clueQuest – Print + Cut + Escape: Operation E.G.G. [Hivemind Review]

Print + Cut + Escape: Operation E.G.G. is a print-and-play escape game created by clueQuest in London, England.

Incredibly adorable puppy with a paper puzzle piece in her mouth.
Ginger The Goblin Pup is all in on chewable puzzles

Format

Style of Play:

  • Online native experience (can NOT be played IRL)
  • Play on-demand
  • Print-and-play

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection, printer, scissors, pen, and paper

Recommended Team Size: 2-4

Play Time: ~90 minutes

Price: £15

Booking: purchase and play at your leisure

Description

First you download and print a PDF. Then you play along with a step-by-step web-based interface. The online interface accompanies the printed and cut pieces, and both work in tandem to advance the story.

Assorted printed puzzle components.

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Escape Room Geeks – Saving the Beauty of Winter [Hivemind Review]

Saving the Beauty of Winter is a print-and-play game for kids, created by Escape Room Geeks.

Fingers holding a game piece for a "Donut World" storefront.

Format

Style of Play:

  • Play on demand
  • Print-and-play

Required Equipment: Computer with internet connection, printer, scissors, glue or tape

Recommended Team Size: 3-4 kids per group

Play Time: 45-60 minutes (for kids; 10 minutes for adults)

Note that the cutting and printing is time substantial.

Price: $29

Booking: purchase and play at your leisure

Description

The evil inventor Swen Hemerson has created a machine to destroy snow, so you must track him to his secret lab, find the machine, and destroy it. These three challenges are presented via a 26-page PDF to be printed and played in order. Each challenge consists of connecting several pieces of information to produce a numerical code.

This is a game for kids, so the primary play mode assumes that an adult is acting as the gamemaster and gating progress through the challenges. However, the How-to-Play guide includes a “Play Along Webpage” that can be used to validate the codes and provide hints.

This game advertises its use for multiple groups of 2-5 kids racing against each other.

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Mystery Mansion Regina – Seen [Hivemind Review]

Seen is a livestreamed adaptation of an in-person game created by Mystery Mansion Regina in Regina, Canada.

In game, a person against a wall casting shadow puppets over zoom.

Format

Style of Play:

  • Adaptation of an in-person game (can be played IRL)
  • Avatar controlled by the players
  • Web-based inventory system
  • Interactive NPC + aspects of immersive theater

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection

Recommended Team Size: 3-6

Play Time: 75 minutes

Price: $25 CA per person

Booking: book online for a specific time slot

Description

This is an avatar-led game with interactive Telescape inventory system. It is a livestreamed version of a real escape room, modified to be a raunchy, parody of the format.

You are dropped into the scenario about as diagetically as you can be with an online game.

Not family-friendly! Make sure your entire team is ok with adult language. It will also help if at least one of your teammates is outgoing and willing to interact with an improv actor.

Even though it is a play on the Saw movies, it was not scary at all.

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Gruzzle – The Will [Review]

Consulting Puzzler

Location:  at home

Date Played: March 23, 2020

Team size: we recommend 2-4

Duration: about 2 hours

Price:  $30 per game, delivered every other month; $87 for 6 months subscription, $172 for a year’s subscription

REA Reaction

Gruzzle is a subscription puzzle service. They send a tabletop escape game-style puzzle box to you every other month. The Will was their second game, released in November 2020.

The Will required nothing more than what came in the box and provided a fun and satisfying evening of tabletop puzzle solving. The puzzles were approachable, cleanly clued, and made creative use of paper components.

Envelopes with different items printed on them.

Although the storytelling didn’t resonate with us, it wasn’t the reason to play. This was a game for people who want to solve elegant puzzles at an approachable difficulty level.

With The Will, Gruzzle is poised for a successful subscription model. The components are inexpensive, and the puzzles are well designed. Every other month is a substantial commitment, but if they are able to keep up the quality of puzzles they’ve established with The Will, Gruzzle offers good of value in the tabletop puzzle subscription market. We look forward to seeing more from Gruzzle.

Who is this for?

  • Puzzle lovers
  • Good for less experienced puzzlers

Why play?

  • Nifty tangible interactions
  • Little aha moments throughout the experience

Story

A wealthy philanthropist had passed away and left her fortune to her equally philanthropic grandchildren. However, she’d hid the fortune behind a series of puzzles, and that’s where we came in. The family had hired us to serve as a consulting puzzler to earn their inheritance for them.

The Gruzzle box depicts a child looking through a magnifying glass.
Continue reading “Gruzzle – The Will [Review]”

District 3 Escape Rooms – Haunted [Hivemind Review]

Haunted is an avatar-led, livestreamed adaptation of an in-person game created by District 3 Escape Rooms in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.

A person entering into a strangely shaped room with high ceilings.

Format

Style of Play:

  • Adaptation of an in-person game (can be played IRL)
  • Avatar controlled by the players
  • Web-based inventory system

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection

Recommended Team Size: 3-5

Play Time: 60 minutes

Price: $19 CAD per person (accounting for the current discount)

Booking: book online for a specific time slot

Description

Players control the game host avatar through Zoom, and have access to a Telescape inventory website site for a 360-degree view of the space and a better view of puzzles.

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