Five reasons why I might play Munzee the scavenger hunt mobile game

Munzee screenshots

I’m trying a new scavenger hunt game, Munzee.

From the iOS/Android app description:

Are you looking for adventure? Play Munzee! Millions of munzees are hidden around the world in plain sight… just waiting for you to discover.

Unlike other location-based hunting games, Munzee treasures are both physical (small stickers) and virtual (a GPS point) items hidden in the real world. So you can hunt for munzee QR code stickers on a lamp post, or capture a virtual mythological creature like a Pegasus. In our NEW Munzee app, you can easily distinguish between physical munzees with square icons and virtual munzees with round pin shapes. The built in maps, compass and descriptive clues will help you start “capping” today!

I installed the app, and walked through their brief tutorial. That’s pretty much all I’ve done so far, so I’m really new to all this. This app seems promising.

Reasons why I think I’ll enjoy playing Munzee:

1) A form of public art
Leaving little pieces of art around for people to discover is something I’ve loved doing for over 20 years. I haven’t been to downtown Chicago since in seven months, so I haven’t really left any art behind. (My art-leaving is very much tied into my daily commute). Maybe this app will encourage me to drop more art.

2) Exercise, fresh air
I need to get out walking and biking more during this pandemic.

3) Exploring my neighborhood
I’ve lived in Glen Ellyn for three years now, and I still feel like I haven’t explored it that much. I mean, I had my 15-minute walking commute to the train station. I sometimes walk around the immediate area with my kids. But I haven’t really explored the area like how I did in the city. Maybe riding my bike will bring me to new areas. Playing Munzee will bring me to new areas I wouldn’t normally think of visiting.

4) Points?
It seems people are motivated to get a bunch of points by finding Mozees and leaving Mozees. Maybe because I’m completely new to this app, I don’t find the points at all motiviating. Expecially since some people have over 9 years worth of points. Who knows, maybe I’ll like the points aspect.

5) Pokémon Go
I enjoyed Pokémon Go when it first came out. This has a LITTLE bit of a connection with Pokemon–going out to locations to find virtual markers. Although this game doesn’t employ the Augmented Reality that made Pokemon Go so much fun. Seeing a little Pidgeotto bird creature sitting on top of a stroller is pretty amusing.

Screenshot from Pokémon Go, 2016

Munzee doesn’t have these sort of augmented reality things. But the description does talk about “capturing a virtual mythological creature like a Pegasus”, so maybe there will be something fun about that.

Get your own Munzee QR code stickers

You can print out your own Munzee stickers, or you can buy a pack. The pack was cheap enough at $2.15 and $0.75 shipping, so I bought a pack. (Thank you, Munzee for not charging $5 for shipping! 75 cents is very reasonable!)

If you’d like to join, please use this referral link. I’m guessing this referral link gets me some points. Please do sign up, I’ll be more likely to do this if other people I know are playing too.

If I actually do this, I’ll follow up with another blog post.

Seven reasons why I might not play Munzee (or that it won’t last long)

1) Childish design
I’m not a fan of the design of this game. It feels like something five year olds would play. Granted, I have a 4-year-old at home, so maybe she’ll like this. (although at this point in her life, we are limiting her screen time, so we might not play this together). 

2) Geocaching
I love leaving public art for people to find. However, for whatever reason, I don’t like doing geocaching. I don’t know why exactly. This Munzee game is basically geocaching. Maybe the whole wrapper Munzee puts around geocaching will make it more enticing to me.

3) Points
I mentioned points as a possible reason for me to play. But it bothers me whenever there are people who have a bajillion points. It feels so far out of reach. I should just ignore the high-point gatherers, and just play the game for fun. 

4) Pokemon Go
If this game resembles Pokemon Go, every so slightly, it might not last for me. I played Pokemon Go for about a week, and then stopped. But I think these two games will be completely different.

5) Limited range
Once I collect all the points in my area, the game might lose its interest. I could leave stickers around, but what are the chances of anyone scanning them? 

6) Stickers
I’m definitely not a fan of permanently affixing stickers to public spaces. Maybe I’ll put the stickers on a piece of paper with a string. Therefore, the stickers aspect isn’t really a reason to not play. 

7) Faded trend
Ok, something being a trend shouldn’t be the reason to play something. But if there isn’t the community behind the game anymore, then it would be less enticing. This game has been around since 2011! Wow. I can’t believe I’ve never heard of it until now.

I discovered this game through an Instagram ad. Yeah, kinda crazy. I clicked on an Instagram ad that actually had something of value. Most ads on Instagram seem to be for newish products. (I’m probably wrong on that, but it’s just my impression of Instagram ads). Thus, I when I saw the Instagram ad for Munzee, I thought this was a new game. Much to my surprise it started nine years ago! Hopefully, the game is still holding strong today.

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