Update 3/23/21: If you enjoy The Lost Temple, we hope you’ll check out our interview with creators Anne & Chris Lukeman on The Reality Escape Pod.
The Lost Temple is a combination digital + printable game created by CU Adventures in Time & Space in Urbana, IL.
Style of Play: fusion of point-and-click adventure game and print-and-play tabletop escape game
Required Equipment: computer with an internet connection, printer, pen and paper, scissors, tape
This game was designed to be printed. There is a “no print” version, but using it really does rob you of this game’s finest moments. We strongly recommend doing most of the cutting out prior to the start of the game. (Keep track of the page numbers for the things you cut out.)
Recommended Team Size: 2-4
Play Time: about 2 hours
Price: $10 for print-and-play with higher prices for shipped components
Booking: purchase the game and play at your leisure
The Lost Temple was a fusion of LucasArts-style point-and-click adventure with tabletop escape room. We received a PDF with a couple of dozen printable pages, many of which had bits that needed to be cut out. Then we used a web-based interface to click around and interact with the game world. This interface kept us organized while presenting the puzzles as well as the story.
Hivemind Review Scale
Andrew Reynolds’ Reaction
Whether you’re judging The Lost Temple on price, polish, or puzzles, it is going to come out near the top of games created to play during the quarantine. The Lost Temple is a virtual print-and-play escape room that combines paper puzzles with a beautiful web interface. A lot of thought went into integrating the puzzles you print with the puzzles and information on the website, and playing the game felt entirely seamless. Though there were plenty of pages to print, it never felt like too much to keep track of, thanks in part to the well-organized website. The website utilized the audiovisual capabilities of your computer in a way that added value to the game and created no small amount of atmosphere. In short, for the price, there is no reason you shouldn’t be playing The Lost Temple.
Crystal F’s Reaction
The Lost Temple was thus far the most enjoyable online escape room experience I have had. My partner and I each had our own separate “aha moments” and points of pure joy in the game when a puzzle solved in a satisfying way. The game included several puzzles that needed physical manipulation, but they never felt tedious and one, in particular, I was thrilled to complete. The sounds and visuals felt polished and the music gave the game a delightful, and sometimes a little spooky, sense of atmosphere. The inventory system was incredibly thorough, easy to use, and never in the way. The most surprising aspect of the game to me was that I was legitimately intrigued by the story. The narrative points in the game were interesting and left me wanting to know more. CU Adventures in Time & Space describes The Lost Temple as immersive and I agree. I sincerely hope they put together another experience because I’d play it in a heartbeat.
Michelle Calabro’s Reaction
The Lost Temple is an aesthetic delight — the web and printed components are beautiful, the writing is interesting, and puzzles are all well aligned to the theme. Since aesthetics and theme-narrative-mechanic alignment are what I look for in a game, this game succeeded. My main criticisms have to do with creative direction, and they’re minor: the sound design choices did not effectively set the tone of the game, and the looping audio was more annoying than soothing. One cipher got used for many of the puzzles, and I think the designers could rethink that choice. Once you get near the end of the game, you can solve puzzles before you get to them by using the process of elimination on the printed pages. The end narrative is very climactic, but the web experience doesn’t also create that same sense of climax and closure. This was truly entertaining, and I want to play more games from this team!
David Spira’s Reaction
The Lost Temple was a fusion of LucasArts style point-and-click adventure with tabletop escape room gameplay and I was into it.
Was this game made quickly? Probably. Did I feel the skill and effort that went into it? Absolutely.
The digital interface was well organized and inviting. The printed materials were crafty… very crafty. I would have loved it a bit more if the audio didn’t conflict with that of the other players (our friends from ESCAPETHEROOMers) on my video call… and it would have been helpful if I had done the cutting out before the game began. There was a lot of cutting, but it was worth it… especially for that last puzzle. Days later it still makes me smile.
Disclosure: CU Adventures in Time & Space provided a complimentary play for one of the Hivemind reviewers.