What is Colby's Curious Cookoff?

Good question! This is an online puzzlehunt-like adventure created by Boxaroo, an escape room & immersive entertainment company located in Boston, Massachusetts. Our amateur chef friend Colby is preparing for the famous tri-state competition... so expect to have to chop, dice, fry, and garnish your way through a variety of challenges in order to impress the judges...

These challenges are puzzles that can range from word puzzles and logic grids to ones you might not have even seen before. There will be multiple rounds, each with puzzles more challenging than the last, intended to be completed over the course of several days. For a sample of what a puzzle might look like, check out these snacks!

How does this work?

Once you've registered for an account and the puzzlehunt is released, you'll be given an option to purchase the hunt. When you're ready to start, there's a green button to hit, and the first round will be unlocked for you. Rounds will be unlocked as you solve them. There's no set time to when you need to start- puzzles are unlocked based on whenever you begin the puzzlehunt!

There will be four rounds in total, each with a series of puzzles. Each puzzle has an answer in the form of an English word or phrase.

How much does it cost?

The puzzlehunt is 'pay-what-you-want'. The recommended price is $25. We hope you'll support us during this time, but totally understand if you don't or can't.

How large are teams?

We've designed this curious little experience to be a single-player adventure, though you're free to puzzle with a friend or two if you feel like you might enjoy it more with a buddy.

Do I need a printer?

A printer is not necessary, but you may find it helpful! We have done our best to make puzzles that can be solved online without printing.

How difficult is this?

The difficulty will ramp up over the four rounds. Check out our free sample puzzles to get an idea of what you’re in for! This is geared towards puzzlers who are new to online puzzlehunts. If you've done escape rooms and are more accustomed to physical puzzles, this should be a refreshing change of pace. If you're familiar with MIT Mystery Hunt, P&A Magazine, Puzzle Potluck, and the likes, this might be on the easier side for you, but hopefully still enjoyable!

How much time will this take to complete?

This will vary highly from person to person (or, from chef to chef)! Each round should take a beginning puzzler 2-4 hours to complete. Experienced puzzlers who are already familiar with the types of puzzles often found in online format may hit under 1 hour per round (*chants* speed run, speed run, speed run!)

Is there a time limit?

There is not! You’ll have as long as you like to complete each round once it has unlocked. You can complete everything when it is released, or wait for everything to unlock and finish it all over a weekend.

Is there a prize for completing the cookoff?

The satisfaction of knowing you can do anything :)

What if I get stuck? Will I be able to get help?


First off, because this is not an escape room, you are free to use Google, ask other people, or use outside sources.

At the bottom of every 'puzzle page', there will be an option to get hints. Our staff will generally respond to hints within 24 hours (sometimes sooner!) There's no limit to the number of hints you can ask, but if you start flooding our inboxes we might respond to you a little slower so that other folks can get some hints as well.

If you're super stuck on a round, the next round of puzzles will unlock for you after 24 hours of having unlocked the previous round.

What happens if I send in the wrong answer?

We’ll tell you that you got the answer wrong, and you can check your work and try again. You won’t be penalized for wrong answers.

What age range is this appropriate for?

This is a family-friendly activity that is appropriate for all ages. It is written expecting a certain amount of cultural knowledge and an attention span that may be challenging for younger children, but you know your child best! Try our free sample puzzles to get a better sense of their interest. You may end up as puzzle-solving buddies!

How many people can participate?

This is intended for a 1-3 solvers. You are free to get the whole household involved if you’d like, but we recommend keeping the group small so everyone gets to experience every puzzle!

Can I see an example?

Sure! We’ve put together a couple of puzzles that we'll be releasing over the next bit to show the range of difficulty you can expect to encounter. Feel free to check them out here.

I have other questions. Who can I talk to?

You can always reach out to us at for general questions.