To The People Who Enable All This Madness

Room Escape Artist has a long and distinguished history of being bad at business. We have always been slow to ask for money or charge for much of anything… but almost two years ago we launched a Patreon because enough of our readers told us we that were silly for not having done so already. And we are so thankful to you for persuading us.

This month we triggered the $1,000 per month goal that we had created (and then forgot about) when we formed the Patreon:

“When we reach our goal of $1,000 per month, we will share the names of all our backers in at least one blog post a month to thank you publicly for your generous support.”

REA $1,000 Per Month Goal
Lisa & David dressed for a night out, in front of Zoom.
(The only time we dressed up nicely in 2020)

Lisa and I were so pleasantly surprised to hit this goal, especially in the current economy. We’ve had a lot of supporters have to withdraw because their finances couldn’t justify it this year, and we totally understand that. And at the same time, we’ve been amazed that we have picked up much more support than we lost.

Each and every supporter means so much to us. I’ve long wanted to make REA my job, and these folks are helping me inch my way there, step by step by step. We do this because we love it. But, in truth, the folks who help us financially do so much to take the pressure off – whether it is directly through Patreon, by attending our Escape Immerse Explore Tours (both 2020 tours were postponed to 2021 – details will be available soon) or Virtual Escape Jams (the RECON Virtual Escape Jam was a success and we have another one coming soon!), or by supporting indirectly by clicking into Amazon through any of the links on REA.

We’re working on a dream here, and we have so much appreciation for the people who are helping us make that a reality:

Adwords Blackhat
Amanda Harris
Andrew Sturridge
Anne Lukeman
Anonymous
Ben Rosner
Bill Chang
Breakout Games
Brett Kuehner
Brian Resler
C.J. Smith
Cara Mandel
Chris Cannon
Chris M. Dickson
Chris White
Crystal Farr
Daniel Egnor
Darren Miller
David Longley
Derek Tam
Drew Nelson
Elaine
Eric Mittler
Game On
Greg Marinelli
Greg Schneider
Jim of PARADOXsquared
John Wardrope
Jon Kaufthal
Joseph Allen
Joseph Friesen
Joseph Messteri
Josh Kendrick
Justin Nevins
Kathryn
Kevin
Lee-Fay Low
Lonnie
Marisa Capobianco
Mark Blume
Mark Denine
Matt Keyser
Michael Wolman
Mihir Kedia
Nathan Walton
Neda Delavarpour
Negina Kolesar
Nick Moran
Nick Rose
No Proscenium
Omer Aru
Patrick McLean
Patrick McNamara
Paul Tashima
Paula Swann
Philip Ho
Rebecca Horste
Rene Sorette
Rex Miller
Rich Bragg
Richard Burns
Rob Tsuk
Ryan Brady
Ryan Hart
S T Cameron
Samantha Koehler
Sara Reed
Scott Olson
Sean McBride
Seth Wolfson
Stephanie McNeill
Steven Valdez
Stuart Bogaty
Stuart Nafey
Tahlia Kirk
Tammy McLeod
Terry Pettigrew-Rolapp
The Wild Optimists
Theresa Piazza
Theresa Wagner
Tiffany Schaefer
Todd
Todd McClary
Tommy
Victor van Doorn
Vivien Ripoll
YouEscape

Thank you!

Escape Hunt – An Enola Holmes Adventure [Hivemind Review]

An Enola Holmes Adventure is a free print-and-play collection of puzzles with a light narrative created by Escape Hunt in the UK. This game was released in partnership with Netflix to promote their new movie, Enola Holmes. The film was noticeably escape room-ish.

An Enola Holmes Adventure depicting the main character behind a magnifying glass.

Format

Style of Play: print-and-play collection of puzzles with a light narrative

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

This game is meant to be printed.

Recommended Team Size: 1-3

Play Time: 30-60 minutes

Price: free

Booking: download and play at any time

Description

This is a full-color PDF of puzzles with setup instructions, a few minimal/ quick folding and/ or cutting puzzles, and an accompanying hints website with some hints also included at the end of the pdf in mirror writing.

A flower on a portion of a cipher wheel.

Hivemind Review Scale

Edaqa’s Room – Prototype [Hivemind Review]

Prototype is a point-and-click adventure game created by Edaqa’s Room.

A cartoonish looking digital escape room set in a living room with toys and books strewn about.

Format

Style of Play: point-and-click adventure game

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection

Recommended Team Size: 2-4

Play Time: There is no timer. The website says groups usually take about 90 minutes. Our reviewer group played in about 45 minutes.

Price: introductory price of $12.50 per team

Booking: Upon purchase you gain immediate access to the game in the browser.

Description

Prototype is a point-and-click adventure game with collaborative elements. The whole team plays together, but everybody can move around the screens separately.

Hivemind Review Scale

ThinkFun – Escape The Room: The Cursed Dollhouse [Review]

Come play with us…

Location:  at home

Date Played: September 15, 2020

Team size: 1-4; we recommend 2-3

Duration: 2-3 hours

Price: about $43

REA Reaction

We’ve heard whispers for years about Rebecca Bleau and Nicholas Cravotta’s followup to their original two Escape The Room games published by ThinkFun (Mystery at the Stargazer’s Manor & Secret of Dr. Gravely’s Retreat). We had heard tales of a dollhouse built from the game box, creating the feeling of an actual escape room on your table.

Those rumors were true.

Closeup of the assembled dollhouse.

Playing Escape The Room: The Cursed Dollhouse felt a lot like playing an escape room on our table. We did a proper turn-down search in each room of the dollhouse – the first time we’ve searched like that since the beginning of March… and that felt damn good.

The puzzles in The Cursed Dollhouse played well. They were approachable, but noticeably more challenging than in ThinkFun’s previous two games. We enjoyed playing through almost all of this game, with the exception of a late-game segment that felt like a bit of a grind.

Overall, this was a premium product. It delivered the kind of experience we would have expected from a high-end boutique tabletop puzzle game company, not a mass market product, buyable off of a store shelf or Amazon. Thinking about it… it’s crazy that this product was manufactured with this level of care, and for that, our hats are off to the folks at ThinkFun.

We recommend you buy this thing. It’s novel, fun, and feels like an actual escape room in a box.

Who is this for?

  • Story seekers
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Prop collectors
  • Players with at least some experience

Why play?

  • Strong and crafty puzzle content
  • You build a dollhouse out of the game’s packaging

Story

Everyone in the neighborhood remembered Old Man Garrity being a good guy, but ever since his daughter disappeared, he had withdrawn from the community.

Recently people had been hearing strange noises coming from the shed in Garrity’s backyard. We decided to break in… and found a dollhouse?

The Cursed Dollhouse box art depicting a creepy doll peering through the cracked wall of a dollhouse.
Continue reading “ThinkFun – Escape The Room: The Cursed Dollhouse [Review]”

Novel Escape – 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea [Hivemind Review]

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is a real-life escape room livestreamed and played through an avatar, created by Novel Escape in Austin, TX.

Room Escape Artist reviewed the real-life version of this game in August of 2019. This is a review of the online adaptation.

In-game: A locked hatch within the submarine.

Format

Style of Play: real-life escape room livestreamed and played through an avatar

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection

Recommended Team Size: 2-5

Play Time: 75 minutes

Price: $60 for first two connections; $15 for each additional connection

Booking: book online for a specific time slot

Description

This is a standard, avatar-guided adaptation of a real-life escape room. In addition to the live first-person video stream of the room, you also have an auto-populating inventory that allows you to inspect items up close. This game uses Zoom video chat with Telescape inventory.

In-game: A control panel with a variety of switches and buttons.

Hivemind Review Scale