Here are the most common questions you have asked us. Contact us if you have any other questions.

  1. Can I play during the COVID-19 crisis?

    Yes – the games are running. From 17 May games include indoor locations again, as well as story interactions with people and objects. Break points include options for indoor and outdoor food and drink from pubs, takeaway refreshments, as well as tips for nearby green spaces.

  2. When can I play HiddenCity?

    The games can be started within the times stated on each game's listing. You can pick a timeslot when you buy tickets, or do so afterwards. You can change your booking at any time. If you want to play at a leisurely pace, then begin at least an hour before the latest start time on any given day, to ensure that locations will be open.

  3. What number do I send the ‘begin’ message to?

    Reply to the SMS (welcome text) sent to your Team 1 captain by HiddenCity at registration. If you don’t receive a welcome text, sign in to your game on our website to check that you have configured your teams and that your mobile number is correct. If you still don't get a text, contact us.

  4. How do I sign in to ‘My Game’?

    Your welcome text will include your game number and password. On our website you will find the ‘sign in’ tab in the top right corner.

  5. Can I change my team details after I have signed up?

    Yes - you can change your team captains and mobile numbers any time before you begin the game, by signing in to your game on our website. If you want to add an additional players or numbers, see FAQ 6.

  6. Can I add another player or team after booking?

    Yes indeed – sign in to your game, using the Game ID and password emailed to the lead organiser, and you'll see an option to add players.

  7. Can everyone in my team receive messages?

    They certainly can. Once you have signed up and set up your team captains, each team captain will get a message from HiddenCity. Captains can reply with their teammate’s mobile number e.g. “07900 123 123”. Teammates will then be asked provide their details, via text. Once that's done they’ll also be sent clues, and can reply on behalf of your team. Add further teammates in separate messages.

    You can also add teammates in the same way at any point during the game.

  8. Can I change the date of my game?

    Yes - you can change the date of your game by signing in on our website and clicking on the "update" next to the date or time window.

  9. I want to be on the leaderboard. Are there any rules?

    The guidelines for fair play are as follows:

    • Using any form of map is fine
    • Using any form of research is fine
    • No conferring with other teams
    • Play nice
    • No deliberately obstructing other teams!
    • If you play the same game twice, your first time is what counts.

    Good luck!

  10. If we play with multiple teams, will they follow each other?

    Generally not - teams usually separate as they solve clues at different speeds. If you have more than one team the first message is specifically designed to allow you to stagger your teams. If you have 3 or more teams see FAQ 10.

  11. I’d like to book for 3 or more teams. Anything I should know?

    If you're running an event for three or more teams, or it's just really important to you that you understand how everything works, then here are some top tips to get the best out of your game:

    1. Prepare: Read the 'How to play' page. Send the link to all team captains to read before you play.

    2. Put yourself down as the Team 1 captain. Only Team 1 can begin the game, so you’ll be in control.

    3. Keep it a secret, if you want: If your event is a surprise, don’t worry – you don’t have to let all your captains know. If you have two or more teams, you’ll see an ‘It’s a secret’ tickbox - tick this so that teams 2+ will not receive emails or texts until the game has begun. Double-check that you’ve got the mobile number right for all team captains before you play - you can’t edit these once the game has begun.

    4. If you’re concerned about your teams overlapping, then you can stagger them. For groups with 6 or more teams we would strongly recommend doing this. After the Team 1 captain commences the game (by sending 'begin'), the first message each team receives allows them to go when ready (by sending 'go'). We recommend that you allow a few minutes between each team. And don't worry about differences in timing. If you do decide to stagger, each team's time won't start until they text 'go' and begin their individual game, so each team will have an accurate time.

  12. What if it rains?

    Wear suitable clothes – most of your game will take place outdoors.

    If there's weather you don't want to be outdoors in, you can easily reschedule for another day. All games are fully flexible - sign in and change your date here.

  13. Where do the games end?

    The final location is secret.

    If you want to organise something after your game then contact us and we'll make sure you have the info you need to plan your onward festivities, travel, or whatever else you need to do in the city...

  14. Why can’t I play HiddenCity without a UK, or US, mobile?

    In the majority of cases, players not using UK, or US, mobiles will experience significant delays in receiving messages and this can be frustrating when you're trying to play a game and immerse yourself in a narrative. Don't worry though. If nobody in your party has a UK, or US, mobile, you can acquire a Pay-As-You-Go SIM card before beginning the game. These are free with a minimum top up amount and some mobile phone shops will even give you a free 'burner' phone. One exception: Lycamobile will not work with the games.

  15. How long should I expect to wait for a reply to a text?

    You should receive most replies within a few seconds. If you are in an area with poor mobile phone reception, you can resend your answer or try adding another teammate's mobile number. See the Player Manual for more details.

  16. Are your games suitable for wheelchair users or buggies?

    Our games currently require the use of steps to access the answers to some locations and clues and so are not wheelchair friendly.

    As for buggies - sorry, tiny ones out there! The games are not suitable for buggies. Leave your little one with a friend, and instead embrace your own inner child.

  17. Will I be able to play if I don’t know the city?

    Yes - none of our games require local knowledge.

  18. Will I be able to play if English is not my first language?

    Our games are written with native English speakers in mind, and we often use British idioms, slang and cultural references. Examples of slang include: tipple (alcoholic drink), wee (small) and pissing it down (raining).

    You can always request help should you come across language you find particularly tricky - text ‘STUCK’ for help working out the answer or, on our Play in the City games, text ‘LOST' for directions to the next location in plain English.

  19. Do all your games involve pubs?

    The games involve heading into pubs to obtain clues, and most break and end locations are pubs, though we choose places where you can get coffees or teas too wherever possible. You can minimise the time spent in pubs by skipping the breaks, taking your breaks in a nearby cafe and/or leaving the end location once you've solved the final clue.

  20. Are you paid by the bars and pubs en route?

    No - we select venues on the basis of their contribution to the overall experience.

  21. Why do I have to play at a specific time of day?

    The games involve locations with specific opening and closing times. The start time windows listed on the games ensure players can access these locations within the time it takes to complete the game. If you choose to take your own breaks from playing, bear in mind you risk being unable to complete the game. Each game is designed with built-in breaks to avoid this happening.

  22. What do I need to bring?

    At least one fully charged phone for each team - ideally for every team member, so they can follow the progress of game.

    Wear comfortable shoes and weather-appropriate clothes, as most of your game will take place outdoors.

  23. How do I pay?

    You can pay on our website using Visa, Mastercard or American Express. All payments are up front. From when you start making a booking, you'll have 24 hours to complete payment.

  24. Can my brand commission or sponsor a HiddenCity game?

    We can create large-scale bespoke experiences tailored for brands, designed for 10,000+ people to take part in. Get in touch if you're a brand and are interested in working with us. Brands that we've worked with include The Guardian, Time Out, the City of London and Eastpak.

  25. How much do text messages cost?

    Text messages that you send are charged at your standard rate, or may be free if you have 'bundled texts' with your phone package. There is no charge to receive messages.

  26. How can I hear about new games as soon as they are released?

    Join the mailing list. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

  27. Can I get involved in testing your games?

    Head over here: Sign up as game tester.

  28. Can I get involved with HiddenCity?

    If we are hiring you'll find all the information here.

  29. Why do you limit the team size to five players?

    We've found, in most cases, that teams benefit from having a maximum size of five players, so that everyone gets involved in solving the clues.

    If there are six of you or more then split up into teams and play head-to-head. We'd highly recommend giving this experience a go as you'll get to compare notes with each other in the breaks (you'll tend to overlap at these points), see which different routes you take, and then enjoy a comparative blow-by-blow break down at the end...

  30. Can I get a refund?

    Yes, the games are fully flexible, so you can get a refund if you don't play.

  31. Can I still play the home game, Moriarty's Game: A Killer in the Hive?

    Yes – visit Moriarty’s Game: A Killer in the Hive to play the interactive, immersive crime drama at home, or with other households remotely.