Colorado Gold Rush Puzzle Challenge [Hivemind Review]

Colorado Gold Rush Puzzle Challenge is a free light puzzle hunt game created by a group of escape room companies in and around Denver, CO.

Illustration of a cryptex over the entrance to a mine.


Style of Play: light puzzle hunt

Required Equipment: computer with an internet connection

Recommended Team Size: 1-3

Play Time: no time limit, expect to spend about 90 minutes

Price: free

Booking: go to the website and start playing

You must complete Colorado Gold Rush Puzzle Challenge by August 31st to win the prize: exclusive discounts at participating escape room companies.


Each of 10 escape room companies created a puzzle around the Colorado Gold Rush theme. Solving each puzzle yielded a word or phrase. Once you had all 10 solutions, you entered them into a final submission.

Hivemind Review Scale

REA's hivemind review scale - 3 is recommended anytime, 2 recommended in quarantine, 1 is not recommended.

Read more about our Hivemind Review format.

Diana Kobrynowicz’s Reaction

Rating: 3 out of 3.

This was a darling puzzle experience created as a collaboration among 10 escape room companies. Here’s why you should play it:

  • As an enthusiast it’s great to support the escape room community, including this community effort. How wonderful for these owners to come together to support each other and us!
  • This is a fun, easy play built loosely on Colorado Gold Rush history. You “pan for gold” by searching for an icon that leads you to that company’s puzzle contribution, and all puzzles were created around this theme. Sure, some puzzles were more fun than others and some were pretty easy while some kind of left you scratching your head, but all told, this collection fit into this theme.
  • You don’t have to play in sequence or even in one sitting. I spent a day playing the puzzles as a break in between working. It was nice to feel part of the Colorado escape room community in this way.
  • Finally, submitting your answers earns you a special prize, usable if you are local to Colorado, or travel to this area in the future.

So kudos to these owners for gifting us this experience!

Theresa Piazza’s Reaction

Rating: 1 out of 3.

I love when escape room owners unite to help make their community stronger. These types of puzzle adventures, born from the collaboration of local escape room operators, are a way to keep enthusiasts engaged, do some marketing, and provide a discount to drive business. (Hey, maybe the winners will even bring a new friend to their discounted game!) Understanding what this is, I’m happy Colorado Gold Rush Puzzle Challenge exists, but even for a set of free puzzles, there are a lot of places to add touches of polish. The puzzles are extremely varied in both quality and difficulty. Some have an answer validation box; others don’t. Some provide (necessary) cluing; others don’t. I’ve played escape rooms from most of these companies and I can tell you that regardless of whether you’d want to try out these puzzles, their IRL rooms are worth your time and money.

The Lone Puzzler’s Reaction

Rating: 2 out of 3.

This is a series of stand-alone puzzles from 10 escape room companies. It is not an immersive experience and the puzzles are at best on a similar theme, but not otherwise connected or related. The puzzles range from very easy to a couple that were more frustrating than hard. Given the price and the separate nature of the puzzles, I found it enjoyable for the most part, although there were a couple puzzles I might have abandoned in real life rather than fought through to the end. I considered this one worthy of a “recommend while quarantined” because of the price (free) and because I think almost every player could find entertainment in one or more of the puzzles. Nothing extremely special here, but in these times, it might be a worthy distraction for a couple of hours.

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