As we move deeper and deeper into fall and approach the end of the year, the demand for team building activities really shifts into high gear. This year there is an extra boost due to the lifting of pandemic restrictions. More and more workers are returning to the office, which means that the need for activities that rebuild teamwork and social interactions between colleagues is greater than ever.
Because of this, Invite Japan has developed a brand new dispatch game, which was released in September. Suitcase Mystery 2 continues the tradition of the Suitcase Mystery series–a group of exciting puzzles, all contained with one transportable box–while offering a brand new adventure and theme for players.
So in this post we’ll be explaining the features of this new dispatch game, and what you can expect when you play it on your team, through the experience of our demo-players.
From confusion to communication
During the development of Suitcase Mystery 2, we had a group of five players demo-play the game. The players were from our collaborators at Fearless, an improvisation acting company.
The demo took place in our office, with the windows and doors open. On the table we placed one suitcase for the group. The simplicity of the game is the same as the last version–players are given a suitcase and minimal directions. Trying to figure out how to proceed with such scant information is what makes this game so interesting.
The time limit is 60 minutes. Players must look around for clues, signs, and scraps of information, and communicate together to proceed. One thing that is different in this version is that there are a number of puzzles that require the use of a smartphone. From what we learned by watching the demo players, it makes sense to have one player designated as the “smartphone user” for the whole team.
Each team member has a chance to shine
In all, there are seven puzzles total in Suitcase Mystery 2. Seems like not so much, right? However, each puzzle is composed of a number of different elements, and none of the puzzles are the same. As soon as players clear one puzzle, new information appears for the next ones. Also, each puzzle tests different skills. This makes it hard for one member to do all the work, and forces team members to work together to succeed. It’s part of the secret to Suitcase Mystery’s lasting popularity with our clients.
It was great to see the different roles that this game brought out in the demo players. There was a player who spurred on the rest of the group, a player who checked the information to make sure nothing had been missed, a player who took note, a player who was in charge of using hints, and so on. There were also players who were good at logic, and players who were good at language, players who could see the bird’s-eye-view of the game, and players who were really good at focusing in and observing detailed information. The game tested and brought out whatever each player was good at, and let their individual skills shine with the rest of the team. The demo-players discovered that it was their team as a whole that was the MVP, not just one individual player only.
No better way to activate a sense of team unity
As the demo players worked together more and more, they got better at dividing up roles and combining their skills together as one. But there was also a visceral sense of team unity that developed. They cheered for each other, they shouted words of encouragement and advice, and they all celebrated (loudly) whenever they finished a puzzle.
This doesn’t usually happen in the office. Sure, teams work together and support each other all the time, but there isn’t really a chance to feel it in this same way–where there is a connection between emotions and the body. So Suitcase Mystery 2 can create this new space where teams can really celebrate each other together in an extraordinary way.
As teams return back to the office, there will be a need for this kind of team unity, and activities that allow teams to experience these kinds of sensations together and face-to-face. Plus, even after the game is over, players will continue to talk about it and use it as a formative experience for further bonding.
Be amazed at the mysterious objects you’ll find
Even though the game has only seven puzzles. However, there is a seemingly endless array of items and objects that pop out of that box at players. The creativity and originality behind these objects and how they are used in the game is something that we take a lot of pride in. And we love seeing the excited faces of players as they encounter these strange items on their journey.
Our demo players had some of the best reactions to these items that we’ve seen (they are improv actors after all). For each item that they found there was a genuine sense of wonder.
Because of the number of items, it might be good to prepare a room that has enough floor space for all the teams to be able to spread out. Chairs are also not really necessary, and if possible it’s better for team members to stand and be able to watch each other as they work.
Choose your own difficulty level with our unique hint system
Suitcase Mystery 2 uses a brand new hint system to our games. For other activities we have used online-based hints as well, but this game uses a special chat function to give players hints. It’s a really cool system, and it allows teams to move forward easily when they feel stuck or don’t have enough time.
Of course, teams are free to come up with their own rules for hints. You could prohibit them altogether in order to have a true competition, or you could add penalties for using hints. Nevertheless, having the hint system there allows teams to decide fro themselves how fast they want to go, and what level of difficulty they want to face.
Make any space your own team building venue
One of the best features of Suitcase Mystery 2 is that it can go anywhere. The game can travel to your office, to a conference hall, hotel, and any other place you like. This gives you a lot of ability to control the environment of the game. You can play music in the background, or offer prizes to the winners to spur competition.
Whatever place or way to spice up the game you decide on, your event will be 100% original and for-your-team only.
We hope this guide has been helpful in letting you know what to expect from Suitcase Mystery 2. This has been a strange year full of remote work and news about the pandemic. And while we can’t control the past and what the past year was like, we can choose to accept where it has left us and move on from there. Suitcase Mystery 2 is a great chance to move on together as a team, through having fun, experiencing team unity, and restrengthening those human relationships that are so vitally important, especially now.
Invite Japan has lots of different programs to meet your team building needs, including online and outdoor team building activities. Contact us for more information!