I just took part in the best game I have played all year. Challenging, terrifying, exhilarating, it had it all. Journey was an epic game of chasing by Make & Do that took place as part of the Darklight Festival. It is based on iChaseYou.
At 8 pm, we gathered at CHQ, the runners. I didn't know much of the rules and goals, turned out it was very simple.
- There are chasers
- They will chase you
- Don't get caught
- Make it to each of the 5 bases in order
I was running with my sister Suvi. We schemed that we would start by belting it across a small wooden bridge and through the stone circle to beat the crowds and give the chasers the slip. It worked well but we got bunched up again trying to cross a gigantic road. The final stretch to the first base saw us dash with twenty or so other runners. Thats when we first caught site of the nefarious chasers. They lay in wait, but me and Suvi busted through while they were distracted with easier targets. We had made it.
The next stop was in Temple Bar. We decided to jump a Luas to Jervis and slip through quiet back streets. The strategy worked and we remained unhindered for the entire approach. After quickly catching our breath, we hit the street again, only to be met by a taunting chaser. His face was pained and he hollered and jibed us from outside the safe zone before ducking out of view. I made to run the other way but Suvi hit on a great idea, follow him, he wont be expecting us to be behind him.
We followed and took the long way round, and traveled by backstreets again to Georges Street. We had to get up to Portabello, so we jumped a bus for some of the way, and then approached the third base form an odd angle. We came upon a strange scene of roller-derby girls and parkour boys jazzing about in strange lights. We knew we had made it. Crowds of other runners started arriving and we started back the way we came, thinking it would still be clear. We were wrong.
A ferocious chaser was pursuing a band of runners and heading straight for us. The important thing to remember is that you do not have to be faster than the chaser, you just have to beat the other runners. We pelted it back to the third base and plotted a convoluted route to base 4 in new market. Weaving through dodgy neighbourhoods and down dark alleyways we made it with only one brief encounter with a distant chaser that we out manoeuvred.
At base 4 we were met by bootcamp trainers firing on us with water pistols and demanding burpies. Once we acquiesced, they let us know that only 5 people had made it here before us, we were doing really well. We resolved to give the final stretch our all and finish in a good position.
We plotted a course that blended directness and stealth and struck out at a jog towards the final stop in Smithfield. We made it far and the bridge across the river was in site. This was great bridges were mini safe-zones where chasers could not get you. If we could make it there, we were confident that we could sneak in to Smithfield.
As we approached I saw him and stopped. A shadowy man lingering at the end of the street. Was it a chaser or just some city dweller? We regarded each other and he moved towards me. I saw his red chaser band then, clearly making him out as the enemy. This was the end. Maybe if I threw myself at him, Suvi at least could make it to safety. Then I heard it.
Behind me an over eager runner appeared and dashed ahead of us to the bride. The chaser went for him and we took our moment dashing in the final zone. We ran ragged the final few meters, just focusing on making it to the end, hoping to outrun or surprise and chasers lying in wait.
We made it! 4th and 5th place out of 80 or so. We were met with cheers and beer and a huge sense of sweaty relief and pride. It was fan-fucking-tastic.