Welcome to our 5th annual District Hunt
We’re excited for you, your family, your friends, and your co-workers to join us on this puzzle hunt! Play at your own pace or challenge yourself against the clock in this choose-your-own-adventure hunt.
Each year, we design our game around a different theme built into the physical and cultural landscape of Washington DC. This year our focus is on Food & Housing. Previous themes included: Women's History (2019), Mental Health (2020), Climate/Environment (2021), and Literacy (2022).
We have two ways to play. Each ticket purchase accommodates up to 8 players.
This year's game is called "The Path of Yeast Resistance." An anonymous food critic who goes by the moniker “Rib Gourmand” disappeared for nearly a decade without a trace, but new clues suggest they discovered an unsavory secret. To determine who to trust with this information, they concocted a 3-course puzzle -- each plate bigger than the last.
Thank you to our nonprofit partners and local sponsors. Their dedication to making the DC region a better place inspires us to create fun events like the District Hunt. Learn more about each below:
Nonprofits: DC Central Kitchen, DC Public Library, FRESHFARM, Miriam's Kitchen, Spur Local, Street Sense, Breadcoin Foundation, Greater Greater Washington
Local Businesses: Labyrinth Games and Puzzles
There will be 3 tiers of prizes:
- Grand Prize: Local Experiences
- Top Prizes: Game Products & Services
- Fun Prizes: Swag and Small Items
- Who can sign up? - Everyone! The District Hunt is open to any individual or team who wants to play.
- How much does it cost to play? - Take advantage of our Early Bird Special! Sign up by July 31, and register your team for $75. After August 1, regular tickets cost $125/team. Teams accommodate up to 8 players.
- When is the deadline to sign up? - Registration remains open until the event ends on October 9.
- Where does the event start? - On September 29, we will release a video with the first clue. The event then runs live for 10 days, starting with the kickoff at MLK Library on September 30 at 10:30amET. Unless you are competing in the opening day race, you can choose to complete the challenge whenever you'd like before October 9. After that date, we can't promise the clues will still be active.
- What are the geographic boundaries of this event? - Our design team plans to build entirely within the DC diamond. There might be clue references about the Greater Washington region (DC, MD, VA), but players will only need to travel within the District.
- How does the event work? - Part of this is a secret, but what we can tell you is that teams will progress through clues using a website on a smartphone. We plan to offer the experience in person (physical adventure), with some pieces completable from home.
- How long will the hunt take? - This entirely depends on your ability to solve the puzzles and navigate the city. Our goal is to offer several checkpoints that encourage players to determine an appropriate time to stop. Each checkpoint will represent a step up in difficulty. Players are welcome to break up the game over several days or try to finish in a specific time window. For the race, we'll design for the fastest time to be somewhere around 2-3 hours.
- What do I need to participate? - For puzzle materials, we suggest bringing a smart phone and charging cable/device, along with pencil and paper to take notes. For the experience, we encourage players to plan accordingly around the weather and wear comfortable clothes/shoes for adventuring around a city. For transportation, we will design around what is safe and accessible for players. We will try to avoid advantaging those who have access to personal vehicles.
- Who designed the puzzles? - A small team of Game Genius staff, local students, and volunteers. We're always looking for more designers, if you're interested! Email us at: [email protected]
- What age is this game appropriate for? - Our goal is to make the puzzles approachable by a 10-12 year old. They may not be able to solve everything by themselves, but should conceptually understand the game with the right guidance. We will also have a text hotline for clues during the event.
- Do I need to have experience solving puzzles? - You don't need previous experience, but it can help identify familiar patterns or logic flows. Puzzles come in many different flavors, and we'll provide hints along the way.
- Can I complete the hunt alone? - Yes! It might be a daunting task and we always suggest playing with others, but there are no puzzles that require more than 1 person to solve it.
- Can I invite a lot of people to play with me? - Yes, but we recommend 2-5 players. Also remember that 1 team ticket represents up to 8 players. If there are more than 8 people, please acquire another ticket.
- How does the District Hunt support Food and Housing? - Each year's puzzle story is designed around local nonprofits and other changemakers. See above for the list of partners.
- How can I sponsor or partner with the District Hunt? - We welcome partners and sponsors that align with the food and housing event theme in some way. As a small organization and volunteer committee, both monetary and in-kind support is very useful. We plan to grow this event every year, and we look forward to building a strong relationship. Please send an email to [email protected] for more information.
- How are you planning around the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic? - Game Genius will follow up-to-date CDC recommendations to offer this year's hunt in a safe manner. Game Genius can't control what everyone will do in public, so we ask that you make the best judgment for you and your loved ones.
- Can I donate to Game Genius and are donations tax-deductible? - Yes and yes! Game Genius is a 501(c)3 charitable organization. Any level of support is much appreciated. Click here to get started.