A puzzle hunt features a chain of puzzles, usually strung together by an over-arching theme or story. Many puzzle hunts are events that take place in a specific area, and the puzzles lead solvers from one physical location to the next. Other puzzle hunts can be played solely online.
Here is a list of puzzle hunts with archives of their past puzzles that you can solve and enjoy.
The Canon Information Systems Research Australia Puzzle Competition was an annual hunt that ran from 2007 to 2013. The hunt was free and open to everyone, with only Australian students eligible to win prizes. Designers from the CiSRA hunt went on to design puzzles for mezzacotta (see below), a hunt which has apparently also ended.
Most of the CiSRA puzzles are archived at the hunt's website archive:
The College Puzzle Challenge is an annual event that takes place on multiple college campuses across North America, simultaneously. Nearly all of the past years' puzzles are available online for you to solve:
Formerly the Tropic Hunt, the Herald Hunt is co-created by humour columnist Dave Barry and two of his editor friends, Gene Weingarten and Tom Shroder. Named for the weekly Miami Herald magazine supplement Tropic in which Barry had a column, the hunt met its end when the supplement did, but was later revived by the newspaper and renamed the Herald Hunt.
Originally a car rally, the hunt now takes place in a South Florida neighbourhood each year. Participants compete to solve a series of puzzles within a 3-hour window. Puzzles from the 1986 Tropic hunt are available online:
The Game is a series of puzzle hunts set in the San Francisco Bay and Seattle areas. These hunts feature next-level stakes and levels of extremity, and at least one person has been seriously injured while participating!
This TED talk by The Game's founder Joe Belfiore provides an excellent overview, while revealing the anatomy of some of the puzzles:
Labor Day Extravaganza
Every Labor Day for over a decade, puzzle designer Mark Halpin has released his own free puzzle hunt. All of the puzzles from past hunts are archived online, along with an answer checker:
The Master Theorem is an online puzzle project by a team of solvers at Columbia University, headed up by the enigmatic M. While nothing new has been posted since the project spun off a board game company in 2016, all of the group's past "theorems" (puzzles) remain online for you to solve.
mezzacotta Puzzle Competition
When Canon stopped sponsoring the CiSRA hunt, its puzzle designers ran the independent mezzacotta hunt. The mezzacotta puzzles are available online.
Microsoft Puzzle Hunt
The Microsoft Puzzle Hunt is a weekend-long event held quasi-annually at the company's Redmond, Washington campus. Teams of up to 12 solvers, half of whom must be current or former Microsoft employees, compete to discover a hidden treasure.
The puzzles from the second-ever Microsoft hunt are available to solve online:
Mission Street Puzzles runs multi-month "seasons" of puzzles, which debut every Wednesday evening. The first two seasons centered around eateries and hotspots in San Francisco, while the third season focuses on Austin. The Misson Street Puzzles archives contain dozens of puzzles for you to solve.
MIT Mystery Hunt
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology runs an annual puzzle hunt on the Friday before Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The hunt is designed and organized by the previous year's winning team, and culminates in a hunt for a custom coin or tchotchke hidden somewhere on campus.
The MIT Mystery Hunt puzzle archives date back to the 1999 hunt:
The The Order of the Octothorpe is a fun and satisfying online puzzle hunt about a fictional secret society themed around, of all things, the octothorpe (pound/number sign: #)!
The Puzzle Boat
The Puzzle Boat is a free, online puzzle hunt designed by Foggy Brume, the editor of PandA Magazine. Registration is required before you can get your mitts on the puzzles, but once you're in, the puzzles are plentiful!
PuzzleDonkey is a long-running online collection of 100 puzzles by a team of designers from the UK. The site has very British sensibilities. You've been warned.
Puzzled Pint is a free, beginner-friendly puzzle event that runs the second Tuesday of every month in participating cities. Solve a simple puzzle on the website to discover where the event will be held. Show up to the bar or pub, where you'll receive a set of usually four puzzles and one meta puzzle. Some months, bonus puzzles are included. A group of friendly game control volunteers are on-hand to provide hints. Although team standings are tracked just for fun, this is a non-competitive event.
The Puzzled Pint website maintains an excellent puzzling basics beginners guide, along with an excellent archive of all past puzzles, which are free to download, print, and solve!
Created in 2017 by Singaporean members of various puzzle hunt teams, this 48-hour online hunt offered prizes to solvers from Singapore, but its puzzles were/are available for anyone to solve.
The Sydney University Mathematics Society runs a free online puzzle hunt that takes place over 5 days. The hunt offers cash prizes to teams that have at least one Australian solver. The ΣUMS hunt has been running since 2010, and all of the hunt's past puzzles are available online:
The annual University of South Carolina Puzzle Hunt began in 2013 and, like many college hunts, mysteriously stalled out in 2016. An online archive still has all of the playable puzzles from past hunts: