Adventure Lab – Dr. Crumb’s School for Disobedient Pets [Hivemind Review]

Dr. Crumb’s School for Disobedient Pets is a collaborative puzzle adventure game played in VR, created by Adventure Lab.

The critters lined up beside the robitc Dr Crumbs.

Format

Style of Play: multiplayer VR adventure game with light puzzling and live performer interaction

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection, and compatible VR headset and computer. Compatible with: Oculus Quest, Oculus Rift, Oculus Rift S, HTC Vive, Valve Index, and Windows Mixed Reality (with Steam VR)

Recommended Team Size: 4

Play Time: about 1 hour, including the intro and conclusion

Price: $100 per group of 4 players

Booking: book online for a specific time slot

You play on consumer VR equipment, but you do so at an appointed time, and interact with characters in-game.

Description

Dr. Crumb’s School for Disobedient Pets is a VR puzzle game with a narrative underpinning. You and 3 other players join together to solve collaborative puzzles.

Critters solving a maze guarded by robots.

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.

Theresa W’s Reaction

Rating: 3 out of 3.

Dr. Crumb’s School for Disobedient Pets was a charming and wonderful experience captured perfectly in VR. The game was way more fun-focused than puzzle-focused, yet what they created really flourished. Our group was laughing and enjoying ourselves the entire time, and would have loved to play around in their tutorial zone for hours. Each of our 4 players logged in using a different VR headset (Oculus Quest, Rift, Rift S, and HTC Vive) and encountered no problems with the cross platform integration. The addition of a few gamemaster-driven characters really added to the personality and immersion. Our team was able to find all of the secrets on our first playthrough, but many groups will want to replay to find these scattered throughout. I can’t wait to see what Adventure Lab pumps out next in the multiplayer VR realm!

Brett Kuehner’s Reaction

Rating: 3 out of 3.
  • + Easy onboarding, making use of a training area to get players acquainted with the tools and mechanics
  • + Good use of a live performer, with entertaining interactions that felt more organic and fun than most scripted games
  • + Graphics are bright and cartoonish, fitting the tone of the game
  • + Tasks are easy enough to be suitable for VR novices
  • + Characters have different special abilities, giving each player a chance to have their own accomplishments
  • – Puzzling tasks are very simple and would be more fun with some added depth
  • – Multiplayer “teamwork” is often limited to things like all players standing on buttons at the same time
  • + Most sections allowed both skilled and novice players to make contributions to a solution
Critters climbin steps.

David Spira’s Reaction

Rating: 3 out of 3.

I’ve loved Dr. Crumb’s School for Disobedient Pets. I didn’t get motion sick. The animation was great. The puzzles were appropriate for VR. The tutorial was fun (and we didn’t want to leave it). The story was great. The verbal interactions with the characters were A+.

My biggest criticism was that I wanted more, particularly out of the final challenge, which felt so simple that we were second-guessing whether our approach was correct right up until it worked. This moment was begging for something more substantial that pulled together what we had learned up to that point. That point notwithstanding, Dr. Crumb’s School for Disobedient Pets provided more than I was expecting from home VR in 2020.

Teleportation in VR has led to a lot of strange game design. By turning us into adorable little animals, the teleportation turned into hopping on screen… and that was as cute as it was clever. If you have access to a VR rig, you should play Dr. Crumb’s School for Disobedient Pets.

5 thoughts on “Adventure Lab – Dr. Crumb’s School for Disobedient Pets [Hivemind Review]

  1. The one thing I can’t get over is that astounding barrier to entry; not only is there the hefty price tag for the game itself (sure, split four ways it’s only $25 per person, but comparable non-VR experiences are going for a fraction of that cost), but everyone in the group has to have their own VR headset on top of that (and as you probably know, those certainly ain’t cheap). Something like this would make a lot more business sense as something done by an escape room company with a physical location; that way, customers would only have to pay for the game itself, and the escape room facility would provide the headsets for the group to use. As an at-home experience, I don’t see how this is going to reach a widespread customer base; the target audience is just far too niche.

    1. Garry, I get that. I’ve been fortunate enough that a friend loaned me his VR equipment before lockdown… but if it weren’t for that, I wouldn’t be able to play any of the VR games that I have gotten to experience.

  2. Thanks for the feedback Michelle and Garry. We’ve been getting this feedback from a lot of our potential customers. We’re doing 2 things.
    1) Playing around with different cost structures so it makes business sense for our guests and our hosts.
    2) Designing it so non-VR guests can participate so it opens up the accessibility.

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