Whenever I visit New York City, I have mixed emotions — love the reputed excitement, but also actually feel monotony in the same old sights and sounds. And heaven forbid I should try to show my kids more sights and sounds than Broadway shows and concerts. Well, I think I found a great “Travel Agent.” Italian publisher Whai Whai Guidebooks may just have solved a major dilemma. After selling tour books of major European cities for ages, they’ve finally come to America and turned my old NYC guidebook into an interactive adventure.
Here’s how it works: you choose one of 40 stories about various locations in NYC. For each location, a secret detail is hidden, and with the help of an iPhone app, it’s your job to decipher it so you can continue on the adventure. You simply send your answers via text message and the app will then let you know of you’re headed in the right direction and how far you have left to go. Once you get close to the destination, you’ll be able to access the enigma, solve it and move onto the next location. You can play in one group or split the challenges up into teams.
NYC is Whai Whai’s first foray into a US city, after publishing 5 adventures interactive throughout Italy. Priced at only $21.95, I’m thinking this is a great way to motivate families to get kids into what had been seen as “boring” vacations trekking through urban jungles. And I’m thinking the essence of the “scavenger hunt” technology could have limitless applications in the travel industry. (Guess my mind is wandering as I long for a vacation!) I gotta give Whai Whai creative credit for inspiring us all to get to know our streets again!