Time Heist: where outdoor theatre meets interactive treasure hunt

Interactive game or theatre? Casual afternoon out in the city or race against time against a mysterious villain? How about all of the above?

by Justin Choo

Time Heist: Civic District is a curious mix of theatre meets outdoor treasure hunt.

Created by the team behind the critically acclaimed The Curious Case of the Missing Peranakan Treasure set in Raffles Hotel Singapore, Time Heist: Civic District is a live outdoor experience centred around the Civic District.

The production presents the rich stories and historic architecture of the Asian Civilisations Museum, Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay, National Gallery Singapore, The Arts House, and Victoria Theatre and Victoria Concert Hall through a treasure hunt game, which in turn is conducted in the form of an interactive theatre – certainly a novel bit of ‘gamification-ception’.

In this race against time and space, you are a time agent who heeds the call of the Ministry of Time Heritage’s Agency Director (Hossan Leong) to travel back in time to 2022 to stop a nefarious plan to destroy Singapore’s beloved national monuments in the Civic District.

The adventure is presented through readily-accessible QR codes (though chances are you need to hunt for them) and web browser-based interactivity, and ties puzzles and quests to live elements in real-world locations within the Civic District. You will be immersed into a semi-virtual world as you explore the rich stories and historic architecture of the precinct. It’s a rather unique way to learn about facets of familiar monuments that we typically never thought about; would you have stopped to think about the storied history of the clock tower at the Victoria Theatre and Victoria Concert Hall?

As much as we would like to share more details about the game, the organisers are pretty tight-lipped about giving much away – it seems that the element of surprise is pretty crucial to the experience, so expect some plot twists along the way.

Ticket details

The game is intended to be enjoyed at your own pace so that you have the time to check out the sights and sounds of the Arts scene and enjoy the hospitality and F&B establishments. Aside from the standard ticket, a Time Heist Vip Package is also available.

Standard Tickets
  • SG$40 for one, SG$50 for two and SG$54 for three
  • each ticket provides access to the adventure via one mobile device
  • up to 2 pax to 1 device for the best gameplay experience
Time Heist VIP Package
  • SG$100/person, minimum 4 pax
  • Includes Equinox (a buzzy mix of mezcal, bianco martini, lilet and sprinklings of silver dust), a cocktail specially crafted by Smoke & Mirrors. Mocktail option also available.
  • Includes Time Heist Peranakan Set Dinner from National Kitchen by Violet Oon.

The organisers also recommend that you play the game with a fully charged mobile device with a strong 4G connection as well as a camera to scan QR codes. The game takes about two to three hours on average to complete, and it is recommended that you play it between 10 AM to 5 PM, partly because some clues will be hard to see at night.

Ticket holders can also indulge further by showing their tickets to get 10% at Smoke & Mirrors, including Equinox (U.P. SG$26++) and regular-priced drinks from Monday to Wednesday. Note that reservations are required.

Grand Prize Draw and Giveaway

Players who complete the game can take part in a Grand Prize Draw and two giveaways.

The “Best Dressed Group” and “Most Creative Group” will be rewarded with a 2D1N stay at the Marina Bay Sands Deluxe Room for two.

To win the grand prize, you have to complete the game and save the civic district and stand out as the “Best Dressed & Most Creative Group”. The reward is a 2D1N luxurious suite stay for four at Marina Bay Sands, which includes breakfast, dinner at one of its signature restaurants, plus entries to ArtScience Museum and the SkyPark Observation Deck during their stay.

To qualify, players will have to complete Time Heist: Civic District before 3 July 2022, 23:59PM, and must publish their entries via a public Instagram account.

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