Escape Room Herndon – Potter’s Escape [Hivemind Review]

Potter’s Escape is a free digital game created by Escape Room Herndon.

The hall at Hogwarts lit by floating candles. The image reads, "Potter's Escape Free-To-Play Online Puzzle Game"

Style of Play: Light Puzzle Hunt

Required Equipment: Computer with internet connection; a printer and scissors are also recommended

Recommended Team Size: 1-4

Play Time: about 60 minutes

Price: Free and there’s a tip jar

Booking: Click to play at any time

This is our second review in our new Hivemind Review format.

Hivemind Review Scale

REA's hivemind review scale - 3 is recommended anytime, 2 recommended in quarantine, 1 is not recommended.

Read more about our new Hivemind Review format.

In-game: Image of the sorting hat and the Hogwarts houses.

Theresa Piazza’s Reaction

Rating: 2 out of 3.

Potter’s Escape fell into a structure we’ve seen before in this new world of remote escape room play. It was an online experience with one puzzle per room, requiring you to solve that puzzle before advancing to the next. This experience did have a storyline that provided some light continuity between each puzzle, a welcome change to what some other similar experiences have offered. One major plus was that only limited outside knowledge was required for this experience, though one puzzle seemed like a bit of a backwards stretch. Escape Room Herndon plans to add more challenges to this adventure, and I’ll be returning to check out what they add in the coming weeks.

Brett Kuehner’s Reaction

Rating: 2 out of 3.
  • + Had an enjoyable mix of puzzle types, with colorful graphics.
  • + Difficulty levels varied from easy to moderate. Puzzle novices will likely need some of the hints that are provided.
  • – Some initial hints gave away too much. The hints should escalate from a small nudge to a full solution.
  • +/- As the instructions said, printing some puzzles is necessary. That would be easier if the puzzles came with PDF versions.
  • + Kid-friendly, something a family of Harry Potter fans could work on together.
  • + Didn’t require knowledge of the books or movies to solve.
  • – One puzzle required outside (non-Potter) knowledge.
In-game: A description of the game Quidditch.

Sarah Mendez’s Reaction

Rating: 2 out of 3.

If your quarantine involves abundant free time and you never tire of puzzles, you could include this in your play list. However, there wasn’t much novel about this experience, and I sometimes felt like I was just going through motions to finish it.

The story reads as CliffsNotes for Harry Potter, and prior knowledge might help you solve puzzles faster. A few puzzles are fun; however, many require more process than aha, yet simultaneously lack sufficient guidance to understand the goal. Fortunately, both issues improve later in the game. Ultimately, I didn’t regret playing, but better options exist.

Cara Mandel’s Reaction

Rating: 2 out of 3.

This was a charming sequence of puzzles. I played along with my friends Ciara and Rachel over Zoom, using Photoshop to manipulate the puzzles. The instructions recommend you print puzzles out, which may be prohibitive for some folks. I don’t think you could easily solve a couple of them without the use of either a printer or photo editing software. I would also caution players that there are spoiler alerts as to the plot line of the first Harry Potter book / film. However, if you’re familiar with the plot and love that wizard as much as we do, this will be a delightful story to play.

In-game: The 9 & 3/4 platform.

Peih Gee Law’s Reaction

Rating: 3 out of 3.

This was a delightful, puzzling romp through the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The puzzles, answers, images and narrative were all thematically on point and really helped keep you immersed in the Wizarding World. There was a good mix of puzzles, nothing that experienced puzzlers haven’t seen before, but they were still fun to solve. I think for a casual player, these puzzles would be a bit challenging, however, they are clued well and very satisfying. Overall I think this was a very charming game with decent production value.

Format Description

This was a linear sequence of self-contained puzzles presented through a series of web pages. Players are expected to solve a puzzle, enter the answer into a validation box, and then progress onto the next web page. As the game recommends, you do need to print out some of the puzzles.

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