are solved entirely on foot. Solvers go to the starting point whenever they are ready to begin, and then use nearby landmarks to solve puzzles. The solution to each puzzle will be a direction of how to get to the next landmark checkpoint.

Indoor hunts work similarly in that they are progressive, except a solver may be solving puzzles at a table in conjunction with locations within the home.

How long does it take to complete a Clue Town hunt?

Completion time depends on many factors: age, pace, and number of solvers. Full-length hunts typically range between 60-90 minutes; mini-hunts take 30-50 minutes. Please refer to each book’s description on the Shop Page for that title’s average completion time.

What is the recommended age for a Clue Town hunt?

Clue Town Books are designed for adults, but tested with children. The books contain puzzles that range from easy (e.g. connect-the-dots, maze) to more challenging (e.g. word puzzles, rebus). Solvers 12+ should be able to complete a full-length hunt without adult assitance. Children younger than 8 may be able to help with tasks like compass orienteering, but will definitely need an adult to complete the hunt.

How many people can use one book at the same time?

For friends and families looking to explore together at a leisurely pace, one book will be sufficient. While there is no limit to the number of people that can use one book, be aware that large groups require more sharing of tasks (e.g. solving a puzzle, reading a compass) which may leave others in the group to feel like they’re not contributing.

Groups wanting to race against each other will need one book per team. For adults, 2-3 people per team is ideal. For kids, 3-6 people per team is recommended.

How many times can a book be reused?
The books are meant for one-time use, because solvers will be writing puzzle solutions on the pages.
What happens at the end of the hunt? Will I find treasure?
The books are designed as puzzle scavenger hunts, not treasure hunts. Think of the activity as a mystery walking tour that is more about the journey than the destination. Solvers are rewarded for crossing the finish line with a bumper sticker found at the end of each book.
What kind of compass is included?

The compass measures 1.5″ x 3/4″ and is liquid-filled for stable readings. A lengthy rope loop allows it to be worn on a wrist, tied to a backpack, or attached to a keychain.

To read the compass, hold it flat and wait a few seconds. The “N” will rotate and point north.

Can you faciliate a group event?

Unfortunately, on-site facilitation is not available at this time, but smaller groups (20 people or less) do not require an on-site facilitator. Simply start each team at the same time, and the first team to solve the final puzzle at the finish line wins.

Each team (not each person) requires one book. For adults, 2-4 people per team is recommended. Bulk rates may apply if ordering 10 or more books. Please email us to inquire about bulk rates or tax-exempt invoicing.

Do you have bulk rates? What about tax-exempt orders?

Yes. Bulk rates are reserved for customers ordering 10 or more books. Please email us to inquire about bulk rates. When you’re ready to place an order, an invoice will be emailed to you that can be paid online.

Groups with tax-exempt status can request an tax-free invoice by emailing us. Once a letter of tax-exempt status has been received, then Clue Town will email an invoice to you that can be paid online.

Do you design custom hunts?

Yes, Clue Town designs custom hunts, and you can find much more info at the Custom Puzzles page. Please be aware that designing a progressive puzzle hunt (like the books for sale) requires ample time and are less cost effective if ordering fewer than 100 copies. Designing a full-length hunt (60-90 minutes) usually takes 8 weeks from start to finish, and mini-hunts (30-50 minutes) take about 6 weeks to complete. Please email Clue Town to discuss your experience and receive a quote!

Clients of past custom hunts include: Atlanta United, American Lung Association, Ernst & Young (EY), InterContinental Chicago, NJ TRANSIT, and PATH 400.

Where is your next hunt located?

After building a library of 20 Georgia hunts (wow!), Clue Town will bring its focus to the tri-state area of New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Products that are not specific to an outdoor location (e.g. Your Home Adventure, Happy Birthday!) will also be produced. 

Who created Clue Town?
Jay Carlson is the creator and designer of Clue Town. It successfully marries Jay’s love of zines and puzzles into an activity book that anyone can enjoy. When he isn’t designing puzzles or assembling books, Jay enjoys being a husband, dad, and lover of breakfast, tacos, and breakfast tacos.
How did you come up with the idea?

In 1993, Jay began producing a photocopied zine titled The Plug. It often featured meta games, like a word search for “eyestrain.” Ten years later The Plug switched formats to online issues and the games became more interactive, including a puzzle hunt that navigated through hidden pages on the site.

Cut to 2012. One day Jay visited Atlanta’s Piedmont Park and discovered off-path landmarks that he had never noticed before, even though he had visited the park dozens of times. He thought it would be interesting to show others what was under their noses the whole time. He created a puzzle scavenger hunt similar to the ones on the website, except that it required solvers to be on-site instead of sitting indoors. And that’s how Clue Town was born.