The Herald Hunt is coming…

Tropic Hunt Picture

The Herald Hunt is coming up next month, and for all of you that can get to it, I highly recommend going.

What is the “Herald Hunt”? That’s a pretty tough thing to describe…. Imagine a giant puzzle game where you and your closest 10,000 friends show up and try and make sense of the clues. You wander around a location in Miami doing everything from trying to count people in rat costumes, decipher letters and numbers on giant balloon animals to trying to make sense of giant billard balls (see the picture)

Yes, that’s me, from the 1994 Tropic Hunt. So, how did I get my picture on the front page of the Miami Herald (Dade Edition) without committing some sort of crime? Well, let me tell ya.

We started off in an area where four signs were erected, each with a number and a message that said “It’s not love, it’s body heat”. The signs were at the compass points, one north, south, east and west. Dave Barry came on the radio of LOVE 94.5, and started the Tropic Hunt (that’s what it was called back then). Basically, you get a hint about where to go, and then you’re off on your own.

My wife suggested that I tune the radio to 98.7, to see what we could hear. I tuned the radio headset I was wearing and listened — There was a evangalist speaking from a church. I listened a while longer and — it suddenly stopped! The next thing I heard was “Welcome to the Tropic Hunt Square Dance!” The caller on the radio said that you had to face a certain number to start, and then they started calling directions for what you had to do with the numbers.

Now, imagine the sight…. I started turning around in place facing the signs and I was listening to something no one else could hear. That must have looked pretty wierd. I did it twice to be sure and then went to consult with the rest of the group about what I had found. I started talking to them, when a really tall man leaned over to listen too. I said, “Who are you?”

He told me, “I’m with your group!”

I said, “I don’t think so….” and went further away. I explained the solution to the group. Then the tall man came over again to ask my name and where I worked. I asked him what it was for, and he said that he was covering the Tropic Hunt that year for the Herald. He and a photographer followed us around for the rest of the day.

Sometime during the afternoon, I asked, “So, how did you pick us?” He said that we looked like we knew what we were doing. We actually did that year… We solved all the initial puzzles in less than two hours. Unfortunately we ended up not getting the right answer for the last puzzle due to our lack of knowledge of billards. Doh!

After that year, we moved away, and haven’t been to the Tropic Hunt (which has now been renamed the Herald Hunt) since. A lot of the main team from that year (The “Blind Mice”) still participate, and I’m hoping they win!

Knucklebones magazine

The third issue of Knucklebones magazine is come out.

This magazine features all kinds of board game news, and is one of the few magazines that’s interesting from cover to cover.

You can pick it up from Border, Barnes and Noble, your local game store or

Ticket To Ride

Ticket to Ride is a great board game for the family. Each player is given several secret destination cards, and you all must build a continuous train between each city listed on the cards. Some routes have allow multiple trains to go through at the same time, sometimes you have to go around blocked routes, and you have to complete your trains before your opponents do.

We played this with the kids, and they had a great time. You can play this game in about two hours or so.


Ingenious is an abstract tile placement game that is quick, simple to learn, and fun to play. Each player has tiles to place on the board, and one tile is placed each turn. The game is scored by counting the number of like symbols that occur in a continous chain you’ve just placed. So, for example, placing a piece with a circle and triangle will earn you points based on the number of circles in the chain, and the number of triangles in the chain.

The winner is the person who has the most “least points” scored for any particular symbol, meaning, look at the lowest point total you have for your symbols, and that’s the score you have.

This is a game that’s easy to learn, and very fun to play. Highly recommended.