FAQs

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

  1. Are the games fully operational, following COVID-19

    Absolutely. The games include indoor locations and interactions with people you meet. Masks are optional in locations you visit.

  2. What kind of things will I do in the games?

    You’ll decipher clues, uncover hidden locations, communicate with characters, solve physical puzzles, interact with people you meet, and make choices that affect your path in the story… Watch this video to find out more.

  3. When can I play HiddenCity?

    The games run seven days a week, at times stated in Explore the games.

  4. When do I choose my time slot?

    You can either choose a timeslot at the time of booking, or later when you are setting up your teams. You can change your date and time slot at any time before you play.

  5. When do I set up my teams?

    You'll set up your teams after you have booked. You can do this straight after booking, or at a later point.

  6. How do I set up my teams?

    Sign in to your game, and assign players into teams of 1-5 players. Choose a team captain and team name for each team. Provide an email address and UK or US mobile number for each team captain.

  7. How do I start my game?

    Once you have set up your teams, team captains will receive a confirmation email and text message from HiddenCity, which includes your start location. On the day, when you are at the start location and ready to play, the captain of team 1 starts the game by replying BEGIN to the text message from HiddenCity.

  8. Who will receive messages?

    All players can be set up to receive messages. Once you have set up your teams, each team captain will get a text message from HiddenCity. Captains can reply with a teammate’s mobile number e.g. “07900 123 123”. Teammates will then be asked to 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.

  9. How much do text messages cost?

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

  10. How do the games work with multiple players?

    With two or more players you'll set up teams of up to 5 players. If you have multiple teams you'll play competitively head-to-head, in a race to the finish.

  11. Can I add more players or teams?

    Yes – 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.

  12. Can I change my team details?

    Yes – you can change your team captains and mobile numbers any time before you begin, by signing in to your game.

  13. Can I change the date and time of my game?

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

  14. Can I get a refund?

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

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

    Generally not – teams usually separate as they solve clues at different speeds.

  16. I’d like to book for three 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:

    • Prepare: check out the How it works page.
    • Put yourself down as the captain of Team 1. Only the Team 1 captain can begin the game, so you’ll be in control.
    • 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. The timer for each team starts when that team sends GO.
  17. Is my game timed?

    Yes, your game is timed. You will receive a message at the end of the game with your overall time, as well as your average time per clue. You can then see where you fit in on the Leaderboards.

  18. 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 the time that counts

    Good luck!

  19. What if it rains?

    Wear suitable clothes, and comfortable shoes – 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.

  20. 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.

  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. Each game is designed with built-in breaks. If you want to play at a leisurely pace, or think you may go beyond the allocated break timing, then begin your game at least an hour before the latest start time to ensure that locations will be open.

  22. Why can I only play HiddenCity with a US or UK mobile number?

    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.

  23. How quickly will replies to my text messages arrive?

    You will 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.

  24. Can I play if I don’t know the city?

    Yes – none of the games require local knowledge.

  25. Can I play if English is not my first language?

    The games are written with native English speakers in mind, and 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 if you come across language you find particularly tricky – for example, text STUCK for help working out the answer or text LOST for directions to the next location in plain English.

  26. Can children play?

    They sure can - children are welcome on the games. Children aged 12+ take part as a player in the game, receiving clues, sending answers and solving puzzles. Children under 12 can accompany ticketed adults for free.

    The games involve licensed premises such as pubs and cafes. Children are welcome in these locations when accompanied by adults - if a team has under-18s in it, make sure there's an adult with them.

  27. Are the games suitable for wheelchair users or buggies?

    The 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...

  28. Do all your games involve pubs?

    Yes – all of the games involve heading into pubs to obtain clues, and most break and end locations are pubs, serving alcoholic and soft drinks. If you want to minimise the time spent in pubs, then skip the breaks, take your breaks in a nearby cafe and/or leave the end location once you've solved the final clue.

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

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

  30. 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.

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

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