The iHunt is a series of puzzles designed to bend your brains, so you may well need help at one point or another!
The first thing you'll need to do if you haven't already is register and log in - the most convenient way to do this is to use your Steam account. Then come back here and read on.
Done that? Good. You'll also want to join the #ihunt Discord channel: go to Insomnia Discord and type "!join ihunt".
You can and should also form into a team (typically of up to four people), making the iHunt both more easy and more fun. To manage your team, click the link. When making a team, make sure you designate only one of your prospective teammates to do so: once on a team you can't join another (we wouldn't want mercenaries, would we?!)
Right, what else is there? The iHunt this LAN will take place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. On Friday and Saturday, starting at midday, puzzles will release throughout the afternoon. You can attempt these puzzles in any order and will receive a raffle ticket for each one (provided you both link your Steam account here and register using the same Steam account on Athena.) To commence the Hunt, go to the homepage and follow the links to see the phases and puzzles available. Click to go to a puzzle, see the question and start guessing! Note:
- Answers are case-insensitive
- Answers are not just random letters and numbers: you'll know you've got somewhere if what you see forms a word or other obvious pattern.
On Sunday, the race starts! Starting at midday — but each puzzle you complete from the other days will grant you a small headstart of 1 minute — you will be able to do more puzzles, one by one. The first team to complete all of Sunday's puzzles will be the winner, receiving the first prize of four 50% off codes for i64 BYOC Plus. The teams coming in second and third will receive four 25% off codes each.
It happens to us all. Of course we can't tell you the answers, but there are some general hints that might help.
First of all, know what kinds of things make up the clues on the puzzle page: each puzzle has some "flavour" text to make the puzzles form some kind of story; this is not part of the actual puzzle. On the other hand, the title of the puzzle, the content below the flavour text, and also hidden information in the HTML source, are all legitimate hints that you should think about. Other parts of the page that don't change from question to question are also not clues: don't spend ages trying to decipher the order of the links in the header or anything like that!
Make sure that you type anything you think you could be relevant into the answer box. Even if it's not the right answer, the puzzle writers add all sorts of hints that you can unlock if you're along the right lines (or also to tell you that you're totally off the mark sometimes!) In addition, puzzles on Sunday — the hardest — will show hints over time without you guessing anything. These should help you make some headway
You should also look at the example puzzles and list of things to try below, especially if you're new.
If you're very stuck or if you think a puzzle is broken, you can contact the iHunt admins directly, either by going to their desks in the Community Admin area, or on #ihunt on Discord. The shortcut @iHunt will get their attention — make sure not to reveal any details, no matter how trivial, of puzzles in public! We want to keep it fun and fair for everyone. An admin will message you privately to help.
By the way, the admins are constantly monitoring teams' progress and what they're trying, and we actively try to make sure no-one falls too far behind. Assuming your seat is correct in your user profile, we will come by and give you a nudge if you're in trouble. If a particular puzzle seems to be unduly difficult or even has a mistake, we might be adding hints or extra answers.
Example PuzzlesClick here to see a few useful example puzzles with complete walkthroughs.
Things to Try
This is a list of common things to try if you are having trouble. The following tips are completely general and could be helpful for any puzzle:
- Run it by someone in your team or someone else you know
- Try not to overthink — keep it simple!
- Go away and think about something else, then come back with fresh ideas
- Eat or drink something — keep your energy up!
These next tricks are more specific; some puzzles might not use any, but they're always useful to bear in mind. The majority of puzzles will use an idea at least similar to one of them.
- Google it!
- Check the source code
- Think about the puzzle title
- Convert data to another representation:
- Between hex, binary, decimal or other bases
- From Braille, Morse, sign language, ASCII or numbers to letters
- Cook it in CyberChef
- Break numbers into prime factors
- Rearrange the information
- Chronological order
- Treat information as something else
- Phone numbers
- IP addresses
- Seat numbers
- Atomic weights/numbers
- Radio stations
- Codes of railway stations or airports
- Say it out loud
- Try common cipher tools (http://rumkin.com/tools/cipher)
- Graph numbers or letter frequencies
- Make patterns and pictures
- Connect the dots
- Overlay it on a map or picture of something
- Make it into 3D
- Fold it
- Look at letters on a computer keyboard
- Open files in a program to inspect or manipulate
- Try changing the file extension such as from .jpg to .mp3 and opening it
- Open it in an image editor
- Look at metadata
- Use a hex-editor