Vancouver Mysteries offers a variety of games to explore in Downtown Vancouver

The company features games where players can be a detective, spy, or superhero, and a new ghost hunting game is coming soon

Vancouver Mysteries formed in 2014 and offers a variety of in-person and online games in Downtown Vancouver. (Submitted/Keet Kailey)

Vancouver Mysteries formed in 2014 and offers a variety of in-person and online games in Downtown Vancouver. (Submitted/Keet Kailey)

Vancouver Mysteries is a company that aims to have people traversing the city while providing a fun experience. 

They run a series of outdoor, indoor, and online games where people explore Downtown Vancouver for clues to complete mysteries as fast and efficiently as possible. People aged 12 and up can participate with at least one adult on a team. The cost is $35 per person. 

“We have three themes, so we have a detective game, a spy game, and a superhero game,” says Tanya Bennett, owner of Vancouver Mysteries. 

She says the superhero game has two versions, one regular version and an easier variant for children.

The outdoor spy game, Secret Mission: Save Your City, involves players trying to take down a dangerous organization known as BLACKOUT in two hours or less. The outdoor detective game, Crime in Downtown, has players race to solve and close a homicide case in two hours or less. 

In the outdoor superhero game, Heroes & Villains, players attempt to find a villain’s hideout to save the world in 90-minutes or less. 

“We have a brand new game coming out this spring called Ghost Patrol, which is a ghost-hunting game,” Bennett says. 

The company started in 2014 when her friend from Forbidden Vancouver Walking Tours, a company that stages walking tours and special events celebrating local history, and Bennett purchased Secret Mission and Crime in Downtown from a visitor from Paris, who originally created those games. 

“We played the games and they were really fun, and so we decided to start Vancouver Mysteries together and buy those first two games. We redesigned them, rebranded them, and started operating them, and now we have four outdoor games,” Bennett says. 

“Since then, over time, a lot of the challenges have changed because the city’s always changing, so our games don’t stay the same. They change over time.”

Due to such changes, these games offer a unique way to explore and get to know Downtown Vancouver for both locals and tourists. 

“We use buildings, public art, sculptures, all sorts of things, historic sites in our game, so you’re using those things to solve challenges. You get immersed in this story and you sort of forget that you’re maybe in the city that you live in,” Bennet says. 

“I’ve always been a huge fan of mystery movies and detective movies, science fiction, and spy stories. So, for me, this is the perfect job.” 

Bennett says the company has been successful since its creation.

“We’re a top-rated attraction in Vancouver and we’ve won awards. We’ve got the Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor,” she says. 

The company also has online games for people to play on Zoom. A circus-themed game show called Big Top Werewolf, a pirate-themed murder mystery party called Black Skull, and a trivia game show called Super Trivia are some of the online options.

The company also has a murder mystery party game, The Case of the Hotel Detective, for indoor events available for private booking. 

“I think we’re a great way to get away from screens. If somebody wants to get outside and have a real hands-on adventure, we’re not an app that you download. You actually get real things that you need to use, which you will see when you play.”