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Puzzles on Pavement

Urban treasure hunts, a new angle on sightseeing

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It’s an Amazing Race offered to the rest of us. Gather your best sleuthing friends and head to Boston Common to compete in an interactive “secret agent” case that will send you crisscrossing downtown Boston in search of clues. The team competition, put together by Somerville-based Urban Interactive, sends participants on a mission to solve a series of urban puzzles and treasure hunts preloaded into an iPhone.

Engraved into historical monuments and enlivened by strategically placed character actors, this alternate reality adventure is embedded in the real world for a two-hour romp. In today’s mission, “The Guardian of the Relic,” teams race to recover a long-lost magical relic — and the sleuths just might learn a good bit about Boston history and architecture along the way. The search leads you from the Common into Beacon Hill and the financial district, so as with any heroic quest, wear comfy shoes.

The adventure is best suited for teenagers and adults and costs $20 per person for groups of four or more and $25 per person for teams of two or three people. Two teams compete at a time; new searches begin every half hour, from 1:30 to 6 p.m. More information is available here or by calling 781-780-5790.

Chris Berdik can be reached at cberdik@bu.edu.

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