Our team of three intrepid amateur detectives was instructed to rendezvous virtually with someone who could give us the lowdown on a drugs gang that had infiltrated a coffee company to smuggle cocaine into Britain. But before our contact would pass on the info we had to prove our arrival at the designated spot near Blackfriars by answering a question on the area, which is when we almost failed our first task. Luckily, Hawkeye Haydn found what we had to find and messages soon began arriving on our phones about dodgy characters who may be involved in the skulduggery. The Street Hunt Game had begun, writes Michael Holland.
Following the online map, we were told to make our way to the next assignation in an alleyway way just off Fleet Street. Once there we answered a question and were given more knowledge about those who could be part of the gang. There had also been a recent murder that threw up more clues to who the bad guys were. This was dangerous work and we needed to think about our safety.
With Nina upgraded to Security and generally watching our backs from attack(that we convinced her would come at any time), and seeking out clues and answers, the hunt continued, moving from place to place around the City, while myself and Haydn concentrated on the technical side of things, locating contacts and deciphering the messages to make our final summing up of the event.
Getting lost in the alleys and hidden courtyards of this historic part of London was expected but with the map and three minds working on the same goal, it was easy to get back on track.
There were arguments about the questions with each wrong answer losing the team points, and disagreements about which turning to take, but all this added to the fun and to the joy and excitement felt when a location was found, a contact made and a question answered correctly.
There are no downsides to the Game, but on the upside there is exercise, fresh air, walking down streets that Dickens once walked, Samuel Pepys visited, and Dr Johnson lived in. You will find yourself outside a pub that survived the Great Fire of London, and another from the 17th century. You will discover historic facts about buildings, people, and churches, and if you play the game right, you will even see a boss-eyed statue. And at £15pp that is a lot of bang for your buck.
StreetHunt Games was founded by Herne Hill residents Tony and Annaliza Sturge, who love seeking out unique experiences, with Nick (Tony’s brother), turning the concept into reality with his programming background and tech startup know-how. What they have produced is something that produces a lot of laughs, a lot of hidden history, and a bringing together of family and friends working as a team.
At the end of our Street Hunt, when we had to summarise all the data we had gleaned from the contacts, we realised that we should have taken more notice of the info contained in the messages we were sent, but after submitting who we thought were the bad guys we were very pleased to be awarded a Bronze Award. It’s not the winning, they say, but the taking part that counts, and in this case, it is definitely true.
And now we are motivated to wait for Will Breaker, a new game coming soon with a British Museum start: Uncle has left his secrets and estate to you, subject to a unique challenge. Can you rendezvous with his agents and decode his puzzles before the trail goes cold?
Or perhaps we will sign up again in order to go for gold and catch all the Colombian drug gang.
The activity costs £15pp and takes around two hours with individual team sizes of two to five.
Book tickets at www.streethuntgames.com.