[GIFTED] While lockdown is easing and we can now travel for walks and adventures, we are still keeping local. I have seen the pictures of queues on some of the main hiking routes. So to avoid any more queuing, we have opted to carry on exploring our local area. Thankfully, Manchester has a lot to offer. When Treasure Hunt Manchester got in touch, just before lockdown, I was keen to have a go. A mobile based game with clues to discover hidden gems in the city. As soon as we could spend more time on our adventures, I booked my session and off we went into town to see the city as cunning pirates.
A new way to discover Manchester
While I know Manchester pretty darn well, I wouldn’t say that I know everything about it. Despite spending a lot of my time wandering the main streets, back streets and hidden avenues, I am still discovering things. I’m always up for trying new things and seeing my city from the eyes of other people. When I was offered the chance to try Treasure Hunt Manchester, I was excited to see what I would find.
Prepped with our phones, a powerbank and a couple of snacks to fule our adventure, we headed out one Saturday morning. It turns out that while lockdown is still lingering, you can really enjoy a walk around the city with little or no interruption of people or car traffic. Which, I think, made my first try at the treasure hunt all the better.
Unlike a lot of thinkgs like this, you don’t have to download yet another app to your phone. The game works through a link, which is emailed to you in advance. Share the link with your fellow Treasure Hunters and arrange to meet at the starting point. With me and Jit being together I simply emailed him the link so we could choose our roles in the game. Jit became our trusted Navigator, I would read everything out and Captain Bess provided maps and clues.
Everything works thorough the provided link and it feels like you are having a text message exchange with a friend. I thought this was a great way to create the game.
So that I don’t ruin the game for you when you’re gicing it a try, I have only taken photos of other things we discovered along the way. All clues, answeres and locations are secret and I promised Captain Bess that it would stay that way. OK, so I didn’t, but it would be rubbish if you knew where you were going.
I was really pleased that we didn’t start the walk in a conventional tourist spot. I feel some walks take the typical points of interest and share them in order to target visitors into the city. Treasure Hunt Manchester began somewhere less likely, I had a feeling it was going to be a journey of discovery!
Meeting Captain Bess
Captain Bess is our fearless friend on the other end of the messages. She welcomes you to the game, shares the maps and clues and gives you a hint when you need it. She is also great at offering some extra snippets to fill in the gaps around your discovery. As a total fact geek, I loved that about it.
It is great because you can’t move on to the next location before you have cracked the clue and found the answer. This makes it a perfect adventure because you really have to think and look carefully around where you are. You follow the map to the next place and tap to receive the next clue.
With 19 clues in the whole Treasure Hunt Manchester game, you will get plenty of fun from it and a good hour and a half or so adventure around the city.
The map took us around the lesser walked streets, which I like to walk. It is a great way to see the city from a different angle and throws you off any ideas of where you might be heading next. As any adult treasure hunter will know, you play a little game to see if you can guess the next step. In case you were wondering, we only managed one!
For big and small kids!
The clues and items to hunt out are not always as easy as you would think. This makes it a great game for both adults and kids alike. I think it would work as a brilliant way to enjoy time in Manchester as a family – a welcome break from Market Street at the very least! Cocky as we were, we didn’t get all the answers right and did resort to the clues once or twice.
Finding gems in familiar places
If, like me, you enjoy finding gems in familiar places, you will enjoy this. Despite knowing some of the areas really well (and perhaps talking about them on this blog!) I didn’t know so many of the facts I found. I think the fact that Treasure Hunt Manchester has managed to find me new things, is testimony to their excellent research skills. Even before we had finished, I checked to see which other cities they cover. I think Liverpool might be next on the list. Another city I know well and would love to see from through new eyes.
Down on the Bridgewater Canal
With three canals in Manchester, no treasure hunt would be complete without including some part of the inland waterways. Following our clues and excellent snippets of treasure map, shared with us by Captain Bess, we headed down onto the Bridgewater Canal into Castlefield. An ever changing space, it was interesting as it was to see the light fading with the new highrise flats being built along the water’s edge.
A heavily industrial and historical part of the city, it was exciting to discover some new things about the area and to take some photos from different angles too.
Treasure Hunt Manchester
Our Treasure Hunt Manchester ended with us finding the final clue. We managed it in just over one hour and got seven out of the eleven clues right. (one or two from us being a bit over enthusiasit at the start) We really enjoyed wandering the city and following the map and clues. We discovered new things about Manchester, topped up our facts and generally enjoyed the walk. To mark the occasion, we got a little certificate in the form of the Captain’s Log sharing our stats. A nice little reminder of the day.
I think that Treasure Hunt Manchester is a fantastic way to explore the city, get outside for a bit and to also learn something. Far better than sititng in front of the TV or waiting around to go into shops. Seeing as it is great for all the family too, you’re onto a winner.
The not so good
There was very little that I didn’t think was great about the game, but I did think that the additional price for each team member was a bit much. It is £11.99 per person. While I understand the amount of work which goes into creating these things and the hosting, I do think that it is a bit dear – especially if you get a taste for them and want to do them in a couple of cities. The only advantage I could see of the additional name was that they get added to the Captain’s Log.
I think it would be fun if you could compete as teams. I would definitely invest in £11.99 for each team. You could delay the start of the second team and compete to see who gets the most right. For the two of us though, I think I would only purchase one person next time when I am paying.
The great stuff
The price bit out of the way, all in all, I had an excellent time and would highly recommend having a go at the Treasure Hunt Manchester. It was certainly something different to do at the weekend (or school holidays if you have young ones), we were out in the fresh air, having fun and learning about our city. I am not sure I think think of many things more fun than all those mixed together. Oh yeah, and you don’t need to fill your phone memory with another app, yet get that digital interaction anyway.
I have already been checking out which other cities the Treasure Hunt group cover and as soon as we can travel by train again, we’re off for another adventure. So far I am planning Liverpool, York and Birmingham so far.
They also offer gift vouchers, so if you’re looking for a present for the person who has everything or someone who values experiences over things, I reckon this could be spot on!