From last thirty years, we have been experiencing a straddling divide between the live games and the tabletops. But now, with busier streets and more people, live games have turned more into a niche. But guess what? It’s still enjoyed enjoyed by millions of people globally, every day.
Live games aren’t much like LARP (Live-action-role-playing) that requires rigorous skills and athletic running, but it it’s more like an easier version of it. However, this divide is also closing down slowly. LARP is slowly transitioning into live games, because people don’t tend be as energetic as they used to be. The games are reduced to shorter time intervals, and are more accessible and easy to play for the newcomers.
For my first live game experience, I visited a place in Islington 3 years ago, where I had to slay the vampires using the traditional hunting tools. I loved playing the game, but it took my whole evening. There were multiple modes and players had to impersonate a vampire hunter. I actually liked spending my evening there, but I guess my less-geeky friend didn’t like the extensive duration of the game.
Then, I went again last year but this time for Citydash that’s run by a company Fire Hazard. I went there, and everything seemed better. It felt like that the owners were quite serious about live games. I was told that Fire Hazard regularly run sessions of their different live games for the entire week.
I was absolutely impressed by Citydash. They really have done it on a large scale and that’s why you immerse very quickly into the game. To play the game, players are divided into different groups (with maximum of 5 players on each side). A few things that you are given include a smartphone app, a map area and an hour to earn as many points as you can.
When you are running around and reach a checkpoint, certain cryptic questions flash on your smartphone’s screen that you have to solve to win points. If you enter the answer before everyone else, you get bonus points. The clues aren’t particularly very tricky as you have to complete the game in an hour.
What make things little complicated are the 4 guards who are are always there to catch you. What you need to do is stay off the radar. If they get close enough to be able to read the letters that are pinned on your back and the chest, boom! You lose points.
However, I have also tried their game “Undercover” that works on the same principles of Citydash, but is more about spying and being discrete. There is minimal running involved. Undercover is glorious, but it doesn’t compete with Citydash due to its aggressive style of play that makes players immerse more deeply into the game. Personally, I really enjoyed running around the streets of London and collecting points. It was nostalgic!
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