Puzzle Hunts: Shinteki Aquarius Remix

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  • Tyler Hinman (LXP)
  • On 2011 May 14, I played in Shinteki Aquarius Remix with Team Goldfish, two members of Golden Golems and two members of Mystic Fish. Specifically, that was Joe Fendel Chris Rycroft, Dwight Freund, and me. Why such an oddball collection? We needed people who liked puzzlehunt games, but hadn't been playing back in 2004.

    The original Shinteki Aquarius was back in 2004. It must have been fun, because word spread that Shinteki games were fun, and so more people have been showing up year after year. So there are a bunch of Shinteki folks who hadn't played Aquarius. Thus, the remix: Re-run the game with some tweaks and improvements. Folks who played the original sat this one out. But I didn't start playing these games until 2005, so Aquarius was new to me. (Except I recognized a word search puzzle which had been as a sample puzzle at Shinteki's web site for a while; I had to recuse myself from aha-spotting on that one, and force myself grind through word-spotting in a word search though I knew there was a gimmick.)

    This game was a lot of fun! It was more physical than other games I've played, and I think that helped a lot. It's good to break up the puzzle-solving with some running around. (Or maybe I just think that because I'm not so great at the puzzle-solving. Anyhow.)

    On May 28, I site-monitored the "Across the Ocean" puzzle at the Chinese Pavilion on Stow Lake. This was a good way to salvage some ego points: I watched a couple of smart teams get stuck at the same place in the puzzle that Team Goldfish had.

    Pre-Game Mob Scene

    Snowball Fountain

    At a certain fountain on Stanford Campus (which looks oddly familiar from other puzzlehunts), teams had to figure out how to retrieve part of a puzzle from a cooler in the fountain. This solution generally involved wading.

    But as folks removed puzzle pieces, the cooler's load became lighter. It started to float... and bobbed over to the edge of the fountain.

    Thus, it fell to Stribs the site monitor to explain to the lady from the next team: Sure it seems like you could just grab a puzzle part from the cooler. But really you need to wade in the fountain, pick up the cooler, and move it over on top of that thing further in the fountain, so it won't float away again. That way, the next team that comes along will know that they have to wade in the fountain, right?

    He must have been very convincing, because she did it.

    Nest Gallery

    Nest Gallery in Half Moon Bay. This place was awesome.

    Stow Lake

    When the game re-ran a couple of weeks later, I was a site monitor at Stow Lake. Instead of at the top of the waterfall, I was stationed at the Chinese Pavilion. Since it was raining when I first showed up, I was pretty glad my site had a roof.


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