clueQuest – Print + Cut + Escape Episode 3: Humanity 2.0 [Hivemind Review]

Humanity 2.0 is a print-and-play escape game created by clueQuest in London, England.

A colored in character with an exposed brain beside an assortment of colored pencils.

Format

Style of Play: print-and-play escape game

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection, printer, pen and paper, and scissors,

Recommended Team Size: 1-3

Play Time: 1-2 hours

Price: £12

Booking: purchase and play at your leisure

Description

The game includes a 20-page PDF full of puzzle pieces to print and cut out, an online app, and a unique access code for registering your team in the app. The app guides you through the story one “chapter” at a time, serving up videos, audio, and simple gadgets for entering solutions. You refer to the printed puzzle pieces that correspond to the chapter.

Black & white illustration of Mrs Q, labeled "Sniper"

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: 2 out of 3.

I give this series a lot of credit for continually inventing new and interesting variations on what paper puzzles can offer. That alone might be an argument for playing all three episodes, just to see what fun paper crafts the creators come up with next. From a gameplay perspective, however, my feelings were quite split. I thoroughly enjoyed half of the puzzles for reasons ranging from ingenious manipulations to satisfying progressions of logic. I enjoyed the other half less thoroughly for reasons ranging from tedious computer interactions to trial-and-error mechanics that were frustrating to reset.

Ultimately, I’d still recommend checking out at least one installment in this series to experience its strengths. (For whatever it’s worth, I enjoyed the first episode and this third one more than the second episode, but the differences are marginal.) Because the installments are fairly consistent in their composition and execution, you’ll get a reliable sense of whether the rest of the series is worth pursuing for you, while having a solid pandemic play in the process.

Joel Smileypeacefun Reaction

Rating: 2 out of 3.

This is the third episode of clueQuest’s Print + Cut + Escape series, with a continuing storyline.

At its best, clueQuest finally reduced the sheer amount of printing and cutting that was going on in the previous episodes. The puzzles were not easy, but solvable. Once again, they nailed the difficulty curve. And again: points for puzzle creativity.

At its worst, the storytelling wasn’t as catchy this time around. Episode 2 used entertaining videos to tell the story, which was done only sparingly in episode 3. Maybe it’s just a gut feeling rather than actual facts, but it felt like there were fewer puzzles than in the previous episodes.

After playing episode 1 and 2, this third one was still very solid even though it wasn’t pushing the envelope to be an even better game.

Matthew Stein’s Reaction

Rating: 3 out of 3.

This delightful print-and-play continues the same distinctive art style, cohesive storytelling, and whimsical video+digital content that solvers of the previous two episodes have come to know and love. While this episode had significantly less cutting than episode 2, I also felt it lacked some of the more impressive “wow” moments resulting from slightly more elaborate constructions that made the previous episode really shine. Nonetheless, Humanity 2.0 is brimming with diegetic tactile puzzles which make excellent use of the paper medium. As with the previous two episodes, this game vastly outpaces nearly every mass market escape-room-in-a-box in terms of both price and creativity.

Michelle Calabro’s Reaction

Rating: 1 out of 3.

I love the art in these games so this time around, I spent a few hours coloring in the art before starting the game. It was a relaxing and lovely experience, getting to know the characters better by coloring them in, and discovering puzzle clues before I knew how to use them.

Unfortunately, once I started actually playing Humanity 2.0 I encountered too many frustrations while solving the puzzles themselves, and stopped playing before completing the game. There were too many red herrings, poorly clued puzzles, poorly weighted hints (too focused on the beginnings of the puzzles and revealing the full solutions without giving hints along the way), and a difference of opinion on effective psychological warfare strategy when battling an army of AI sheep. (The answers to puzzles should never be subjective.) Rereading that last sentence, I’m actually sad because I love the storyline of these games and I really wish I could have played to the end just to see what happens.

There’s a lot less to cut out in Humanity 2.0, but as a result the puzzle design doesn’t take advantage of the unique affordances of paper. Episode 2, Alpha Brain System, used paper folding in ingenious ways which challenged my sense of spatial reasoning. I’m willing to spend the time to cut out a lot of pieces if it means I get to solve really unique puzzles. While Alpha Brain System did this successfully, Humanity 2.0 avoided the annoyances of cutting and also avoided the delight of solving unique 3D puzzles.

I wish the designers had playtested Humanity 2.0 more before releasing it, and I wish they knew how much work players are willing to do to play their awesome puzzles. I’m looking forward to playing more games from clueQuest, but not so enthused to recommend this particular episode.

Theresa W’s Reaction

Rating: 2 out of 3.

Print + Cut + Escape’s third episode was not a bad game by any means, but compared to the second episode, it felt like clueQuest took a step back. The game was fun, original, and had some great aha moments, but overall the components were less interactive than in episode 2. There was a lot less cutting in episode 3, which seemed to hold the game back from being able to construct the elaborate 3D puzzles presented in the previous iterations. The online interface could have benefited from remembering our answers even if they were wrong, so inputting them again would not be as tedious. ClueQuest still delivered a compelling, goofy story with fun and interactive puzzles, yet I expected more. I’d definitely recommend playing the whole series through, but if you had to skip one this would be the one to skip.

Disclosure: clueQuest provided the Hivemind reviewers with a complimentary play.

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