This week we had the chance to interview Benjamin Tucker, the creator of Buck Buck Games, a live immersive gaming experience where players tackle interactive challenges that unlock their inner child. We delved into the world of Benjamin’s most recent adventure, ‘The Hunt for the Smoking Caterpillar’. Are you up for the challenge?!
Tell us a little about yourself…
After 20 years of being a ‘creative’ in advertising, plus some other side-hustles, it was time to do my own thing. I’ve always been into character based comedy, my first game was an immersive escape room with players guided by the voice of a raunchy old ghost lady! My hand drawn CV explains more…
How did Buck Buck Games start?
Escape rooms are ok, but the real magic is in the human interaction. I moved on from my first company to create games which harness the awesome power of interactive performers, along with the magical physical puzzles that good escape rooms offer.
What can we expect from Buck Buck Games for this particular immersive event ‘The Hunt for the Smoking Caterpillar’?
A totally new experience! The game is meticulously designed to unlock that inner child, where everything is new and yet to be discovered. The story is based in New Wonderland, which has been taken over by The Baron, who has introduced systems that cultivate a stable economy in what was once a nonsense land. You can also find out more information about the experience here…
This really sounds like a unique immersive theatre experience. How and when was the concept formed?
When it premiered at Wonderland Festival last year, one player described it as a ‘live Monkey Island’! This was one of the first ‘open play’ computer games in which players could go anywhere and talk to anyone, collecting side quests as they go. The concept features a currency of golds, allowing players to do as they wish with them. The Baron actively encourages bartering, bribery and blackmail, but players are free to do as they wish, which can lead to all sorts of bizarre happenings. Some immersive theatre is about observing the happenings, we let players lead them. Our actors are trained in improv theatre so they can respond to everything that is thrown at them!
We’ve had so many unusual scenarios, my favourite was when one seemingly lovely player, actually blackmailed my character for golds, by thrusting the corpse of my friend in my face. An eventuality I could have never predicted, but totally possible!
How can our readers take part or get involved?
Games take place upstairs at The Owl & Hitchhiker, recently voted North London’s best pub. Available dates can be seen on the ticket page…
Further games may feature elsewhere as pop-up events, follow Buckbuckgames on instagram (@BuckBuckGames) or on facebook to find out more.
Could you give us any tips to help us with the adventure…it sounds like it could be challenging!
The players who approach it with a totally open mind without pre-conception or judgement, will have a great time. Throw yourself into the game and follow your instincts, the flow of ‘play’ is what it is all about. After the game is over, you may look back on the story and your path within, then assess all, probably with a grin!
Is there anything coming up in the pipeline that we should keep our ears and eyes open for?
The Hunt for the Smoking Caterpillar is available to hire for events and parties. We’ll be travelling to festivals and venues across the UK, and the game is also open to exclusive hire at our London residency.
Buckbuck Games has 2 new team games in the making, which we’ll be revealing this Winter, plus a very unusual fortune telling booth that preaches the power of being in the present! All I can say is, it’s gonna be BIG!
From Secret Cinema to the Crystal Maze, there has been a huge rise in immersive experiences, why do you think they are so popular with Londoners?
Adulting is hard. We’re promised so much magic as a child. Every story is revealed as a ruse, starting with the death of Santa, to that very first council tax bill. Immersive experiences have the opportunity to reconnect us with magic. I believe the art form to be the greatest storytelling media available, beyond looking at a book, TV, computer game or stage. If a player can experience and lead what happens, they become the hero of their own story. What could be greater than that?!
Lastly, where is your favourite place in London to have an adventure?
Gonna go spiritual on this one! Physical places can offer so much, pretty much everywhere has been discovered. But people offer the greatest adventures. There is so much to explore with each and every person we meet, especially if they happen to be a White Rabbit with a bag of golds and a dodgy insurance package for sale!
Would you like to experience the ‘The Hunt for the Smoking Caterpillar’ for yourself? If you follow us on Instagram (@LondonLivingBlog), like our Buck Buck Games post and tag a friend who you would bring along with you, we will announce the winner on Friday 9th August (please note: tickets are only valid on 24th August). Good luck!
Have you been to The Hunt for the Smoking Caterpillar? Let us know what you thought in the comments below.