Tag Archives: treasure hunt

Rules of the Game, the third and final book of the End Game franchise


It seems like the creators of End Game have changed the rules around for the third book.

For a quick catch up, the End Game novels follows twelve players descended from ancient blood lines who need to find three special keys to save the world. Inside the novels, there’s puzzles which
lead to an online treasure hunt.

Interested in what happened before? Here’s our summary of Book 1: The Calling and also the
Book 2: Sky Key puzzle hunt.

In book two, Sky Key – players needed to discover the starting point of the game. A few pages in, an image of a notepad with a scrambled website address had to be decoded.

No hints were given to decode the image either – creating a stumbling block for all players.

Now with the release of the new End Game novel, Rules of the Game – the first image inside shows clearly where to start:


From there, turn the wheel to register and start work on the first puzzle – which appears to accept a code word or phrase.

Here’s what else you might want to know:

When did it start?
January 9th 2017

What are the prizes?
The Grand Prize is $250, 000 USD in cash to be given to the first person to solve all the puzzles in the third novel, Rules of the Game.

In addition, the first twelve people to solve all puzzles will get an End Game book set – featuring all the books and novellas signed by the author.

When does the competition end?
Whichever comes first: July 10th, 2017 or when all puzzles have been solved and a winner of the Grand Prize is declared.

Did anyone win the $100,000 USD Sky Key prize (from Book 2)?
No – if the prize from book two, Sky Key was won by a player there would be press and media about it.

Help! Are there any hints?
Keep an eye on this page, to see if a Hints section is made available after a while. When checking the same section of the website for Sky Key, there’s a Hint section available – indicating which puzzles are relevant to each online stage of the puzzle hunt.

– Essa 🙂



Go Somewhere Secret, find the real life treasure map and locate hidden treasure

If you can get to the end of the escape game at Somewhere Secret – that’s where the next adventure starts. By solving all the puzzles as part of the game, it leads to a treasure chest in the room and inside lies a real life treasure map. The buried treasure isn’t cash, it’s located somewhere in Colorado – USA and nobody has yet found the treasure. Being curious about the combination of a escape game and a treasure hunt, Intervirals asked the team behind Somewhere Secret some questions.

Q. Somewhere Secret sounds like the beginning of a great adventure – is there a story behind the business name?
When we were thinking of a business name, we imagined someone walking down an alley and seeing something written on an old door, something that would make them want to go inside, a name that would catch the most curious folks and pull them in. At first we don’t want people to know exactly what they are doing or where they are going, but we want them to feel the pull of a mystery.

Q. You describe Somewhere Secret as a cross between a escape game and a treasure hunt – why did you decide to combine the two? Was there an experience which had a impact on you?
We’ve played a few escape games and they feel so fun for an hour, but also rather limited in that they didn’t feel very believable, they felt like artificial places with loose stories that end the moment the game is done. We wanted to make something that feel like a true intrigue – something that extends beyond the physical escape game and out into the real world. We’ve had many magical adventures in our lives, and we really want to share that feeling of being a part of something epic in real life. The escape room is only a portion of what we want to create. Our mission is to fill everyone with wonderment, magic, and adventure.

Q. If a team solves all the puzzles – is the treasure chest within the escape room? Or do people need to talk to the reception desk about it?
At this moment the map is sitting, sealed with wax, inside a rusty chest in the room. If a team unlocks the chest, they will walk out holding the document. We also have extra copies in case a group of strangers ends up wanting respective maps.

Q. Where does the treasure map lead to?
Where the map leads is a mystery of course, but it sends folks on an adventure. If they are able to solve the treasure hunt they uncover a relic, which they can bring back to Somewhere Secret in exchange for the treasure – which is non monetary, but really amazing.

Q. What if someone randomly stumbles across the hidden treasure?
We hid a specially marked relic instead of bundles of cash or gold, because we didn’t want the money to get soggy, or for a random stranger to stumble upon it. We also would like to know when the treasure is found so we can update our followers. There are several treasures in fact, so once one is found, the next players will be playing for a chance at a new map. I would be very surprised if a random person found the relic. Only people that have played the original game may claim the treasure at the end.

Q. Will the treasure remain hidden for as long as it takes for someone to find it?
Yes the treasure shall remain in its hiding place until it is uncovered.

Q. Any last bits of information you would like to share?
Though our game is very closely resembles an escape room, we often don’t describe it to people as such (we don’t lock anyone in and the goal is not escape). Many people in our region of the world still have no idea what an escape room is, so often our clients will find a mysterious note hidden in a library book that will tell them to find somewhere secret – and should they choose to follow that first clue, they are off on a magic adventure. It is more of a hunt than an escape.

Somewhere Secretsomewheresecret.com

Earth Key found, the game plays on with EndGame: Sky Key starting October 20th

Went to the local bookstore looking for another book and walked out instead with a copy of Sky Key – the second novel in the EndGame series.

In the EndGame novels, there are twelve characters each representing a different line of people chosen to play a game to save the entire human race and earth. Along with the main story there are puzzles printed within the novel which lead into an online treasure hunt. The first person to solve all the puzzles wins a large cash prize. To catch up on Intervirals’ writeup of the first EndGame novel – click here.

What happened with EndGame: The Calling (or the first novel)?
Last week the EndGame authors travelled to Caesars Palace in Las Vegas to award astrophysicist Froylan Moreno with the $500,000 cash prize. Here’s an article on Moreno winning the prize but it’s interesting to see that Masquerade by Kit Williams was an inspiration for one of the EndGame authors.

But there’s another novel?
Yes! Just released on October 6th, Sky Key is the next novel in the series and has been released by HarperCollins.

What’s October 20th then?
That’s the official date when the EndGame: Sky Key online treasure hunt begins, which means there’s six days to finish reading the second novel and get a head start on cracking those puzzles.

Can I win a million dollars this time?
Uh, unfortunately not – the prize pool seems to have dwindled since last time. While reports last year pointed to an increased prize pool – $1 million for the second novel and $1.5 million for the third novel – it doesn’t look to be true. In the terms and conditions of the Sky Key novel, there’s a $250,000 prize pool with the winner only receiving $100,000 and subsequent runner ups getting smaller cash prizes.

How do I start the Sky Key online treasure hunt?
Good question. Still trying to figure that one out too.

On page four there’s an image of a lined notebook with an encrypted string of characters.

Essa 🙂

Save humanity and it’s last chance of survival in the Last Garden and run with werewolves in Spain

reg last garden
Real Escape Game in Singapore and Spain
One of the largest gardens in Asia are opening their doors to host a massive treasure hunt with 101 hectares of playing space available.

Forget the four plaster walls that usually make up the boundaries of most escape games and imagine playing a game with the sky as your ceiling, real trees as the walls and the sun shining down on your back.

Last Garden: Save Nature, Save Humanity is the next chapter of Real Escape Game Singapore who have partnered up with Vivid Creations. The story sets itself 50 years in the future (or 2065) where the Gardens by the Bay attraction in Singapore is powering the sustainability of the entire country. There’s a problem though – the power source behind all this sustainability, a mystery orb is losing power at an alarming rate and it’s up to you, treasure hunters – to find out what’s happening.

If you find the orb within the expansive gardens, you’ll be able to re-power it, save the last garden that remains on earth – plus give humanity another chance of survival!

The purporse of the event is to also enjoy the scenery of the Gardens by the Bay attraction and as a bonus, there is no time limit on the game. If you can’t solve the puzzle, you can come back the next day and try again.

Date: Friday 13th February to Sunday 22nd February 2015
Price: Early bird tickets – $27 SGD, Couple tickets – $50 SGD, Online tickets – $33 SGD,
At the door tickets – $35 SGD
Location: Gardens by the Bay, Singapore
Website: http://lastgarden.peatix.com/


Furthermore Real Escape Game Spain is setting up it’s first event for this weekend – Saturday February 7th – in Barcelona, Spain by bringing along their Escape from the Werewolf Village gamreg last werewolvese. Find out what’s happening to the village and the people who are being attacked by werewolves at night! If you manage to escape the village, you’ll win a ticket to another Real Escape Game event being held in Spain.

Escape From The Werewolf Village x REG España
Date: Saturday 7th February 2015
Price: Early bird tickets – 11, Group of six people – 54
Location: Kaburi, Passeig de Sant Joan 11, 08010 Barcelona, Spain
Website: http://www.realescapegame.es/portfolio_page/kaburi-barcelona-7-de-feb/

– Essa 🙂

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.

Unlock Masquerade: The original armchair treasure hunt that started in a children’s book – lives again


Intervirals Spotlight: The Unlocked Series
It was a children’s book designed to inspire the imagination of kids everywhere with its paintings and also promised an exciting real world treasure hunt for all ages – to find a real amulet buried within the geographical limits of England.

Written by Kit Williams in 1979, Masquerade was the story of how Jack Hare was delivering a treasure that the Moon had sent to her lover, the Sun. However when Jack finally reaches the Sun, he discovers he has lost the treasure and here is where the reader takes part. The reader would need to look at the paintings throughout the book and solve the clues that would hint at a particular location in England. Upon arriving at the location, the first person there would be able to dig up and unlock the buried treasure – a golden hare amulet with jewels, estimated to be worth $30,000. The treasure was sealed away in a ceramic structure as to prevent discovery by people walking over the amulet’s location with metal detectors in hand.

‘The idea was to bury something in the cold wet earth. It was the romance of it, that whatever people were doing, that jewel was waiting for them.” – Kit Williams, Daily Mail UK.

masqueradeEventually in 1982, the riddle to the puzzles in the book was solved by two teachers who then had to proceed to Ampthill Park on either the Spring equinox or Autumn equinox. A equinox occurs about twice a year and means the day is roughly split in equal – there are about twelve daylight hours and twelve night-time hours.

As instructed by the riddle, they then had to find a statue within the park and when noon struck, they had to dig into the ground where the statue’s shadow touched the ground. The two teachers started digging into the ground, didn’t discover anything and walked away. The buried treasure actually laid undiscovered in the dirt they had dug up and was found by someone else.

Fast forward to 2009, Australian Kate Mulvany contacted the author Kit Williams to discuss creating a stage adaptation of Masquerade due to her love of the book while she was only a child in hospitial undergoing treatment for cancer. He gave permission saying she could create the play but only if she added her own childhood story to it as well.

As a result, the play starts with a mother reading Masquerade to her child in hospital but Jack Hare seems to run into his own problems too, causing a collision between both worlds.

Masquerade (the stage adapation/play) runs for 120 minutes from the 7th to 8th of January 2015 (previews) and regularly from the 9th to 17th January 2015, at the Drama Theatre in the Sydney Opera House, Australia.

Masquerade: The Stage Adaptation Ticket Information –

Free Artist Talk by Kate Mulvany and other artists – 17th January 2015 –  http://www.sydneyfestival.org.au/2015/artist-talk-performance-and-the-personal

Source: Daily Mail UK – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2121867/Its-Masquerades-hare-runs-goes-public-display-time.html#ixzz3Nf7JGwao

Has anyone read Masquerade? Or has another book inspired you to go on an adventure? Leave a comment below.

– Essa


P.S. Also, a warm welcome to Escape Game France who has a list of locations where room escapes can be played in France – http://www.escapegamefrance.fr/escape-game-france/

Part of The Unlocked Series @ Intervirals.

The Unlocked Series: Pottermore’s Twelve New Stories for Christmas & have a Merry Christmas!


Intervirals Spotlight
While everyone is busy getting ready and settling in for the upcoming end of year Christmas and New Year break, Intervirals will still continue posting the Spotlight blog but the weekly discounts blog may take a two week break. There’s still heaps of topics to talk about and not enough time to talk about them all before the end of the year, so this week is the start of – The Unlocked Series. From December 2014 to around February 2015, there will be a range of articles on magic, robots, secret codes to be broken, at least three probable buried treasure hunts, one above ground scavenger hunt, dinosaurs and a mention of alternate reality games somewhere inbetween. Enjoy the first article below.

pottermore1When I first heard about the website Pottermore, an interactive website which continues to expand the Harry Potter universe with new background information from JK Rowling – I knew I had to register for it.

In 2011, everyone who wanted to get early registration had to complete the “Magical Quill” challenge, with a new clue released each day for a week. If you could solve the clue, then find the magical quill (or feather) on a in-game website in time you were allowed to register. What stuck out at the time was the fact only one million people in the world were allowed to register early for Pottermore but I managed to find a quill lurking on a website one morning during that week.


Right now, Pottermore is having their Twelve New Stories for Christmas event which is running from December 12th to 23rd. Each day a new riddle is posted on the Pottermore Facebook page along with a new website location that exists on Pottermore. Click on the website location provided, solve the riddle then click around the page to unlock a new Pottermore moment, an interactive webpage that shows a particular scene from one of the seven Harry Potter novels. Learn a whole lot more about Snape, the Weasley’s Joke Shop, attend Professor Slughorn’s Christmas party (he only invites the top students along) and pick up new badges such as Discoverer and Practical Potion Maker.

Pottermore’s Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pottermore


P.S.  Quick welcome to two new room escape bloggers, Escape Room Sydney – run by Scott who writes reviews of room escape games he has played in Sydney and also Escape Games Memes Tumblr – who has established a tumblr page filling up with brilliant memes based on room escapes. Currently don’t know who runs this but get in contact and let us know!

P.P.S. Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas Day and Boxing Day and enjoy your ham, turkey, chicken, turducken, vegetarian or other dinner feasts that await. Keep an eye out for Santa and remember, the raindeer only eat carrots (and maybe some christmas pudding too).

Any thoughts or comments are welcomed! Plus the forums are opened 24/7 during the Christmas season (including Christmas Day and Boxing Day this year). 🙂

– Essa


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

Toronto, ON, Canada: Review of Trapped in a Room with a Zombie Toronto –

China: Review of Chuansongmen Escape Room –

Lubbock, TX, USA: Review of Trapped! Escape the Room Lubbock –

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