Vancouver Mysteries is a company that offers a series of outdoor adventure games in downtown Vancouver where people play in teams of two to five players.
Detective, Secret Agent & Superhero Games with Vancouver Mysteries
With Vancouver Mysteries you can solve a murder mystery, go on a spy mission, or be a superhero and defend the city from a supervillain. It’s kind of like an escape room – where you have to solve problems and interpret clues – except that it’s outside and your “room” is downtown Vancouver.
Games cost about $32 per person and last approximately two hours. They all begin and finish near Waterfront Station and cover a two-or-so-kilometre area of downtown Vancouver. All three game options are a blast!
For tickets and more information see the Vancouver Mysteries website.
The Three Game Options
Vancouver Mysteries offers three different game scenarios to choose from.
In the Crime in Downtown game participants have to solve the murder of Jimmy Capello. It’s a whodunit mystery where clues lead teams of detectives all around Gastown.
Secret Mission is a spy game where you get to be a secret agent, decipher a coded message and save the city from the evil BLACKOUT organization.
The third game, Heroes & Villains, is a superhero adventure where teams of friends protect Vancouver from the notorious Muck Monster.
Games happen rain or shine. Costumes are encouraged but not required. All you need is a group of friends and a taste for adventure – Vancouver Mysteries provides all the materials, including a game kit, artifacts and a map.
Crime in Downtown Game
The Crime in Downtown game involves a murder that took place years ago. The victim, Jimmy Capello, was not only strangled, but also stabbed and poisoned too! Who was the murderer? You have to wander around Gastown looking for clues to solve this puzzling cold case!
We checked out Vancouver Mysteries’ Crime in Downtown game with a couple of grade 12 teenaged boys and we all loved the experience!
In the game we had to show up at our starting time at a specific location, say a secret code and then receive our mission details. We were given our sticker detective badges, our detective kits and basic instructions. The clock then started and we had just 120 minutes to solve the crime and be back.
In our detective kit we had a map, pieces of evidence and a series of clues to find and solve. We had to go to different addresses and look for specific items. We had to decipher codes, measure things and think outside the box in several cases. Some of the clues were easy and others were more challenging.
By the end of our two hours we had deciphered most (but not all) of the clues, but still managed to solve the crime. We got a score of 67 out of 100 which gave us a ranking of Senior Detectives! We also had a great time and recommend the game.
Tips, Clues and Secret Agent Advice
Below are some tips and suggestions to help you make the most out of your Vancouver Mysteries experience.
TIP #1: You get a detective kit (or superhero kit or secret agent package) at the start of your game. In it are materials to help you solve the case or save the city (depending on which adventure you are on). Look through the kit carefully so you know what’s inside! The evidence and tools you are carrying are all important. Also, be careful not to drop and lose any of the pieces along the way!
TIP #2: Check out the contents of the detective kit at the start, and then do it again every once in a while to remind yourself of what you have. If necessary, find a park bench or piece of sidewalk, sit down for a minute and look through every detail. Also, make sure that every member of your team knows what’s inside. When we did our game, at the end we found out that there were a couple of things that not everyone was aware of (which explains why we didn’t manage to solve all the clues).
TIP #3: The game can be played with two to five players. We did it with three and it worked great. The more players you have though, the better your chances of one of your team members being able to think outside the box and solve the more challenging clues.
TIP #4: If you need eyeglasses for reading, take your glasses on your adventure as you’ll need to read the instructions and look at a few things in detail. If you forget your glasses you can either listen to someone else reading things out or look inside your kit and hope to find a magnifying glass.
TIP #5: Don’t expect to solve every clue and challenge. You might, but, like us, you might not. If you get stuck, don’t get frustrated. Just move on to the next clue. You might also have time to go back and try again later.
TIP #6: At the end of your adventure you report back to where you started. There, an agent will check your findings, give you a score based on what you did right and explain what you did wrong. It’s fun to learn what you should have done in cases where you had an incorrect answer or none at all. Be sure to ask if they forget to tell you everything.
TIP #7: You don’t have to race around or run to solve the crime within your two-hour time limit. The faster you go the more time you’ll have to go back to places where you couldn’t solve a clue, the quicker you’ll finish and likely the better you’ll do. You don’t have to be ultra-fit or an athlete though. When we did our adventure we just walked at an average walking pace.
TIP #8: Costumes are encouraged, but not mandatory. Most people just wear their regular clothes, but some participants are keeners, go all out and make this a serious event.
TIP #9: If you’re ever in downtown Vancouver and see people running around in secret agent costumes or looking like superheroes in tights and capes, don’t worry. And don’t panic! It’s probably just a group of people on a stag or stagette party having fun on a Vancouver Mysteries adventure.
For more information about the company and its games see the Vancouver Mysteries website.
For ideas on other things to do in the same part of town see our articles about the following:
- Vancouver Restaurants (including ones in Gastown, near Canada Place and elsewhere)