The Mystery League

The Mystery League is a company of creative puzzlemakers. We stage live mystery games. We weave story, puzzles and theatre in unusual and amazing ways. We are available for hire.

What is a puzzle hunt?

A puzzle hunt is a one-to-four-hour event that requires you to hunt for clues, play games, solve riddles, and decipher codes.

It could easily be the most fun you’ll have all year.

You know that rush you get when you solve a problem that’s been nagging at you for a while? A puzzle hunt injects that feeling directly into your veins, over and over again, for hours.

Put another way: our hunts combine the triumph of breaking a code, the thrill of a good mystery novel, and the adrenaline rush of a playground game of tag. Our puzzles require deduction, pattern recognition, observation, and creative problem solving. They run the gamut from LEGO construction to wordplay, from code breaking to recognizing pop songs. They are designed to work for strong puzzlers or casual ones, and they work best for teams that have a mix of both. 

And we don’t skimp on the storytelling. All the puzzles are in service of the story, whether it’s a crime that needs solving, a search for a hidden treasure, or a last-ditch effort to stop the approaching robot singularity.

What we’re saying is you’ve never done anything like this.

“These puzzle hunts are a perfect mix of clever, funny, challenging, and social. Every time I do one, I meet new people and learn to work with them to solve problems quickly.” — Max Temkin
Cards Against Humanity

Who are these hunts for?

Who has hired you?

We’ve staged hunts for dozens of companies, in Chicago and elsewhere, including:

So, is it just for fun, or will the players learn something too?

Because they’ll be immersed in puzzles for hours, teams will be forced to come up with new ways to approach and solve problems together. Also, they’ll have a fantastic time, and they’ll leave energized.

One thing we hear a lot from players is that they’re happy to exercise parts of their brain they don’t get to use everyday at work. People leave our hunts feeling smarter, happier, and more creative.

How many people need to play?

We can build a hunt for as little as one team of four, or as big as three hundred people. It’s up to you. There certainly are economies of scale when we design for a larger group.

How long does an event last?

One to four hours, depending on the size and venue.

Where does it happen?

Our hunts can be staged almost anywhere. Some possibilities:

We’re based in Chicago, but we're happy to travel anywhere. If you have a particular venue in mind for your event, please mention it when you get in touch.

How much does it cost?

Prices can vary depending on the complexity of the setting, length of event, number of players, how much tweaking we need to do, etc. It starts at $50 per participant.

How far in advance should I book?

For a smaller hunt, at least two weeks. For a custom event, at least a month. As with all things, the rules are bendable for a fee.

What other puzzle stuff do you do?

We’re also available to create puzzle-based marketing campaigns, puzzle installations, single puzzles, or hunts you can run on your own over and over again. Get in touch, and we’ll put together a proposal for you.

This sounds fun, but I’m just a person on my own. How can I play?

We occasionally put on public games, and list them here. Subscribe to our Puzzling in Chicago mailing list to learn about new events as soon as they're announced.

“The Mystery League took our annual Scavenger Hunt to the next level. Our mission is to help people discover why design matters, the Scavenger Hunt is an introduction to architectural literacy. Together we tricked people into believing they were just having fun, but they were actually learning.” — Lyla Catellier
Chicago Architecture Foundation

Upcoming events

The Mystery League helped us put on a great event. Each puzzle was so inventive, making great use of site-specific details, and the overall event held together brilliantly. All of the custom materials produced for the puzzle were beautiful and polished.” — Joe Germuska
Northwestern University Knight Lab

Our puzzle games

We can stage any of these for you, or we can design something entirely new.

Other projects

“The puzzle hunt was expertly designed and intricately fascinating. We had a great time trying to solve innovative puzzles throughout Wicker Park, we had a wonderful time exploring the neighborhood, and our team learned a ton about working together. We would do it again at the drop of a hat!” — Andrew Dawson
Harris School, University of Chicago

Who’s behind all this?

Sandor Weisz has been making puzzle hunts since he was a teenager. He’s 40 now. He writes puzzles any chance he can get, usually for our weekly dispatch, Puzzled Pint, or the NPR Sunday puzzle. His previous career was designing for the web. He lives in Chicago with his wife and two kids, with whom he records a podcast.

Sasquatch via Gratisography • Jacakalope via Rainer Zenz • Portrait by Jana Kinsman Almost everything else © 2017 Sandor Weisz • Blog@pzlrfbig • Sign up for our weekly puzzle dispatch

Let’s talk

Email with information about the event you’d like to have — or use this form — and we’ll get back to you within a couple of days.

We also have a weekly dispatch. Sign up here →