This was SCRAP LA’s first “Escape Park” style game, where you go around the neighborhood finding clues to solve the puzzles on your game kit. It played during Animé Expo at the convention hall and around Little Tokyo. For people without Anime Expo badges, there is a “cheat sheet” postcard with copies of the clues in the hall. It is very similar to SCRAP SF’s “10,000 Treasure Hunters” games, which were coordinated with Japantown’s JPOP Festival. The game is free to play; I think 10,000 Treasure Hunters was a very cheap ticket just for crowd control purposes. And both were of lower difficulty than standard SCRAP games.
The overall puzzle hunt was very short. There were four puzzle clues inside Animé Expo, which I got from the postcard. There are three remaining clues outside. One was posted in the window of SCRAP LA’s storefront, and the final two used signage from businesses in the area. Using educated guesses, I did not need to visit the two businesses, so the only clue from the entire puzzle hunt that I needed to visit in person was the one at SCRAP LA. Even with the obligatory SCRAP twist for the last puzzle, the entire game took me about 15 minutes to complete on my own.
Slightly disappointed, I made my way over to the end location.
Instead of staff checking your physical answer sheet at checkpoints, Zero Escape Puzzle Hunt used a website check-in system. After you solved the final puzzle, it asks you to post your success to social media. The end location staffers just check for your post before giving you a prize. I got lucky number 5 from the prize wheel — a postcard ad for Zero Escape — Zero Time Dilemma and a discount code for a future SCRAP game.
Coming from an escape room standpoint, this was not SCRAP’s best work, but I am sure people who came for Animé Expo and got this as a treat enjoyed it. Especially the ladies, who were unanimous fans of the Junpei cutout.