Launch of the new Treasure Trapper app

A new game turns Edinburgh into a digital treasure hunt, as children are challenged to collect some of the city’s most valuable artefacts that have been lost around the city.

Launched today, Treasure Trapper tasks the young and old to find the scattered Greyfriar Bobby’s collar, Robert Louis Stevenson’s ring, and a painting from the Scottish Colourists, which are travelling virtually on tour buses around Edinburgh.

Developed by the University of Edinburgh, the game is accessed through a smartphone app. It uses GPS technology to superimpose the digital adventure onto the real world, making a bus stop into a virtual museum. 

The app lets players see the location of treasure on a map and alerts them if one is nearby. When a tour bus carrying a lost object reaches a bus stop, the object remains on that spot for a few minutes.

Competitors must rush to the bus stop and capture it on their phone. Through GPS tracking, the object will appear on their screen if they point it at a bus stop containing a treasure.

Players then return their trapped treasures to any of Edinburgh’s museums or the Assembly Rooms and receive rewards, such as discounts in the shops or free entry to attractions such as the Scott Monument or Lauriston Castle.

There are more than 30 items to collect. The more a player gathers the more quizzes and bonus materials they unlock when they visit the city’s galleries and museums.

The game has been developed in partnership with Edinburgh Bus Tours (part of Lothian Buses and Transport for Edinburgh), the City of Edinburgh Council's museums and galleries, and the Assembly Rooms.

Councillor Richard Lewis, Culture and Sport Convener at the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “The Treasure Trapper app will be a truly engaging way to transport our treasures out of the museum and into the streets and the imaginations of Edinburgh’s younger visitors. It is our hope that the new app will motivate children to learn more about the history the city, and we are delighted to work with the University and Bus Tours on this ‘first’ for Edinburgh.”

Download the app for free through the Apple iTunes store.

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