The South Australian Museum and Adventure Mode partner to offer new gaming experience

06 February 2019

Shadow Initiation

In an Australian first, the South Australian Museum will launch a new digital experience enticing visitors to think outside the box and show their spirit for adventure. The Shadow Initiation will task visitors with puzzles, tests and challenges about the Museum’s galleries and collections, unlocking secrets and introducing a new way to experience the Museum.

Director of the South Australian Museum Brian Oldman said he is looking forward to offering a new digital experience that will encourage visitors to see their favourite galleries and objects in a new light. 

“The Museum holds collections of over 600 million years of life on earth - from some of the oldest fossils in the world, to the 35,000 specimens of minerals in our care it’s impossible to share every unique story with the public. This game will unlock untold secrets from the galleries you’ve walked 100 times and introduce you to collection items you may not know exist,” Mr Oldman said. 

The aim of the game is to accrue as many points as possible in order to join a Secret Order. Taking place on a tablet, up to four people can play at one time. With over 40 challenges to choose from and one hour on the clock, players will work their way through the Museum, strategically selecting which challenges to accept and trying to complete as many as possible within the allocated time.

With the surging popularity of experiential entertainment, escape rooms and live-adventure games, the South Australian Museum has partnered with Adventure Mode, an Adelaide-founded company that specialises in adventure experiences designed to enhance existing attractions and sites.

Emma Moad, Director of Adventure Mode, has had long-term involvement with popular local escape room, Escape Hunt Adelaide based in Rundle Mall.

“Through my involvement with escape rooms, I’ve seen the growing desire from people to get more out of their entertainment. People want to have an experience, they want to create a memory. This is exactly what we’ve kept in mind when designing The Shadow Initiation,” Mrs Moad said.

“The Museum holds a special place in every South Australian’s heart, and inspires feelings of nostalgia and familiarity. We wanted to create an experience that shines a whole new light on the Museum and enables people to create new memories and make new discoveries when they come here,” she says.

This experience has been designed with 18-35s in mind, but with varying levels of difficulty so can be played by all ages.

Developed in close consultation with the Museum’s Research and Collections staff, the quest showcases the globally significant collections of the Museum while at the same time celebrating play – which to Albert Einstein was the highest form of research.  

“The game will inspire curiosity, tap into people’s competitive nature, delight them with new information and excite them with unique challenges and puzzles. It’s designed to be fun, sneakily STEM-educational and most of all, memorable,” Mr Oldman said.

The Shadow Initiation is a joint venture that will provide dedicated funds to progress the work of the South Australian Museum. By playing the game, visitors will be directly supporting ground-breaking research, world-class exhibitions and innovative educational and visitor experiences.


The Shadow Initiation will open to the public on February 13 2019. Tickets will be available online and in the Museum shop.