We design tabletop escape games that can be played at your office or at any restaurant or conference space. These games last ~2 hours for teams of 6-8 people. Your group will split up into teams, and each team will play the same game concurrently.
You and your team members are employees at The Institute for Steganographic Arts, and the collection is in a hopeless jumble. Your job: put it all in order. But just when you get the galleries cleaned up and each piece of artwork matched with its tricky title, something... happens. You will uncover new artifacts and clues, and it’s up to you to investigate and solve the Mystery in the Galleries. Stageable anywhere • 10 - 500 people • More about this game →
This game is centered around a giant map of over 60 islands. Everything you need to play the game is packed into a locked backpack. You and your team are secret agents who must break into the bag and use the objects you find inside — a bottle, ancient coins, postcards, a newspaper, and a mysterious starfish-shaped computer — to solve the puzzles and find your way back to your secret agent meeting location. Stageable anywhere • 10 - 500 people
Ten terrible creatures, each from an alternate dimension, have been let loose to wreak havoc on our town. The only clues you have are locked inside a mysterious briefcase. Break into the briefcases, locate the creatures, and figure out who is causing all this mayhem. Stageable anywhere • 5 - 70 people • More about this game →
Our live trivia & puzzle games fix what’s broken about completely remote events.
The Mystery League presents a Zoom-based game that melds trivia, deduction, and a little friendly competition. 1 - 3 hours • 15 - 500 people • Read more →
For groups who want a long-term game, we can build a private ARG (alternate reality game). We build you and your group a dedicated website where teams log in to see the puzzles, which appear every few days. Teams of employees join forces and work together to solve them. The site shows a leaderboard and lets teams request hints when they get stuck. These games are entirely customizable in theme and difficulty, and they can easily scale up in duration and player size.
In our latest game, a mysterious Yeti has left clues for you made out of the packaging for beloved snack products. 25 - 500 people • 3 - 12 puzzles • Any duration • Inquire for details ↓
These site-specific games take 3+ hours for teams of 3-5 people. We can stage any of these for you, or we can design something entirely new.
Seurat has hung on the walls of the Art Institute for years. Ditto Matisse, Monet, Picasso. Thousands of visitors pass by them daily, without noticing the codes embedded within. What do they say? What prize does it all lead to? Up to 60 people • Inquire for details ↓
Legend tells us that the Lincoln Park Zoo was once a place of magical wonder, where visitors could see animals now spoken of only in myth. Recently unearthed documents indicate that the magical zoo still exists, in a parallel dimension, if you can only find the gateway. Up to 60 people • Inquire for details ↓
“We hired The Mystery League to create a puzzle for our 130 person global team in Chicago. Blending a must-see historic landmark with a uniquely compelling team building experience, our team was fully engaged all afternoon. It takes a lot to impress a global innovation team, and The Mystery League delivered.”— Clay Stelzer
Visit the Projects page for more details →
Often we post short puzzles @pzlr on Twitter. Solving requires you discover the pattern and reply with another word or phrase that can fit it. The format allows followers to participate without spoiling it for those still figuring it out. Play now →
“Sandy is a puzzle genius and fountain of creativity, as well as a technical wizard. He worked closely with our marketing team to understand our company brand and understand our goals of the virtual puzzle event. He created a custom 5-part puzzle game that was just hard enough (but not too hard) to evoke the spirit of problem solving and competition. As a result, the event was a huge success – bringing together employees and clients from all across the US. As months go by, it’s an event people still talk about fondly.”— Jamie Jansen
Teams work and solve together, one puzzle at a time, for a couple of hours. Players need to inspect stories, art, designs, and other various artifacts for important information, then apply deductive reasoning and pattern matching skills to solve a mystery.
You know that rush you get when you solve a problem that’s been nagging at you for a while? A puzzle game injects that feeling directly into your veins, over and over.
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.
Also, 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 quest for a hidden treasure, or a search for the planet’s newest superhero.
We’ve built games and run events for dozens of companies and organizations, including:
“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
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. 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 finish our games feeling smarter, happier, and more creative.
We can build a remote game or in-person hunt for a group of any size, from 10 people all the way to several thousand. There are certainly economies of scale when we design for a larger group.
Trivia usually lasts 90 minutes. Tabletop games are about two hours. If you need it smaller or longer, we can accommodate. Just get in touch and let us know your needs.
Remote hunts happen on Zoom. Our in-person hunts can be staged almost anywhere, including:
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.
For trivia prices, please visit this page. For in-person hunts, prices can vary depending on the complexity of the setting, length of event, number of players, how much tweaking we need to do, etc. Get in touch to discuss prices for your group.
At least two weeks is ideal.
First off, we frequently post short puzzles on Twitter.
Ocassionally, we put on games for the public and sell tickets. Check back to see if there are any upcoming events.
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.
Subscribe to our Signals newsletter to learn about new events as soon as they’re announced.
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
Sandor Weisz runs The Mystery League. He has been making puzzles and games since he was a teenager. He's a member of the National Puzzler's League. He writes puzzles any chance he can get, which you can find at our Signals newsletter, @pzlr on Twitter, @mysteryleague on Instagram, or occasionally on the NPR Sunday puzzle. He lives in Chicago with his wife, two kids, and dog.