Combine augmented reality (AR) with the worldwide hobby of geocaching and add the possibility of winning real cash prizes and you’ll get recently announced AR mobile videogame Captain Blimey.
The concept of a large-scale treasure hunt dates back to the Victorian era, where the ‘letterboxing’ treasure hunts were sometimes organised as party games. Later, children’s illustrated books would offer obscure clues and riddles leading to a real-world treasure that families could try and search for together, such as the 1979 book Masquerade by Kit Williams. Captain Blimey takes that concept into the modern day with the pirate-themed AR application now available through the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.
The title gives a sequence of clues leading to various local, domestic and international prizes that are available depending on the location of the player. In addition to the global prize hunts, there are other chests throughout the game containing coins, potions and other treasures within the game world.
Players use GPS-enabled smartphones that show a map based upon the player’s physical location. Treasure is found by using the phone camera to display a chest or other prize in AR, which will flash when the player is close enough to open it. Captain Blimey was created by Srikant Vemparala, Mike Snow and Pradeep Kanneganti, who were inspired by the story of the Fenn Treasure, a famous story about lost buried treasure.
“Captain Blimey motivates players to move and be active through its competitive game rewards such as cash prizes or gift cards,” said Vemparala. “In designing the game, we solved the problem of geographic barriers in treasure hunts. Friends from Seattle to New York City can play together, whether working together to solve a treasure hunt or indulging in a friendly competition.”
The title is free to download, though some enhancement items such as premium currency and potions are available to buy through micro transactions.
VRFocus will bring you further news on Captain Blimey and other AR projects as it becomes available.