The Lego brand have invested heavily in the mechanism of treasure and treasure hunts to capture the imaginations of their customers. Using a wide variety of themes, Indiana Jones, Greek Mythology, Pirates, Pirates of the Caribbean, Treasure Island they host a huge variety of models.
They have recently started to develop simple customisable board games along the same lines where you build the game and then play it, for example in the Lego Minotaurus game your aim is to find the temple, evading the Minotaur and making your opponent’s life difficult.
In their theme park in Windsor they have converted the Wild Woods section into the Pirates Landing – where you can pan for gold and ride the treasure themed log flume.
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If you failed to notice the phenomenon that is Tomb Raider, then these words are wasted on you. The treasure hunt themed Tomb Raider was a computer game so popular, that generated it’s own movie franchise. Lara Croft is the Guinness Book Of World Records official Most Successful Human Videogame Heroine. Ian Livingstone from Choose Your Own Adventure books fame is the President of Eidos.
If you apply the reasoning that treasure hunting is now an activity that instead of digging up gold, involves solving a series of puzzles in order to achieve a goal then that introduces a realm of computer games.
Professor Layton has a large series of mind-straining challenges on the Nintendo DS which conform to the “armchair treasure hunt” formula. Similarly, Indiana Jones has now been converted to a huge variety of formats including Lego.
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Starting with Jason’s search for the Golden Fleece, which is an early example of how a series of mostly physical challenges and puzzles leading to the final treasure.
Then we witness Humphrey Bogart recovering the lost Knights Templar treasure in a murder mystery based treasure hunt. Then there are two early examples of treasure hunt based comedies, which are of interest because firstly we have Vincent Price setting a challenge for people who wish to inherit from his estate in Scavenger Hunt, followed by Michael J Fox’s first film appearance in Midnight Madness. An interpretation of a cultphenomenon in Seattle called The Game that runs to this day. An extremely popular overnight challenge to see who can get to the end of a series of themed puzzles first for nothing more than bragging rights.
At the latter part of the 20th century there was an explosion of treasure hunt based films. The Da Vinci Code is just one big puzzle. Hollywood directors fell in love with the subject matter, leading to major film franchises capturing the public imagination repeatedly. And the thing that links them all: Treasure hunts.
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