Bewilder Box – Sector X: The B.R.U.C.E. Project [Hivemind Review]

Sector X: The B.R.U.C.E. Project is a digital game created by Bewilder Box in Brighton, England.

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In-game: A robot in a techy room labeld "Sector #1"
Image via Bewilder Box

Format

Style of Play: collaborative point-and-click adventure

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection, pen and paper

Recommended Team Size: 1-4

Play Time: about an hour

Price: £15 per team

Booking: Once you have ordered, a confirmation email along with instructions and a product key will be emailed to you and you can start playing.

In-game: A robot surrounded by letters.
Image via Bewilder Box

Description

Sector X: The B.R.U.C.E. Project was a point-and-click puzzle adventure in the style of a short Lucas Arts game from the ’90s. The twist was that we each had a cursor in the game and when we clicked, all teammates saw the result of our action.

Because of this twist was one reviewer recommends that “in order to see all pieces of puzzles at the same time, you need to screen capture images of puzzles” and another recommends “for the full experience, I would strongly urge you to play in the browser and not screenshot.”

In-game: A series of symbols attached to sticks of varying lengths.
Image via Bewilder Box

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.

Cara Mandel’s Reaction

Rating: 3 out of 3.

This was a delightful, collaborative puzzling experience. The interface was really well designed for multiple players to access it remotely. We could see each other’s cursors on screen and could all take turns controlling the navigation. I would recommend either having a pen and paper handy or the use of photo editing software to aid in your solving. We also ended up taking a lot of screen grabs. The game was a charming mix of good puzzles and bad robot humor!

The Lone Puzzler’s Reaction

Rating: 2 out of 3.

There are two reviews for this game: If you are good with managing multiple screens, taking screen shots of puzzles, etc., this game can be a lot of fun with humor and solid game play – worth playing. If you are not as tech savvy, this game can become frustrating (as it was for me) as the game allows all players to click on the various puzzles at the same time – effectively changing everyone’s view. Since solving puzzles typically required looking at two or more of the clickable objects at the same time, it ultimately forced me to print key pages to play. Best played with 2 or 3 people who work very well together to fully enjoy the nice puzzles and team interaction.

Brett Kuehner’s Reaction

Rating: 3 out of 3.
  • + Impressive web client, which runs locally in each player’s browser, and players can see each other’s cursor and control the game at the same time
  • + Interface graphics are attractive and usability is very good, allowing players to focus on solving
  • + Just plain fun. We had a great time interacting with the game (BWAA BWAA BWAAAAA)
  • – Generally it was difficult for players to work on different puzzles because of the shared interface
  • + However, one puzzle made very good use of multiple player simultaneous play
  • + Great personality in writing, voice acting, and graphics
  • + Good variety of puzzles, including ciphers, audio, graphical, logic, and mechanical puzzle simulations
  • + Self-service hinting
In-game: A cipher wheel beside a series of multi-colored ciphers.
Image via Bewilder Box

David Spira’s Reaction

Rating: 2 out of 3.

Bewilder Box’s escape room-y take on the classic Lucas Arts point-and-click puzzle game was first and foremost hilarious. The 5-stage game played out as a streamlined point-and-click puzzle game with a light narrative underpinning the whole thing. As a twist, each player had their own cursor within the game and we all saw each other’s clicks in real time. It was neat.

It was frustrating that the game felt like a tug of war with my teammates. The net effect was that we went crazy taking screenshots of things (which added other complications). Really, I loved the setup and structure of this game. However, I felt like the puzzles were in conflict with the concept. We should either have been solving puzzles that required lots of action on the screen or we should have had parallel, collaborative paths. Splitting the difference undermined the otherwise amazing concept and execution.

This game promised a sequel and I have such high hopes for it.

Disclosure: Bewilder Box provided the Hivemind reviewers with a complimentary play.

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