The Arctic Survival Escape

Teambuilding is a lot more challenging when everyone is working remotely, but it is still necessary as it helps to streamline communications and increase productivity among employees. This virtual teambuilding activity from smallWORLD Experience allows participants to achieve those objectives, and have some fun at the same time.

Macau-based event organiser smallWORLD Experience has recently unveiled a range of virtual teambuilding experiences – one of which is the Arctic Survival Escape – to help companies bring remote teams together during this Covid-19 pandemic.

Aims of their teambuilding activities include improving communications, promoting interaction, boosting morale, and helping to motivate employees without needing them to leave the safety of their homes.

The Arctic Survival Escape is hosted via video conference, with smallWORLD Experience staff facilitating the event.

The engaging game has been designed to ensure participants put their heads together and complete a series of cryptic tasks, riddles and puzzles. As the name suggests, teams are “lost” in the Arctic, and they need to put their creative problem-solving skills together to enable their rescue.

The game features three stages, and lasts from around 90 to 120 minutes. It’s suitable for groups ranging from 10 to 200 persons, where larger corporate groups can be split into multiple teams.

MICE application
This was my first virtual teambuilding activity, and I met my teammates for the first time online. There were four of us, including a corporate travel agent from Hong Kong, and two event suppliers based in Singapore.

After a brief introduction from the facilitator, we got to introduce ourselves and pick a captain in our own breakout room. We then had to scan a QR code to kickstart the game. All sorts of challenges awaited us, and we had to put our heads together to solve them within a stipulated time frame.

For instance, the first scene led us to a hut, where we had to look towards the bookshelf for a clue. Based on objects on the shelf, we had to uncover the answer from a series of anagrams. The team captain was then in charge of typing, and submitting our answers.

We also had to identify tourism sites in Peru, as well as types of knots, and even scanned a barcode to find one of our require answers. Unfortunately, my team members and I were stuck at one challenge that tested our mathematical abilities. Thankfully, the facilitator stepped in to offer instant help.

In the end, we needed to crack a code based on numbers we came across throughout the entire activity, so it is important to jot down numbers as they appear during the game. We however, realised that we were missing one digit, and had to request help from the facilitator which cost us 100 points so that we could proceed to the next stage.

Note that once you clear a scenario, you will not be able to go backwards, so it is advisable to take a screenshot if required so you’ll be able to refer to previous clues.

Joining the activity was a breeze, as I logged in five minutes before the event start time. We were all held in a virtual waiting room until everyone joined, so it’s important that participants are all on time.

All participants require the use of a tablet/mobile device, as well as a laptop/computer. The smartphone was primarily used to play the game, while the laptop was where you could consult and converse virtually with your teammates.

I seldom play games online, and it took me a longer time to warm up and familiarise myself with how the game worked, so I thought that it would have been helpful to have a short demonstration prior to the activity so participants like me would know what to expect.

There were also no screen-sharing abilities, which made it difficult to see what my teammates and I were working on, and whether we were at the same page.

Still, I enjoyed myself as the activity is an interesting way to teambuilding during the pandemic, and having some form of social interaction during this period was very much welcome.


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