Czech Academy of Sciences launches new sci-fi game challenging players to save the future

The exciting smartphone-based game for adults and kids alike, set in the streets of Prague, is available to play until November 11.

 William Nattrass

Written by William Nattrass
Published on 13.08.2021 11:34 (updated on 13.08.2021)

The year is 2350. An authoritarian regime is suppressing the education of children, along with science and research. Books are being burnt. But a resistance movement is gaining strength, and they are asking for your help!

The Czech Academy of Sciences (AV) has launched a new outdoor game in which participants have to use their smartphone to fulfil various tasks in order to save the future of research.

The sci-fi fantasy game, currently only available in Czech, features tasks for kids as well as adults and is available for individual players or teams. Taking participants through the streets of Prague as well as to Průhonice Park to the east of the city, the game is a unique way of blending video gaming with outdoor adventure in the Czech capital.

The game is also intended to introduce players to the operation of AV institutes, heightening public awareness of the research being performed by the Academy.

“Recently, most of our events have been held online. For the second year in a row, we could not organise our popular Science Fair with all the personal meetings it brings, and we miss the feedback from our visitors. That is why we have prepared this outdoor game: as an alternative to the online world,” said Markéta Pravdová from the AV Institute of the Czech Language on behalf of the game organisers.

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“At the same time, we want to use this entertaining method to show people that science is all around us, and that it can even be glimpsed during a stroll around Prague,” she added.

Players just need to download the Hunter Games application to their phone and have a pencil, writing pad and headphones at the ready. After registering, players receive a seven-digit access code for the game, to be entered into the app.

The game then offers three routes. The easiest takes players through Prague’s historic center, covering about 2.5 kilometers and playable for those with children.

The next level leads through the streets of Malá Strana. The game creators say this option works best after dark, so don’t forget to bring a torch along. Finally, the toughest option leads through the majestic Průhonice Park, covering 3.5 kilometers and interweaving fascinating insights into the natural sciences. This route can also be played in “duel mode”, with teams taking different routes in a race to the finish line.

Průhonice Park is part of the Institute of Botany of the Czech Academy of Sciences and features exhibitions presenting the Institute’s work. A ticket must be bought for entry to the park.

The new game from the Czech Academy of Sciences isn’t the first attempt to encourage outdoor fun since the pandemic began. The outdoor board game Nachozeno was created in 2020, taking players to little-known spots in the Czech cities of Liberec and Telč while completing tasks, solving puzzles, and finding out facts about their location.

So, while the summer weather is still here, grab your smartphone and head outside for an educational adventure in your chosen Czech city!

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