DS puts tiny island on wireless treasure hunt

Wi-Fi gaming drives players around real-world location

When it comes to using existing technologies in new ways, there's clever and there's genius. And the latter category is where we have to place a Japanese tourism drive that combines Nintendo's DS and a real-world treasure hunt.

The result is a bizarre mash-up game known as ' Treasure Quest: Enoshima - Treasure of the Dragon' that is driving gamers to a small island outside Tokyo in search of fame and fortune. Although the fortune is entirely virtual, the fame is quite real, such is the coverage the game is getting in Japan.

Download and go

Would-be players have to register before heading to Enoshima, which lies 60km south of the capital, but once accepted, the fun begins. Free software guides them around the island looking for clues to a puzzle that is a race against time.

The fun part lies in using the Wi-Fi on the DS to deliver clues at certain locations and in forcing players to hunt around real places on the island for views that match those onscreen and other visual prompts.

If such game-guided treasure hunts take off in a big way, it can't be long before we have to watch out for geeks rampaging through city streets and not just tiny Japanese islands.