BOOTY CALL

World’s largest outdoor escape game brings one-day treasure hunt to Austin

Largest outdoor escape game brings one-day treasure hunt to Austin

The Pirates Treasure Hunt
Your pirate crew could win some actual loot! City Scavenger Hunts/Instagram

Gather up ye scallywags and get ready to plunder some booty. The Pirates Treasure Hunt is blowing down to Austin.

Dubbed the world’s largest outdoor escape game, The Pirates Treasure Hunt descends on downtown Austin on Saturday, October 16 — and participants have the chance to win some actual treasure loot.

Produced by Florida-based firm City Scavenger, The Pirates Treasure Hunt is a touring adventure that’s part escape-room experience, part outdoor scavenger hunt, and all about the booty.

Locals grab a crew of two to six buccaneers then take to the streets of downtown Austin, where they’ll encounter virtual pirates and scurvy dogs, collect pieces of eight, and work to solve puzzles, ciphers, and other assorted tasks to earn points and clues. Once teams gather all the clues, they can solve the treasure map mystery.

The pirate excursion takes about two to three hours to complete, and will have marauders exploring area parks and landmarks to complete app-based tasks and challenges.

All you need to participate is a smartphone and a pirate’s sense of adventure.

The highest-scoring pirate crew will win a treasure of their own: a $300 prize. Plus, since you’ll be decked out in your best pirate puffy shirt and peg leg, you could also walk away with $60 in loot for winning the best-costumed team photo.

“The Pirates Treasure Hunt combines the entertaining and challenging experience of an escape room with an outdoor scavenger hunt. City Scavenger uses proprietary technology to lay out a virtual where-is-it board game across the city and engages swashbuckling teams … to explore various sites where virtual pirates test your knowledge, your powers of deduction, and your creativity before providing pieces of the treasure map,” says Steve Tishman, chief creative and event producer.

“Additionally, a local nonprofit will receive a portion of the proceeds from each ticket sold. This is our way of supporting the local communities that support us.”

The Pirates Treasure Hunt is timed, allowing teams two-and-a-half hours to complete all the tasks and identify the location of the missing treasure. The event is designed for teams of two to six Old Salts and Scallywags (adults and teens), Lads and Lassies (kids 12 and younger), and even four-legged dog friends who might like to play. Pirate crews can begin their adventure any time between 10 am and 1 pm on event day. The event closes at 4 pm.

Tickets run $50 per team, plus a $2.50 ticketing fee, and can be purchased online

In addition to the Austin adventure, The Pirates Treasure Hunt walks the plank across Texas, with the adventure will sailing to San Antonio on October 2, Dallas on October 16, and Houston on October 23.

Though the entire treasure hunt adventure is outdoors, organizers have instituted some COVID-19 safety measures, including providing staggered group start times and two different starting locations to better space teams. Organizers are also encouraging pirate participants to mask up.