HiddenCity - Moriarty's Game

Things to do, Walks and tours
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A detective-themed treasure trail for teams of puzzle-lovers

There seem to me to be two types of people in the world: those who love cryptic crosswords and those who don’t. If you find fiendish word play and topsy-turvy word association a fun way to spend a few hours then you might enjoy the new game from HiddenCity – a treasure hunt through the city that takes place via text messages in which you’re attempting to unearth the whereabouts of Sherlock’s famous nemesis Moriarty.

In teams of up to four, players are given a starting point not far from Sherlock’s Baker Street stomping ground. Things started off easy and me and my teammates breezed through part one with a satisfying back and forth of answers and clues. But it wasn’t long before we found ourselves trying to wrap our brains around more fiendish puzzles and wishing that one of our group was a regular completer of The Times’ cryptic crossword. On more than one occasion we resorted to the ‘hint function’ option, while at one depressing point a gaggle of teenage girls zipped past us. By midway through we had realised Sherlock wouldn’t be recruiting any of us any time soon.

On the day we were playing, things bottlednecked at the final destination and it wasn’t quite the finale we were hoping for – without giving things away we were at the very least expecting a stiff drink to reward our efforts, but the game fizzled out rather than choosing to end with a bang.  

Don’t be fooled into thinking this is a piece of immersive theatre: it’s a straight up treasure hunt with only a slip of narrative. But it uses the city wonderfully: you’re taken to pretty pubs, down empty mews lanes and through museum attractions that you might otherwise overlook. And if you’re an ace at cryptic crosswords you’ll enjoy it even more.

By: Gail Tolley

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Tastemaker

Moriarty's game is indeed challenging, but not as much that you miss the fun. It is a game well designed, the concept is that you are trying to find Professor Moriarty's safehouse by solving his trail of clues. It is a day out different than the usual.


The whole experience has been designed in a very unique way, transporting you to a Sherlock Holmes' book/movie/time.

The clues are hard but manageable, they make you think out of the box, work as a team, a particular one took ages to solve for us. It is fun, entertaining, challenging, different! ​The trail builders are very nice and friendly.

We were lucky to do it on a nice day so we enjoyed the nice weather and learned new places in London by doing something different. The price is very reasonable too - 15 per person if it is four of you.

Some people take it really seriously if you look at the rankings' space online. But it is really up to you - we chose to do it for fun and it was great.

I definitely recommend it to anyone who likes that kind of challenges! Great experience - and it runs until September so you've got all the summer ahead to book! I'm definitely going for another trail and I can't wait to see what Hidden City are introducing next!

Amazing game.  A great way to see London and exercise our brains - the perfect thing to do with a few friends.  Very clever clues and a really well-structured trail.  Can't wait for the next one!


We had taken the Queen's challenge last year with our children so we couldn't wait to get started on Moriarty's challenge. This time we invited a couple of friends and we all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The choices of venues are so well researched and add so much to the experience. Looking forward to your next trail.


Innovative idea. Easy to access game. Thought provoking clues enabling discovery of some parts of London


Was great and a fun time was had by all! The only constructive feedback is that I found actually booking it frustrating. Maybe make that process better if possible?


We found out about Moriarty's Game from an email since we had done one of these before.
The trail was very well organised, the clues were just about right (taxing but not so difficult we didn't think we had a chance), we saw parts of London we wouldn't otherwise know about but now want to re-visit, it was great fun with breaks that allowed a beer, a snack and a chat.


I noticed an advert on TimeOut for Hidden City and was intrigued...  We enjoy puzzles and have done some locked room games. Hidden City's Moriarty's Game has puzzles and clues but also features the fabulous architecture and neighbourhoods of London - it was a real joy to play even in the rain.


This was such a great tour - we did it as a team away day and split into groups. Was a great way to work together, was super fun, challenging enough without being impossible, and I got to see a whole section of London I hadn't previously been, The stops along the way were great, can't recommend this enough.


Great day out discovering buildings and places in London you'd never normally visit. Found a gallery/collect/museum I'd not known about before that we'll certainly be returning to. My one criticism being the 'final location' that you all end up at was quite small and due to the number of teams finishing there that day, it was quite crowded and claustrophobic.


A brilliant way of finding bits of London that I never knew existed (and I've lived here for over 40 years!). I took along my wife and two of our grown-up children. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the experience...family-bonding, some healthy walking and lots of brain-teasers - a great birthday treat. Well done Hidden City!


This trail was just so much fun! A member of the team was a bit dubious about going but ended up loving it. I loved the all the different places and parts of London we got to see along the way. Thoroughly recommend!


We loved this challenge! Running around the city solving tricky puzzles was a great way to plan an alternative day out with my friends. Definitely worth trying - you'll surprise yourself, even when you think you don't know the answer!