Improbable Escapes – Seven Dwarfs: Mining Mission [Hivemind Review]

Seven Dwarfs: Mining Mission is digital adaptation of an escape game created by Improbable Escapes in Kingston, ON.

A photo of the room. There's a table set for 7 in a cabin's kitchen.

Format

Style of Play: digital adaptation of a real-life escape game

Required Equipment: computer with an internet connection

You’re encouraged to play on two different computers (or with two monitors): one screen for the camera, the other for the inventory. This was effective.

Recommended Team Size: 2-4

Play Time: 60 minutes

Price: $74.99+HST CAD (approximately $54 USD) flat rate for 1-5 players. $10+HST per additional player beyond 5.

Booking: book online for a specific time slot

Description

This was an avatar-based escape room. A gamemaster followed our instructions in a livestream as we guided her through an adapted real-life escape room. There was a companion website inventory, which contained high-quality photographs of the room and key items within it.

Art of 2 dwarves beside a molten hole. Text explains that the dwarves need to cast the apple into the earth's molten core."

Hivemind Review Scale

Read more about our new Hivemind Review format.

⭐⭐⭐

I recommend this game to escape room players at any time.

⭐⭐

I recommend this game to escape room players in quarantine.

I do not recommend this game.

Andrew Reynolds’ Reaction

⭐⭐⭐

Seven Dwarfs: Mining Mission was a playful fairy tale romp that focused on the “dwarfs” part of the “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” story. It was played as a live remote game, in which we connected via video chat and controlled the webcam-enabled gamemaster as they solved the puzzles in our place. In addition to the gamemaster’s camera, there was a web interface that provided detailed pictures of the room to aid in puzzle solving and in keeping track of remaining puzzles. The GM handled this information very well, making sure early in the game to refer us to it to help solve a very visual puzzle that the webcam alone might have made frustrating.

In the end, the most critical thing I can say about Seven Dwarfs: Mining Mission is that I wish I had the opportunity to play it in person. The set was well put together and felt very charming and homey. I played with a group of seven people (one player per dwarf, of course) who had a great range of experience; for two of them it was their very first escape room! Everyone loved it, which is exceptional in that seven is a big crowd for a room in-person, let alone one presented over video. There were enough puzzles with different challenge levels that I would recommend this at any time – but if you live in the area, it might be worth the wait to play it in person.

Richard Burns’ Reaction

⭐⭐⭐

Seven Dwarfs: Mining Mission is a very well-done game. The puzzles are on-theme and the decor in the rooms is fantastic. The puzzles are on the easier side, but the close-up pictures provided really help the game’s online playability. Improbable Escape’s inventory system is excellent. Parallel puzzle solving is available throughout the game allowing more players to feel engaged. A detailed overhead view of each room helps online players better understand the space and the physical relationships between game elements.

This is one of the highest-quality and most fun online adaptations that I have come across so far. If you are unlikely to visit Improbable Escapes in person, I recommend booking Seven Dwarfs: Mining Mission online version for a fun escape room experience at home.

A gallery of photos taken within the game.
A portion of the inventory.

Sarah Mendez’s Reaction

⭐⭐⭐

What a whimsical delight for my first live virtual experience! Although I reallllllly wanted to directly interact with the adorable set, the room translated well to online play. As a somewhat self-conscious player, I was anxious about living vicariously through a gamemaster, but Liz-the-GM immediately made us feel at ease, carefully orienting us without spoiling discoveries. The puzzles were creative if not challenging, and it was easy to keep track of the room’s elements thanks to the memorable objects, lovely set design, and ample supplemental resources. This remote adventure is indeed a worthy activity…unless you can physically get to the room instead!

Theresa W’s Reaction

⭐⭐⭐

Seven Dwarfs: Mining Mission was a game that I really wish I could have played in person, but it translated flawlessly into the virtual format. This game had lots of charm through the props and interactions. Improbable Escapes’ use of online resources including images of the room, key items, and interactive locks made Seven Dwarfs: Mining Mission play incredibly well online. Our gamemaster was wonderful, and added quite a lot to the experience. I would absolutely play another online game with Improbable Escapes in the future.

David Spira’s Reaction

⭐⭐⭐

I feel so conflicted about Seven Dwarfs: Mining Mission.

This was a legitimately great avatar game. I don’t really have any complaints about the implementation or the game itself.

However, I am kind of sad that I played Seven Dwarfs: Mining Mission online. Improbable Escapes has long been on my list of companies to visit, and when I eventually get there, I’m bummed that I won’t be able to play this game in real life.

If you live far from Ontario, Canada, I’ll strongly recommend playing this. If you live closer to Improbable Escapes… maybe wait for the real deal to reopen… then go play.

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