A new virtual reality (VR) game allows children to experience what it was like in London during the Second World War and they needed to seek safety from the bombs by sheltering deep underground.
The ‘Secret Shelter Challenge: time-travel deep underground’ game was created by ‘Musemio’, an award-winning immersive app company. It offers both mobile VR with a brightly coloured cardboard viewer headset, and 2D gameplay. The app is designed for children aged 8-11 who have a curious and open mind.
Responses from children who used the app during trial sessions included: “The mouse is very cute.”, “I like the tiny bits in the portal!”, “I liked the bit where she [Margaret] was talking about her life, her family.”, “Fun, exciting, and adventurous”.
In the game, the player travels through time to 1944 and relives accounts from families who stayed at Clapham South deep-level shelter while Britain was at war and discovers their secrets.
To keep the time machine portal open, a secret password must be recovered. On the way, the player meets a 10-year-old schoolgirl called Margaret, the main character in the game who helps to find the missing password.
There are also fictional characters such as Queen Mouse, who knows about everything that is happening in the shelter, and Grumpy Teddy, who lives behind a door but is grumpy because he’s been forgotten by one of the young visitors.
An important character is Mio, a friendly robot mascot that maintains Musemio’s time machine. Even though Mio has access to a supercomputer, sometimes Mio gets into trouble and needs Explorers to help.
Chris Nix, Assistant Director of Collections and Engagement at London Transport Museum, said: “Through this new virtual reality app we’ve brought the secret history of Clapham South deep-level shelter to life for a new younger audience. Kids are going to love exploring the maze of spooky tunnels with little Margaret, Queen Mouse, and Grumpy Teddy.”
Fenella Goodhart, Head of Learning at London Transport Museum, said: “As well as being great fun, the “Secret Shelter Challenge: time-travel deep underground” game is a really good learning tool for eight to eleven-year-olds. This lively immersive game will help children understand what life was like for previous generations during the Second World War.”
Olga Kravchenko, Founder and CEO of Musemio, said: “I’m so excited about our latest partnership with London Transport Museum. Our Musemio team provided the technological creativity and know-how and fused this with the magical history of the secret tunnels at Clapham South. This new “Secret Shelter Challenge: time-travel deep underground” game offers both mobile VR and 2D gameplay which we know kids love.”
Elizabeth McKay, Chief Operating Officer for London Transport Museum, said: “Since meeting Musemio’s founders over two years ago we’ve been impressed with their innovative approach to gameplay and mission to make culture more accessible to children which aligns with our own aims. Musemio’s mission is a good fit with our own ambitions and we hope this is the start of ongoing collaboration to ignite children’s curiosity.”
The new ‘Secret Shelter Challenge: time-travel deep underground’ game is available as an in-app purchase as part of the free Musemio app, at £2.99 per download. After purchasing the experience, the user can play it as many times as they want, uncovering extra details every time.