Many people are not clear on the difference between a treasure hunt and a scavenger hunt, so I will try to describe the difference as clearly as possible.
A scavenger hunt is a list-based game in which participants, either as individuals or as teams, must accomplish as many tasks as possible in a certain amount of time. Each task is usually worth a number of points. The person or team with the most points wins. Sometimes bonus points are awarded for creative solutions to certain tasks.
In a traditional scavenger hunt, the list of tasks is comprised of objects to be collected. For example, collect a coffee bean or collect an acorn. In more modern versions of scavenger hunts, other tasks are often included such as answering questions about certain landmarks within the scavenger hunt area or taking photos.
Scavenger hunts are usually done live and in person, however online scavenger hunts also exist. Participants must search the web to find the answers to questions that can only be answered by visiting certain web pages.
Recent technological developments such as the ease of developing smartphone apps have resulted in an increasing number of technology-based scavenger hunts, such as the smartphone hunt offered by us here at Scavenger Hunt Anywhere.
A treasure hunt is a sequential series of tasks that must be completed in a specific order. Participants can be individuals or teams. The goal is to complete the tasks in order as quickly as possible and faster than the other competitors. Usually the activity means following a specific route.
At various checkpoints along the way, participants must collect a specific piece of information that leads them to the next checkpoint and the next and the next, and so on. Often these pieces of information are cryptic and presented in the form of puzzles that have to be solved so that participants may proceed to the next location.
Like scavenger hunts, treasure hunts can be done in person or online.
Both scavenger hunts and treasure hunts are popular with children and adults alike. They are games that, for the most part, people can play on an equal footing.