Free interactive adventures for families

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Digital Missions – exciting quests for the whole family at Hampton Court Palace

Hampton Court Palace Mission Pilot

This summer, we are inviting families to become Time Explorers at Hampton Court Palace and discover amazing stories from the past.

Digital missions are interactive adventures played on a mobile device. Families can choose to either download the free iOS mobile app from the Apple store to any Apple device, or they can borrow a device free of charge during a visit to Hampton Court as part of the admission price.

There’s a choice of Missions to do and in each one, the player meets a character from the palace’s history who is facing a tricky situation and needs their help.

In ‘The Clerk’s Fantastic Feast’, the whole family can work together to save the day by helping the Tudor Kitchens’ harassed Clerk and his depleted staff to prepare an amazing banquet for Henry VIII. Or in ‘The Ambassador’s Secret Assignment’ they can put their spying skills to the test and help the Venetian ambassador to investigate Henry VIII’s Tudor Apartments.

As they play, families solve the characters’ dilemmas by tackling a series of challenges that encourage them to explore the palace, looking for clues and discovering the answers they need. If they complete the mission successfully, families win a badge and a ‘Pastport’ to keep.

Digital Missions have been designed for both families and schools. They have been developed to stimulate a set of core skills: looking, imagining, discovering, investigating, gathering, questioning, comparing, interpreting, solving, sharing, challenging and creating. They are also designed as a social experience, encouraging team work and interaction.

Hampton Court Palace Mission Pilot

During 2014, 2500 children took part in focus groups to help refine the concept and to test a prototype of the game on iPads and iPods at Hampton Court Palace. This user-led design approach resulted in significant improvements being made to user experience, content and reward structure of the game. The final versions of the Missions were launched in May 2015, and have been enjoyed by hundreds of school children. We’re confident that families are going to really enjoy them too and more Digital Missions are being planned for the future.

The Digital Missions have been developed in partnership with the agency Kingdom and the development is informed through consultation with schools and families from around the UK. For more information about Digital Missions, please contact the Learning team at Historic Royal Palaces and check the web pages on the Historic Royal Palaces website for schools and for families. 

How have you used digital technology to enhance the visitor experience in your museum? Leave a comment below


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