The Code Hunting Game is a game – created by Alessandro Bogliolo of the University of Urbino, and realized by DIGIT srl – which enables you to take part in a real treasure hunt from home, either on your own or in a group, by simplicy interfacing with a messaging bot through Telegram and consulting a handy online map. In particular, this treasure hunt has been developed in collaboration with INAF, and the topic is Astronomy in Italy.

While playing, you will virtually move all over the country (and beyond) hunting for particularly significant places in the history of Italian Astronomy, until today. You will therefore get to know all the INAF branches, museums, planetaria and many key characters of astrophysical research. In order to get access to the various places where the treasure hunt will unfold, you will have to solve programming puzzles.  This is a funny and inspiring challenge, which will allow you to obtain a nice…. well-deserved certificate!

Requirements to play 

Here are the requirements to play:

  • a smartphone
  • a Telegram account
  • data connection
  • a QR code scanner (in fact it is not mandatory: you could also click on the QR Code in order to obtain the same effect)

The game is in italian.

Joining the match

In order to play, you must scan the following QR Code:

This will automatically launch the Telegram bot, and will allow you to join the match. The bot will ask the following information:

  1. A simple introductory puzzle to check whether the players are ready for the game (the puzzles are based upon the rules of CodyRoby)
  2. name for the team
  3. The number of participants in the team (leader included)
  4. A profile picture for the team

How to play

The Code Hunting Game will send you looking for 8  important places for Astronomy, around Italy (and beyond). Each place will be suggested by the bot itself, on the basis of a clue. However, the clue will only arrive after solving  a coding puzzle (the correct answer must be given as a text to the bot, in case of mistake you will have to wait 30 seconds before answering again).

The puzzles are based upon the rules of CodyRoby. You will see a robot – Roby – on a 5×5 chessboard, and will have to indicate, for example, where it arrives if it follows the instructions indicated by the colored cards proposed: the green card with a up arrow means that you have to go forward by a box, the red card with the right arrow means that you must turn right (without changing box), the yellow card with the left arrow means that you must turn left (without changing box). Sometimes, instead of the color card,  there are text marks: F for “forward”, R for “right”, L for “left”.

In case you do not have this page open on the desktop, do not worry: the bot will also give you the link to an online map, where you can find each destination. Remember that you can search online for the correct place! If you think you have found it, click on the icon and follow the QR Code (either with a scan, or a click).

If the place is correct, you’ll be facing another puzzle and another clue. At the end of the 8 step-quest, you should solve the final puzzle ( be careful what the bot tells you).

Pay attention, because some pins are very near to one another, and you should use a “magnifying glass” in order to find them… on the other hand, this is a treasure hunt, and as such, you have to get creative.

What you win

In the end, directly in the Telegram chat, you will receive the certificate of the Code Hunting Game – signed by the INAF President, Marco Tavani, and by Alessandro Bogliolo, coordinator of the Europe Code Week – with the name of the team, the selfie and the time taken to complete the treasure hunt. This time is considered well spent, and its e il suo social value will be recognized through the issue of a  Wom (Worth One Minute), a digital voucher planned to recognize the value of the actions which have a positive impact on society. The Woms can be collected by scanning the QR  you will receive on Telegram with the app Wom Pocket.

Full screen view

If you are playing on a mobile phone, use this map.

Further information:

Watch the video of the live presentation of the Code Hunting Game (in italian)