Variety of puzzles 1.5/5 Originality of puzzles 1/5
Pre-game atmosphere 1/5 Difficulty 2/5
Overview – To be honest, this is more of a guided walk with confusing directions than a treasure hunt. If you’re looking for a slightly different walking route then I’d recommend it, but as an activity by itself it could really do with a bit more to it.
From the bustling market to the quaint streets of Primrose Hill, discover a hidden side to Camden. Explore vibrant street art, elaborate North London architecture and the industrial Camden Lock. Uncover a Banksy and street art from prominent street artists.
This 18 clue hunt will challenge the sharpest of minds with a varied and diverse series of cryptic challenges sent via SMS messages. Recharge at a local handpicked pub midway for a refreshing beverage.
Team – Ster, Bobbie
Full disclosure – We were invited to play this game free of charge, though we’ve tried not to let this influence our opinion of the experience.
The game is all played via text message, which allows for a lot of flexibility when playing. Once you’ve received the instructions, you can start whenever you are ready, be that the same day or several weeks later.
The format is a little impersonal as the only contact that you receive is a series automated messages but you do get a final message that includes your time and the amount of penalties that the team incurred.
The experience starts off quite simply with some observational questions and directions that lead down a nearby street and we had fun searching the surrounding buildings for the answers and looking for the next step of the game while weaving amongst the crowds of shoppers. Unfortunately, that was everything that this game consisted of, a lot of counting things and looking at what was beside something else, and by clue 18 we really weren’t invested anymore.
An incorrect answer earns an automatic 10 minute penalty, which felt pretty steep considering that any typo also counted as an incorrect answer. The main issue that we had though, was the directions. The clues are all cryptic, which would have been fine if there was any way of clarifying directions, but there wasn’t. A clue request only gave advice for the observational puzzle, not how to get there! This meant that if one part of the directions wasn’t understood, there was absolutely no way to get back on track.
We walked in and out of Camden Market repeatedly trying to make sense of one particular set of instructions just racking up penalties because we weren’t sure where we were supposed to be. While this was a case of the team not working out the clue, the fact that there was no way to ask for help was incredibly frustrating. The only way that we found to solve the issue was to request a clue an then use the extra information to work out where we should have ended up based on what we should have been able to see.
Overall, it was a long walk rather than a treasure hunt and the puzzles just weren’t engaging enough to make the experience very interesting. A nice idea but it needs a bit more depth to it really.