Interview with Justin Nevins about the upcoming Prexcyt Quest (a Cryptex Puzzle Hunt)

We are pleased to announce the Cryptex Hunt.

Cryptex Hunt is a puzzle hunt created by many distinguished members of the escape room player community and presented by Justin Nevins, the creator of the Cryptex Security Box, the hands-down winner of our Cryptex Review Extravaganza.

We recently connected with Justin to learn more about this event and how to get in on all the fun.

REA: What is the name of the puzzle hunt?

Justin: Prexcyt Quest, The Lure of the Dragon.

Prexcyt Quest Cryptex hunt promo image, looks like the cover to an old RPG campaign book.

When will the puzzle hunt take place?

February 24 – 25, 2018: This is the warm-up weekend, where you can learn the hunt format through qualifying puzzles to get an idea of what to expect.

February 26 – March 2, 2018: The Daily Challenges will be released Monday through Friday.

Saturday March 3, 2018: Final Challenge (think “boss monster fight”) begins. It will last as long as it takes for someone to complete the challenge and win.  However, you must complete all of the Daily Challenges before you can start on the Final Challenge.

You can continue to play the hunt as long as you want. This way people who find out about it late can still be a part of the fun. We hope to keep it up and running maybe as long as a year or until we release another one!

Does it cost anything to play?

No, it is entirely free. We encourage as many people as possible to play and enjoy it. All time, efforts and costs have been donated in order to keep it free to anyone who wants to play.

What is the structure of the puzzle hunt?

Errol Elumir of Room Escape Divas fame designed a unique structure that none of us had ever seen for a puzzle hunt… and I won’t divulge anything else. It’s puzzles wrapped in a Cryptex, inside an RPG!

In terms of timing, the qualifying puzzles will be released on Saturday, February 24. You will find a number of qualifying puzzles to solve throughout that weekend. Once you complete the qualifying puzzles, you will be able to play the five daily puzzles, released from February 26 – March 2. The daily puzzles will be released at 8:00 pm Eastern each day.

Once you solve the fifth and final daily puzzle, released on March 2, you will have access to the Finale Puzzle Challenge when it is released at noon Eastern Saturday, March 3rd.

The first person or team to complete the Finale Puzzle Challenge will be declared the winner!

Do you recommend playing as an individual or a team?

We encourage small groups to play together for the camaraderie, but this hunt can be done as a solo event as well. A small group will help insure a wide variety of skills and still allow everyone to participate in each puzzle. Think D&D party size with players having different skills and talents.

You will register as one “player” and will not be able to split up to work on different puzzles in parallel. Teams will not have a major advantage over solo players.

Please note that there will be only one prize available per challenge. If you work as a team and win a prize, you will have to decide who receives the prize.

What are the prizes?

Everything is more fun with prizes and there are some nice ones for this puzzle hunt!

Grand Prize – The first person/ team to complete Prexcyt Quest will win a custom Nevins Line Cryptex Security Box, handcrafted by me from real stone and brass with 23k gold inlay (estimated value $3,500). This box has been specifically designed for this puzzle hunt and will be thematically appropriate.

2nd Prize – This will be determined by a random drawing of all people/ teams who complete Prexcyt Quest within a certain period of time. They will win a standard line Cryptex Security Box replica of the Grand Prize. This box will be made with polycarbonate and brass instead of real stone (estimated value $650).

Locked cryptex beside a $10 bill for size reference, it's a few inches longer and a little wider.

Daily Prize Winners – We plan on having daily prizes for the first person/ team to solve each of the daily puzzle challenges. (Note that each person/ team can only win one daily prize.)

How did the idea for this hunt come about?

A friend asked me if there was a “Cryptex Day” holiday to which I replied “Sure… it’s March 1st!” This was the day I created the first Cryptex back in 2004.  It became a running joke that I had declared March 1st “International Cryptex Day,” (Hey, if you are going to make up a holiday, think big. Why limit it to just “National Cryptex Day?”)

Then Errol said, “You should make a puzzle hunt for International Cryptex Day!” When I agreed that that would be awesome, he said “I’LL DO IT!!!” He gathered a group of really talented people and convinced them to volunteer their time. Together, I think we’ve all created a pretty cool and unique puzzle hunt!

Who is the team behind Prexcyt Quest?

Errol Elumir, Darren Miller, and Dan Egnor are the primary hunt creators and puzzle designers. David Lewis provided technical assistance. I provided Cryptex wrangling/ training and Cryptex technical consulting, as well as design and creation of the prizes.

Several other people contributed to this hunt as game testers, creatives, and consultants including Tyler Goen, Kari Maaren, Julie Nevins, Debbie Ridpath-Ohi, Mags Storey, Lizette Tanner, Alex Wai, Manda Whitney, Margaux Yiu, Michael Yuan, and Ruby Yuan. To them we owe huge thanks!

Why did you decide to create this hunt?

I wanted to give back to all the really awesome escape room owners and enthusiasts, puzzle hunters, and fans of the Cryptex. This industry and community has been so great to work with and I’ve personally had so much fun playing escape rooms and puzzle hunts. I wanted to be a part of developing something fun for you!

Who would this puzzle hunt be good for?

We think it will appeal to anyone who likes to solve puzzles.

If you enjoy escape rooms puzzles, but you’ve never tried a puzzle hunt, this will be accessible. It will be challenging, but since the puzzles are released at 24-hour intervals, you can spend a lot of time working through these puzzles without feeling behind.

Experienced puzzle hunters will likely solve the daily puzzles more quickly, but that will not diminish the fun of the puzzles.

How do I start playing?

Keep your eye on  We will reveal information there as the start date approaches.

Will there be future Cryptex hunts?

I certainly hope so! I’d love to make this an annual event, but it will really depend on how well this one is received and if people are willing to donate their time to help create more of these in the future (so we can keep it free). It’s been a real joy to work with the development team, testers, designers, coders, writers, artists etc. Everyone has been super generous with their time and efforts to make something I think will be really cool and fun to play!


  1. how do you start to play i dont see anythng to start with or where to go

    1. Hi Wendy. I have to admit, we had a harder time getting started than I’d like to admit, but it’s been worth it.

      Here are a few tips: has a link in the middle of the page to a video, it says, “Watch To Start.” The link takes you here:

      There’s an ah-ha moment involved with this video.

      Finally, once you’re in the game world, there’s a lot of RPG-y stuff that you *do not* have to explore in order to find and solve the puzzles.

      Good luck.

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