Unlock End Game: The evolution of armchair treasure hunts to now and an alternate reality game

end game - ancient truth and the calling

Intervirals Spotlight: The Unlocked Series
It’s been 35 years since Kit Williams wrote Masquerade, a children’s book with hidden clues that lead to a golden amulet in the shape of a hare and inspired the armchair treasure hunt genre – where clues hidden in a story hint at the real world location of buried treasure.

So what would an armchair treasure hunt look like today?

Welcome to End Game – part alternate reality game, part armchair treasure hunt with an even bigger prize pool on offer. There’s also much, much more planned for the End Game universe that will be expanded on in future years – three books in the End Game: The Calling trilogy, short stories, along with a mobile app in development with Niantic Labs (the creators of Ingress) and potential movies courtesy of a partnership with Twentieth Century Fox.

The most important thing to realise is the overall End Game universe is made of two parts –
End Game: Ancient Truth (the alternate reality game) and End Game: The Calling (the arm chair treasure hunt in the form of a novel and a online treasure hunt).

What is End Game: Ancient Truth?end game - ancient lines
It’s an alternate reality game, a type of storytelling which occurs in real time across many communication platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, sponsored websites – and these platforms interact with the real world, to make the story appear as if it were real.

Ancient Truth is a prequel of the End Game universe, which follows Stella who has a PhD in Ancient Societies. She knows there are twelve ancient societies with different secret pasts and she blogs six days a week, putting up challenges for players to solve.

It’s also worthwhile to note, Niantic Labs are behind this part of the End Game universe and who are in the middle of creating a mobile app for End Game too. The mobile app – very similar to Ingress – is where a person can join one of the twelve ancient societies, then when using the app see nearby players and form allies or attack enemies. The goal of the mobile app is for players to battle and claim key hot spots to gain resources with the app being released sometime in January 2015 for beta testing.

Where’s Stella’s blog?
Here’s the starting point for End Game: Ancient Truth – http://www.ancientsocieties.com/

What about End Game: The Calling? Or the $500,000 key? 
Come back tomorrow for Part Two of Intervirals’ discussion into End Game. 😉

– Essa


Room Escape Reviews
This week’s reviews of room escape outlets from around the world.

Salt Lake City, UT, USA: Review of Mystery Escape Room –

Turkey: Review of Escape Planet –

Ottawa, ON, Canada: Review of Escape Manor –

Miami Beach, FL, USA: Review of Escape the Quest – Miami Beach

Sydney, Australia: Review of Mission Escape Games –

Part of The Unlocked Series @ Intervirals.


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3 thoughts on “Unlock End Game: The evolution of armchair treasure hunts to now and an alternate reality game

  1. […] discussion into End Game: part alternate reality game, part armchair treasure hunt. Or check out yesterday’s Part One blog to see what we’re talking about from the […]

  2. Sandor L January 14, 2015 at 1:00 pm Reply

    I really enjoyed playing Ingress for a long time. But having only two factions led to constant battles at the portals. Owners changing multiple times daily. It will be a nightmare to try to hold onto anything for long with 12 factions in the new game. I hope that puzzles or riddles will be involved in the fight though 🙂

  3. Essa January 14, 2015 at 8:44 pm Reply

    I played a bit of Ingress last year and it was fascinating to see the large portals in particular hotspots on my mobile screen. Great design in the user interface. However it was tough to hold onto large portals for more than half an hour. It’ll be interesting to see how the mobile app works when it comes out!

    Essa 🙂

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