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Treasure game opens up region’s hidden secrets

More than 100 tourist offices in Nouvelle-Aquitaine have joined a huge smartphone treasure hunt that allows residents and visitors to explore the region and discover many of its secrets – and there is an English version.

Based on a leisure pastime called geocaching – which is like Pokemon Go but with puzzles to solve – the free Tèrra Aventura smartphone application offers trails in eight departments. The object is to find a cached bottle containing treasures, which are collectable Poï’z badges.

The 220 trails are called parcours and offer  players discoveries in nature, local traditions and history as well as Nouvelle Aquitaine architecture as they try to work out where the cache is hidden.

A smartphone or GPS device is needed to get to the start point but the knack lies in being able to work out the clues to each location. Although the game is available in English the special ‘extra’ features are in French. Some of the features use virtual reality to give a new dimension. The routes vary in the time needed and all start with a click on the app Start button. You then answer questions as a guide and, if your answers are correct, the cache GPS coordinates appears.

Once found, you note your name in the logbook and take one of the badges to build a collection.

Another part of the game allows participants to write up their effort and provide photos with the best attempts winning prizes from the game’s partner tourist boards.

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