Phone app puts you on the trail of Heydrich

Geocaching game lets players follow along with a World War II paratroopers

A smartphone and tablet app called Operation Anthropoid puts people into the trail of the World War II assassination of acting Reich Protector Reinhard Heydrich. Playing the game, which was made by local company Geofun, takes about two hours. Players follow the instructions and go to the real locations in and around Prague 8 involved in the historical event. It can be played on foot or on bike, and even while walking the dog. The game, available in English and Czech versions, does not require a strong knowledge of history, as clues are given in code to help people along in solving tasks. The game also does not require an internet connection while playing. According to the game's makers, it is suitable for children and families.

The game takes players through the planning of the assassination up to the event itself, which took place May 27, 1942, and the initial escape of the paratroopers.

To launch the game, users have to go to Dablice Cemetery, where Jozef Gabčík and Jan Kubiš, two of the real-life paratroopers who assassinated Heydrich, are buried. The game uses animated segments and takes people to Heydrich's Mercedes 320 Convertible B as it passes through Kobylisy via virtual reality. The game then follows the paratroopers as they begin their escape.

The authors of the game are planning a second part that follows up on the aftermath of the assassination and takes players to the Church of Sts Cyril and Methodius, Gestapo headquarters at Petschek Palace and locations on Wenceslas Square.

The paratroopers, part of the Czechoslovak army in exile, were dropped in Bohemia at the end of 1941 by Britain's RAF, and took several months to carry out their assignment. The aftermath of the assassination included repercussions such as the liquidation of the village of Lidice.

The story of the assassination of Heydrich has been popular recently, with two new film versions. Anthropoid, which had its premiere at the Karlovy Vary film festival this year, and the still unreleased film HHhH both films used Prague locations.

According to the company website, Geofun is a mobile application for smartphones with Android and iOS operating systems. It guides you through the most interesting places in the region in a fun and competitive way. “The game is based on the popular geocaching, but is much more exciting and adventurous in character. Basically it is a fun geolocation game of the new generation, where it is not enough to just find the place and check yourself, but you also have to perform various assignments that the guide assigns you throughout the game. Your guide is always someone local who knows the given city or region well and can give you good advice,” the website states. For Operace Anthropoid the guide is paratrooper Jan Kubiš.

The assignments in the game have four factors: physical, mental, embarrassment and fun. They are rated on a scale of one to five, with five being the most difficult. You get points for completing each task. The total sum of the factors multiplied by five is the total value of the assignments. If you record and upload videos, audio or create photos you can earn additional points.

There are other apps that let you explore the city as well. Geofun has four games in English versions set in Prague, including Operation Anthropoid. The others are Charles Bridge versus the Vltava, which teaches some history of the bridge; Just a little bit about the Exhibition Grounds, which starts at the left wing of the Industrial Palace in Výstaviště; and Find Tambor - Prague - Sterboholy 1757,which takes place during a battle in what is a now a district at the edge of the city.

There are also five games in the Karlovy Vary area.


For more information visit www.geofun.info/anthropoid or download GeoFun on Google Apps store

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