Puzzle Punks – Save King’s Landing [Hivemind Review]

Save King’s Landing is a digital adaptation of a real-life escape game created by Puzzle Punks in Dubrovnik, Croatia.

A portion of the 360 view of the room, with clickable icons above the areas of intrigue.

Format

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

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection. Note that you need enough screen space for two windows: one for the livestream and one for the web app.

Recommended Team Size: 2-4

Play Time: 60 minutes

Price: €60 for up to 6 devices

Booking: book online for a specific time slot

Description

Save King’s Landing was an avatar adaptation of a real-life escape room. We watched and interacted with the avatar via Zoom. We also navigated a 3D image of the space in a web browser, and along with that image there was an inventory system. To use the inventory system, one member of your team enters a code for each item of interest that you discover. The whole team refreshes, and voila: the item is there!

Save King's Landing - room view, via a 360 image and a zoom stream.

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.

Sarah Mendez’s Reaction

Rating: 3 out of 3.

This endearing little room skillfully honors the Game of Thrones theme without requiring knowledge of the series. The in-character avatar adds comedy and immersion while expertly pacing the game. The room itself feels somewhat search heavy, but the puzzling pace accelerates nicely in the second half. I might not recommend this as a first virtual room because it skips orientation by immediately plunging you into the story, and the manualness of the inventory is a minor distraction. Otherwise, this is full of fun puzzles and meaningful aha moments. Even if you shouldn’t feel proud of saving King’s Landing, you will.

Andrew Reynolds’ Reaction

Rating: 3 out of 3.

It is hard to overstate the importance of a good gamemaster/ avatar in an avatar-led escape game. Save King’s Landing is a prime example of how a fun gamemaster can take a standard escape room and turn it into a special experience. Our gamemaster took on a role that will be familiar to Game of Thrones fans, and the character worked well as an agent for us to take control of. Note, the game also works perfectly well if you are not familiar with Game of Thrones, but fans will get a shortcut on one puzzle and an inside joke or two.

The handmade components looked good, and a few puzzles led to satisfying reveals. The set was small, but the puzzle density was high. We also never needed to waste time micromanaging the gamemaster. It was quite the opposite; he was responsive and anticipated our next moves.

Crystal F’s Reaction

Rating: 3 out of 3.

I had a blast playing Save King’s Landing and it was in large part due to our phenomenal gamemaster. The game opened up in a fun and novel way and set the stage for how we would interact with our in-game avatar. He listened to us throughout the game and took action based on things we had previously said. When we rejoiced at finding the last piece to a puzzle, he took it where it needed to be placed rather than waiting for us to tell him to do so. It made the interactions feel natural, and as if he was a part of our team. The puzzles weren’t particularly challenging, but that meant we were able to spend more time bantering, enjoying time with other players, and being amused at the details from Game of Thrones. I enjoyed this experience and would recommend it to any Game of Thrones fans and to those who might want to introduce escape rooms to their friends.

David Spira’s Reaction

Rating: 3 out of 3.

This interpretation of Game of Thrones felt right. The gamemaster/ owner Bogdan’s performance as the fool, Ser Dontos, was especially amusing. His selection of that character as the player’s avatar was inspired.

The one aspect of this game that held it back for me was the feeling that a few too many puzzles were far better experienced in real life than through an avatar, no matter how amusing. Thus I was on the fence about whether Save King’s Landing was a recommendation for “anytime” or “while in quarantine.” But I genuinely enjoyed playing it virtually.

And if I were visiting Dubrovnik, Croatia, I would visit Puzzle Punks without hesitation.

Disclosure: Puzzle Punks provided one of the Hivemind reviewers with a complimentary play.

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