Spanner in the Works Game for Gloucestershire Archives

Gloucestershire Archives set us a unique challenge – to bring to life the story of Fielding & Platt, an iconic engineering company of the 19th and 20th century whose factory is now buried under a 21st century shopping centre.

We also faced the challenge of engaging children with a subject material that many could find dry – rivets and vacuum cleaners, propellers and paving slabs.

We came up with a mobile game – Spanner in the Works – in which children were challenged to thwart the plot of evil time villain, Mr McGuffin. McGuffin had been travelling through time gates and wreaking havoc on Fielding & Platt by shoving spanners in some of their most important machines, leading to dire consequences for the present. Children who downloaded the game to their iPhone or iPod Touch had to find the time gates, hidden throughout the shopping centre and then enter a code into their phone to unlock each puzzle. If they could beat McGuffin in all 6 challenges the player received a £5 Gift Card – funded by Gloucester Quays Shopping Centre.

The game successfully aligned the needs of Gloucestershire Archives with the needs of Gloucester Quays Shopping Centre – our game could bring more families to Gloucester Quays by entertaining children who might otherwise be bored by a shopping trip.

Spanner in the Works was shortlisted for a Mobile Entertainments Award, in company with prestigious children’s game developers, Cbeebies, Channel 4 and Moshi Monsters.

If you’d like to explore creating a game for your museum or attraction, just call us on 01242 256970 or email