Board game lets you own heritage sites in Pune
The struggle of acquiring a heritage property is real. A new board game has made it the perfect subject matter, as it pits players in a brutal quest to discover Pune's cultural significance
The former capital of the Peshwas, Pune has always been one of the most significant cultural centres of Maharashtra. From majestic forts and palaces to intricately-carved rock-cut temples and mosques, there are numerous places to visit here for history buffs. What if someone told you these real-life heritage sites could become yours?
It sounded like an exciting proposition to 36-year-old computer engineer Madhur Barve. The Puneri has been an active member of Discover Pune, a one-of-a-kind annual treasure hunt event. "Almost 16 years old now, Discover Pune organises pulse-racing treasure hunts in the city. The event aims to test the knowledge of participants about the city, its history and culture. Last year, however, I realised something was amiss. I wanted to keep people engaged and connected to the city's glorious past not just during this annual game, but throughout the year," Barve tells us.
The writer tries her hand at Discover Pune, created by Amruta and Madhur Barve
And so, in January this year, he and wife Amruta created a heritage family board game called Discover Pune.
This writer, who considers Pune her second home, and three other Pune residents were confident of victory. The game comes with a board map of the city, showing some of the roads and heritage locations, 63 heritage location cards, 90 mystery cards, artificial currency, different-coloured player pins, 63 milestone pins and a dice. The instruction manual states the game can be played in two ways—classic and strategic. We opted for the easier, classic.
The main objective of the game is for players to collect as many location cards as possible by traversing the city. Although the player with the maximum location cards has an advantage, what is important is collecting more cards belonging to the same colour, so you earn maximum points. But there is a catch. Understanding the minute details mentioned in the three-page long guidebook takes a good half hour. That can be a bummer. To save time, we decided to revisit directions only when confusion appeared.
The elaborate board shows a map of the whole city. Notes such as 'get me bun maska from Dhole Patil Road's famous Vohuman Café' or 'stop by for Shrewsbury biscuits from East Street' nudge participants, as each one takes a different route to claim heritage sites and earn more location cards. As you play, little memories of living in the city become apparent, and perhaps that is the charm of the game.
What: Discover Pune
Cost: Rs 1,875
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