As museums around the world turn to digital tools to bring their collections and spaces to life, the South Australian Museum has launched its own Australian-first digital gaming experience.
Produced in partnership with Adelaide developer Adventure Mode, The Shadow Initiation sets users on a trail to crack the institution’s secrets to gain entry to an ‘elite secret society’. With puzzles, tests and challenges based on the Museum’s galleries and collections, the game offers an inventive new way for new and returning visitors to explore the space and engage with its many treasures.
“The Museum holds collections of over 600 million years of life on earth – from some of the oldest fossils in the world, to the 35,000 specimens of minerals in our care it’s impossible to share every unique story with the public,” Museum Director Brian Oldman explains. “This game will unlock untold secrets from the galleries you’ve walked 100 times, to collection items you may not know exist,” Mr Oldman said.
Although open to users of all ages – users can adjust the game’s difficulty setting – the game was built with a particular focus on enticing adult audiences to re-experience the museum of their childhoods in a quirky new light.
“Through my involvement with escape rooms, I’ve seen the growing desire from people to get more out of their entertainment,” Adventure Mode director Emma Moad says. “People want to have an experience, they want to create a memory. This is exactly what we’ve kept in mind when designing The Shadow Initiation.
“The Museum holds a place in every South Australian’s heart, and inspires real feelings of nostalgia and familiarity. We wanted to create an experience that shines a whole new light on the Museum and enables people to create new memories and make new discoveries when they come here,” she says.
Visitors can access The Shadow Initiation via tablet hired from the museum gift shop, with four players at a time able to participate in a race to complete as many of the game’s 40 challenges in a 60 minute period.
As for the mysterious organisation at the heart of The Shadow Initiation? The Museum suggests it is purely made up for the game – but it would hardly be a secret society if they didn’t.
The Adelaide Review is a media sponsor of the South Australian Museum