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Enthusiasts of fictional crime, would-be Sherlock Holmes and fans of quiz-based team activities now have a new game in town to challenge their puzzle-solving abilities. HintHunt, the hugely popular international ‘Whodunnit’-style pastime, has just landed in Dubai’s Times Square Center and if its popularity in other countries is anything to go by, it looks set to take the city by storm.

HintHunt is billed as an escape game. Without giving too much away, it involves teams of three to five people who are given exactly one hour to escape from a locked room, which is decorated in the style of a film noir’s detective office. A crime scene outline of a body drawn on the floor marks the place where detective James Murdockmet his untimely demise and a clock in the corner starts the countdown from 60 minutes. Players escape by completing a number of clues to solve the murder of the detective, working together as a group to help establish who the culprit is and thereby earn their freedom.

Those who have participated in the game report that it is a hugely entertaining affair, with the allocated hour flying quickly by as the desire to solve all the clues reaches a fever pitch. What starts off as a leisurely pursuit characterized by team members strolling around the room casually looking for the answers soon descends into frenetic activity, with much rushing around as the minutes tick down ever closer to zero. Approximately half of all teams successfully complete the puzzle.

HintHunt has been a massive hit abroad and a top attraction on TripAdvisor . It is the number three listed attraction in London and the number one in Paris, polling a far higher satisfaction rating than the two cities’ traditional sights and pastimes. It has also proved a big hit in Cape Town and its native Hungary. Ahmad Al Saheb, co-founder of HintHunt Dubai, says that bringing it to the emirate was an easy decision and explained the appeal of the game.

“HintHunt is for thrill seekers, for people who enjoy challenges and problem-solving. At the same time, it’s a great way to get your mind off the day-to-day stresses and do something that is different with friends and family allowing quality time, especially in a time characterized by game consoles, tablets and mobiles, which don’t offer much real interaction with others,” he said.

Given the nature of the game, HintHunt has been used by companies for their team-building activities. Packed full of creative and problem-solving challenges, the game is a fresh and fun choice for corporate entertainment. So not only has Dubai found a new and exciting way for friends and families to spend some fun time together, it is now home to a new team-building activity for companies across the UAE.