Ready for a two wheeled adventure through Melbourne’s streets and laneways?

Imagine you’re on a heroic quest through mythical lands, slaying monsters, confronting ghosts, finding treasures and solving riddles along the way, only it’s in Melbourne and you’re on a bike!

Welcome to the wonderful world of 1000 Cities, an interactive game that will change the way you see the city. Armed with a smart phone, bike, helmet and your imagination, make your way across Melbourne, uncovering hidden parts of the world’s most liveable city.

students on bikes play 1000 Cities

Solving riddles while getting to know Melbourne with 1000 cities

We caught up with creator Rob Reid from Pop Up Playground to find out a bit more.

Where does the name 1000 Cities come from?

1000 Cities is based on the work of Joseph Campbell, particularly his most famous work, The Hero with A Thousand Faces. In it he analyses hundreds of fairy tales, myths and legends, and identifies a number of events and elements that are common across them all. The call to adventure, for instance, is common to the start of all heroic stories, be it the epic of Gilgamesh or Star Wars. From that grew the idea that each player of the game would have their own personal experience of the adventure and so see as many different cities as there are players of the game, hence 1000 Cities.

What are some of the riddles people have to find?

Most of the riddles in the game are observational or logic based puzzles that use pre-existing elements of the city itself.  The game travels around the historical and cultural landmarks of the city (some famous, some not so). We’ve also hidden some brand new things around the city for players to find. Of course, we can’t tell you exactly what they are, because that would spoil the fun.

How did you go about developing the clues and hidden secrets for this game?

We spent the last couple of months drawing out the pathways through the city and finding the locations to send the players to.  Each of these locations needed a distinguishing feature or landmark that we could anchor the puzzles around, which meant our staff had to ride around the city a lot, looking for the best places to go.  Once we had all these, it was a matter of working backward from those answers, to design the clues and puzzles in such a way as to reveal that you’re in the right place.  The biggest challenge was keeping the puzzles different and challenging without making them too obscure.

Ready for your adventure? Discover more at 1000 Cities.