A commissioned week-long location based interactive fiction game played across Minneapolis art museums.

A mysterious thief has boasted that he will pull off an amazing art heist during the Northern Spark festival. The city’s best detectives are on alert, but he seems to anticipate their every move. Which museum will he hit? And why is he leaving clues about his plans? Meanwhile, a group of urban explorers makes a remarkable discovery beneath the streets of Minneapolis. When some of them go missing, our detectives must follow their trail—but do they want to be found? And then there’s that lost cat…

MysteryPhone: Art of Darkness is a cross-platform (iOS, Android) interactive narrative game that was developed with a $16k grant awarded by Northern Spark for their annual festival. An unfolding location-based narrative and interactions with virtual characters reveal aspects of a hidden world all around Minneapolis. The story launched June 9th, 2014 and led up to the night of the Northern Spark festival on June 14th, with an epilogue released the next day. It relaunched for a week surrounding the Minneapolis and Northern Lights Creative City Challenge for their Play Day on July 19th. Players, or rather Detectives, could begin their story ahead of time, or at the events. The story could be experienced in many ways, and whether participants wanted to dig as deep as possible into the multiple mysteries or merely casually follow along, they became a vital part of the story.


  • Jerry Belich - Game / Narrative Designer, Programmer
  • David Pisa - Narrative / Puzzle Designer
  • Megan Dowd - Project Manager