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Players take to the streets as new murder mystery game comes to Norwich

PUBLISHED: 16:21 15 August 2019 | UPDATED: 17:20 15 August 2019

A sneak preview of what the Mayor Murder Mystery game looks like. Inset: The City Escape Games team. Picture: City Escape Games

A sneak preview of what the Mayor Murder Mystery game looks like. Inset: The City Escape Games team. Picture: City Escape Games

City Escape Games

A murder mystery game will see players take to the streets of Norwich to solve clues and beat the clock.

Norwich Cathedral from the upper close. Photo: Norwich Cathedral / Bill SmithNorwich Cathedral from the upper close. Photo: Norwich Cathedral / Bill Smith

The Mayor Murder Mystery game has been launched by Norwich start-up City Escape Games.

The game combines a classic murder mystery tour with an escape room, with players playing against the clock to solve clues hidden at 10 of the city's best known locations.

MORE: A virtual reality playroom is coming to Norwich

But instead of the clues being physically at the locations, the team has built a mobile phone app using augmented reality software to make the clues appear on screen.

Chief executive Alec Reeder said: "We came up with the idea while we were in Poland. I had created a little booklet of all the things to do in the area and we had a few drinks and got to talking about how we could modernise this sort of experience."

Norwich Castle will host different events during Heritage Open Days. Picture: Nick ButcherNorwich Castle will host different events during Heritage Open Days. Picture: Nick Butcher

Mr Reeder works alongside chief technology officer Piers Arnold and chief operating officer William South.

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"We did some research into escape rooms and realised how much demand is growing for these experiences," Mr Reeder said. "And then we looked at the high street and how there's an increasing demand for experience-led shopping, and we thought this combined it all."

The team launched the product for testing four months ago, and were surprised to find it had more applications than originally thought.

"We thought our target audience was 25 to 45 year olds in friend or family groups," Mr Reeder said. "But through the testing we realised people older than 45 really enjoyed it. We've also seen it being used to bond teams together so we had work parties really enjoying it. It was also a hit with students who wanted to discover the city for the first time."

Locations for the puzzles include Norwich Cathedral and the Castle.

Puzzles can be anything from pictorial clues to riddles, to mathematical problems.

The team, who are also in full-time employment, have now started working on a similar game for Cambridge, and will be updating the software so that multiple people in a team can view the same game on their phone.

"The clock counts up instead of down," said Mr Reeder. "So you can take your time with it. If you're really competitive you can do it in just under an hour. We suggest doing it in teams of two to six."

The game costs £19.99 and is available from www.cityescapegames.co.uk.

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