Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you can’t have missed Pokémon Go. The game has dominated the app charts, with everyone roaming the streets in a bid to catch ‘em all. But it’s not the only game you have to leave the house to play.
There are other titles available that use the same geocaching technology to turn the real world into a virtual game environment. That way, a dull meeting or bus journey can be transformed into the next thrilling stage of the game.
So what else can you play once you’ve tired of Pikachu and friends?
Described as “the world’s largest treasure hunting community”, Geocaching transforms the world into one giant treasure hunt. There are millions of real-world containers – called geocaches – spread across 185 countries, just waiting to be discovered. It’s simple to pick up and play, and thanks to the handy tips, you’ll be uncovering geocaches in no time.
If you do get stuck, you can message other players to ask for help, or scroll down and browse the comments. Both elements give it much more of a community feel than most games. Our first find – a photographic film container attached by magnets to a road sign – also taught us that a road nearby had been the scene of a crime by Dr Crippen. So not only is it fun to play, it’s also educational.
You are Runner 5, one of the few survivors of a zombie apocalypse. Your mission is to collect items to bring back to your fellow survivors, and to stay away from the zombies. And how do you do that? Run!
Plug a pair of headphones into your phone and you’re immersed in the game world – helicopter pilots give you messages and missions, and update you on where the zombies are. The story is engrossing, with bags of detail that really bring the imaginary world to life. You pick up items automatically as you run, so there’s no need to take your phone out of your pocket.
When the zombies give chase, you’ll have to pick up your pace to outrun them. It’s a fun way to add a kick of adrenaline to what can otherwise be a slightly boring way to exercise.
A word of advice: the game picks music from your playlist to fill in the bits when nothing is happening, so make sure you have a suitably up-tempo selection.
Landlord Real Estate Tycoon
Think you’ve got what it takes to become a property tycoon? Find out with Landlord Real Estate Tycoon, a kind of virtual version of Monopoly.
The aim of the game is to own as many buildings in your neighbourhood as possible, building a property portfolio by buying, selling and trading.
You start with $50,000 to buy shares in coffee shops, pubs and public transport hubs nearby, sign up via Facebook or Foursquare and collect rent when another user visits your property.
The more you make from rent, the more shares you can buy, but as a landlord you also need to make sure you’ve got enough to pay charges without going bust.
There are 50 million properties around the world in the game including well-known landmarks such as Buckingham Palace and Victoria Station. But the more famous the landmark, the higher its value. Other players can make offers to buy your property or you can put things for sale in the game’s Marketplace.
Landlord Real Estate Tycoon is location-based, so by visiting new places, you can invest in more properties and get ever closer to ruling the whole town.
Do you use geocaching games at all? Let us know in the Comments below.