08 October 2016

Marvel Civil War Scavenger Hunt

NOTE: Marvel and all characters herein are copyright and trademarks of Marvel, Inc. I hope in the spirit of imagination young and old that they understand the intended use is recreational and NOT commercial use of these characters in this party game.

For my son’s first birthday we did the Gummy Bear Pirate Captain Treasure Hunt, essentially due to his love of the Gummy Bear Song:

An annual series of inopportune family weddings have made celebration of his birthday a smaller event for the last few years. This year my wife and I decided to plan another scavenger hunt, using elements of the Amazing Race using the world of the Marvel Civil War. We sorted our son, nephews, and their parents into two teams, Team Captain America and Team Iron Man. Each team got a T-shirt as a party favor and team uniform. They were gathered to get a briefing from Agent Maria Hill (my wife) and myself, S.H.I.E.L.D. Executive Director Mick Fury (Samuel L Jackson’s brother from another mother). I told them that they had to find the missing Avengers and whichever team found the most would win. There would be three missions, each mission would cause the losing team to have a time penalty on the scavenger hunt that followed each mission.

My wife’s Maria Hill was accomplished with black workout gear. As props I bought a pirate eye patch and some Halloween military insignia. Combined with black EMT pants, shirt, and a trench coat round out my Mick Fury costume. Which I wore in public. But hey the little guys were wearing luchador masks, so I blended. Each mission came in a manila folder with the S.H.I.E.L.D. logo on the front. Each clue that Director Fury handed out came in a S.H.I.E.L.D. emblazoned envelope..

Mission #1: Escape from the Red Skull

Escape from the Red Skull

The first mission occurred at a local park, each team member had to accomplish a task. The cumulative time giving one or the other the advantage in the scavenger hunt to follow. The tasks were:

  1. Across the balance beam
  2. Back across the balance beam
  3. Across the monkey bars
  4. Up the cliff wall
  5. Down the escape slide

Back the house the teams got 25 minutes to solve their first clue:

Of all the things in the world, I am the shortest and the longest, the swiftest and the slowest. I am the thing people waste the most. Yet they need more than anything else, for without me nothing can be done.

The answer of course is “time”, which lead the teams to an alarm clock, under which their next clue lay:

Round and round I run, but nowhere do I go.

The answer for this clue was “treadmill” under which they found three figures from Cap’s side: Winter Soldier, Falcon, and Hawkeye. Of course this was misinterpreted as “fan” so they accidentally found a clue for Mission #2, which forced me to change the location of this later clue while everyone was distracted with another mission.

Mission #2: Secrets of the Submariner

Secrets of the Sub Mariner

My nephews and to a lesser extent my son, love fishing. The second mission was a competition between the two teams at who could catch four fish first or the most fish in 30 minutes. The fish weren’t really biting so only my father-in-law caught one, giving his team a one minute advantage. Back in the house the scavenger hunt continued with 25 minutes to solve:

Wind does not make me go, yet I spin round and round to let it blow.

The answer being “fan”. I moved the clue previously spotted in the last mission from one of our ceiling fans to one of the bathroom exhaust fans. Hilarity ensued when both teams ran to the original site and then accused each other of stealing their copy of the next clue. The clue here was:

I have eyes, but I see nothing. I have ears, but I hear nothing. I have a mouth, but i cannot speak. I always will look just as I look now. If I am young, I will stay young. If I am old, I will remain old. Nothing can change me.

The answer being “photograph” and behind one of our family photos they found three members of Iron Man’s faction: War Machine, Vision, and Black Panther. After this challenge the teams were neck and neck.

Mission #3: Action at Avengers Headquarters

Action at Avengers Headquarters

The last mission utilized my son’s favorite toy, his electric Jeep, in which he raced for time in a lap around the outside of our house. This was followed by 10 baskets for time (dropped to 5 because of the aim of the players involved) and carrying an egg on a spoon around the outside of our home. The last event was the three-legged race using two members of each team. The team with the winning time got the difference as a time advantage for the next 25 minute scavenger hunt challenge. Previously, the S.H.I.E.L.D. logo bedecked envelopes they came in were without text but this time:

SHIELD envelope

Inside the teams found this mysterious photograph:

IMG 2478

Which is actually the “X” from the APEX logo on one of our television, the remainder being the bottom edge and television table. Underneath the base they found their last clue, a famous riddle from J.R.R. Tolkien’s the Hobbit:

A box without hinges, key, nor lid, yet golden treasure inside is hid.

Which of course is an “egg” (or eggses per Gollum). This clue was supposed to lead our staunch Avengers in-training to the egg cartoon in the fridge, inside which the last the figures could be found: Captain America, Iron Man, and Black Widow.

Both sets of little boys got gift cards and to keep the figurines they had found. Everyone got to keep their T-shirts. And fun was had by all…except complaints about the last riddle as being inaccurate. Which I attribute to geek illiteracy. All in all it took about two and a half hours to complete the missions. I fell victim to incorrect answers leading to clues again this time, something that is easier to correct in a role-playing campaign than it is in real time.