General Questions About Shinteki

What does Shinteki mean?

Shinteki is a Japanese word that translates into English as mental, physical, or psychological depending on the specific usage. In our case, Shinteki represents all three. The idea behind Shinteki is to challenge people to break away from the ordinary, using their minds and bodies to gain a new appreciation for the world around them.

Who can play?

Generally speaking, those individuals who are not afraid of a little mental and physical exercise will have the most fun. Unless specified otherwise for a particular event, players must enter as a team, and each team must provide its own automobile (car, truck, van, etc.). Check the details of the event you are interested in to see if there are any further prerequisites or experience/skill level requirements.

Do I have to be a genius to play?

No, although a fondness for puzzles might come in handy. There are different skill levels for Shinteki events. Beginner events focus more on fun than on difficulty, but still require a bit of brains. Expert events often require some pretty serious smarts, but as with many things in life it shouldn’t be too hard to work your way from beginner events to expert ones. It just takes a little practice!

What do I need to have with me when I play Shinteki?

An open mind, a playful heart, and a thirst for adventure are strongly recommended. Maps, a cell phone and basic office supplies generally come in very handy. Specific gear requirements and suggestions will be covered on an event-by-event basis.

Are there any pre-event activities?

Generally speaking, Shinteki activities are confined to the event window only. Specific events may have exceptions that will be made clear in the event details section.

Questions Specific to Decathlon

What are the event details?

Please check the events page for the event dates and the specific location. We always suggest that competitive teams play the first weekend. Remember that any individual who plays in Decathlon may not play in the same event again, even on a different team. Teams must contain four members, and must travel in a single vehicle at all times.

How long is the race?

Decathlon is an all-day event. Team check-in will begin at 9:30 am, and the End Party at the final location will go until about midnight. Teams will solve up to ten challenges, budgeting their time on each challenge as they see fit. Most teams should expect to be in the field a full twelve hours.

Do I have to be a good athlete to play?

Even though the event is called Decathlon, this does not mean that you or your teammates need to be Olympic athletes. While there will be some physical activity like hiking, climbing, jumping, throwing or a little running, it’s all something that a casual outdoor enthusiast can do easily.

Is there a prize for winning Decathlon?

Every team that completes the course or braves the field for the full twelve hours will be rewarded equally. However, special mention will be given to the team that attains the highest score.

What are the primary goals of Decathlon?

The main purpose of every Shinteki event is to provide a creative and challenging outlet for its participants. While solving a variety of mental and physical challenges, teams will be able to take hints at their own pace, or choose not to take any hints. This will allow teams of all experience levels to be challenged and still have fun playing. Rookie teams are strongly advised to download the Rookie Handbook, solve our Puzzles of the Month, and gather adequate gear and maps before participating.

Can you tell me more about the scoring system?

Points are earned by completing challenges within the allotted time limit. Each of the ten challenges is worth up to 100 points. However, each hint that a team looks at will cost the team a specified number of points. If a team is unable to complete a challenge even after reading all the hints or is not having fun working on a particular challenge, they have the option to skip the challenge, receiving no points. At the end of the race, teams will be given a final ranking based on the number of points earned for each completed challenge. The points system is intended to give teams the opportunity to set goals for themselves relative to other teams or to their own past performances. Note that each team will have to decide for themselves how they will receive optimal points. A team that takes almost no hints and solves 8 challenges could earn more points than a team that completes 10 challenges but takes many hints. However, at times, taking a hint on a particularly difficult challenge may help you solve it quickly and move on to see more challenges.

Why are you requiring exactly 4 people on a team?

The 4-person team has been extremely well-received during Shinteki events, so we will continue to use that format. We feel that four-person teams provide a level playing field and fair price structure for participants, and lend definite management advantages to the event organizers. Many captains find it easier to recruit only 3 players, and it eliminates the need for large van rentals if the team wants to save some money. If you are part of an established team with more than four members, we strongly encourage you to recruit a new friend or two in order to field two competing teams. You might be surprised by how much fun this can be!

Can we call our friends or an 'ops' team for help?

You bet! Decathlon participants are allowed to use almost any resources they can think of, including the internet, a friend at home, a public library, or a helpful stranger they meet in the field. The only resource that is prohibited is a person who has already played in the same Shinteki event you are playing.

What constitutes the required team uniform?

Every team playing in Shinteki Decathlon is required to have a team uniform. Uniforms help make team identification easier for event staff, photographers, and other competing teams. A uniform can be as simple as similarly colored shirts or hats, or as crazy as matching custom capes. Other simple uniforms from previous events have included neckties, vests, large buttons/pins, and camouflage pants. What really matters is that your team be easily identifiable as a single unit. If you arrive at check-in without being easily identifiable, you may be asked to wear colored armbands.

How will you prevent cheating on the 2nd weekend?

Shinteki events emphasize the player experience and the process of discovery over winning. We ask that teams who play during the first week wait until after the second week to talk about details of their experiences. Anyone planning to play the second week should be careful not to seek out information, since it may make their experience less enjoyable. If you are a more competitive team, you may want to sign up for the first weekend just to ease your mind regarding cheating, but fortunately, we have not experienced problems in the past.

What is the ClueKeeper app and why do I need it?

ClueKeeper is a mobile hunt platform that Shinteki uses to manage the Decathlon event. Each team will need to provide one device (phone or tablet) running the app for the day, although you won’t constantly need internet connectivity. ClueKeeper will verify answers, give hints about the puzzles, keep track of your score and tell you where to go next. Detailed information about getting the app, creating an account and other requirements will be sent out about a week before the event. ClueKeeper runs iOS 7 or later and on Android 4.0.3 (Ice Cream Sandwich) or later.

Questions About our Corporate Events

What packages do you offer for companies?

Shinteki’s corporate packages offer a broad range of event styles to meet a variety of needs. The Shinteki Scramble is a fast-paced puzzle hunt that encourages collaboration. The Scramble is suitable for almost any group size, from 6 players up to 300. The Caper Chase is a challenging mystery where teams of players follow a trail of clues to catch a crafty criminal. There are several customization options for The Caper Chase, making it a truly memorable adventure for your group of up to 150 players. As always, we can customize an event to meet your specific needs.

Can we order a custom event?

Of course! We will gladly add custom elements, such as trivia and clues tailored to your company or specific locations, to our standard events. We can also work with you to create a completely custom experience, with all new challenges and locations that work perfectly for the participants.

How many people do we need to play?

That’s up to you. We have run events for 6 to 300 people. The economics tend to get better as the number of people increases, but as long as your group is ready to think outside the box and have some fun, we will run an event that is right for you.

How long does an event last?

That depends on the event and your time constraints. We can run short events of 2 hours or less, or if your team wants a full day of adventure, we can accommodate that too. We are happy to modify events to work within your schedule.

How much do your events cost?

Please send an email to with the size of your group, the type of event you are interested in, and any other information that would be helpful. We will then reply with price information for the options that make the most sense for your circumstances.

How far in advance should we book our event?

We recommend booking events as early as you can, since dates do fill up. Standard events should be booked at least 2 weeks in advance, and custom events usually require 4 weeks notice or more. We can occasionally fit in rush jobs for an additional fee.