Playground is a real-life escape room livestreamed and played through an avatar, created by Fuzzy Logic in Downers Grove, IL.
Style of Play: real-life escape room livestreamed and played through an avatar
Required Equipment: computer with an internet connection
It helps to have multiple screens to manage splitting windows between the live feed and the inventory.
Recommended Team Size: 2-5
Play Time: 60 minutes
Price: $69.99 for small groups or $99.99 for larger groups
Booking: book online for a specific time slot
If you want to join the Super Kids Squad, you’ll need to find the hidden toys and solve the puzzles before everyone goes home! Playground is a standard avatar-game over Zoom, with a video feed from the avatar’s point of view, and a separate inventory through Trello.
Hivemind Review Scale
Cara Mandel’s Reaction
I really enjoyed myself playing Fuzzy Logic’s Playground. The puzzles were all fairly beginner-intermediate level, but that’s not what was so charming about the experience. What really made it come to life for me was our hilarious and highly energetic avatar. Within the first moment of playing the game, the goofy, childlike enthusiasm and improvisational roleplaying immediately immersed us in the world of the game. I found myself automatically falling into character as well, responding with my own childlike excitement. That, to me, is the magic ingredient for these types of games. Sure, I enjoy challenging puzzles and neat production design, but all of that falls flat if the game is not guided with the right level of performance and just the right amount of subtle guidance, without tipping too far into over-cluing. Thankfully, this game found the right balance. Playground is a wonderful, family-friendly game that I’d recommend to both new and seasoned players alike!
Theresa W’s Reaction
I always love unique themes, and Playground is no exception. The concept of your friends inviting you to the cool kids club and needing to find all the toys before you have to go home is incredibly charming. As always with Fuzzy Logic, the owner/ avatar made this game truly exceptional, playing the perfect role for the game. The puzzles were fun, translated well over the digital platform, and while fairly basic, were still great solves. If you had to choose between Playground and Villains Lair, I’d say choose the theme you’re more interested in– both games were just as magical, and had my face hurting after smiling for an hour straight.
The Lone Puzzler’s Reaction
Well executed with a great avatar leading us through the game, Playground was entertaining. However, I would have rather played in person and the puzzle content was a bit on the easy side. A bit hard to translate the joy of a playground into something you watch. Our avatar did a great job of bringing the excitement and the real world game without the avatar will be completely different, but still the desire to slide down the slide and swing on the swings was tough to overcome. This game would work best with smaller groups and perhaps groups new to escape room experiences, which is one of the goals of the Fuzzy Logic team.
Tammy McLeod’s Reaction
Gamemaster Jayson is incredible. With infectious energy, the character portrayed is hilariously over-the-top. The puzzles are logical and well clued, but the entire experience is really elevated by the acting. I just had so much fun. Also, the inventory system is slick and enhances the game well.
Matthew Stein’s Reaction
Playground is the third game by Fuzzy Logic that I’ve played remotely, and Jayson’s marvelous acting – this time as a rambunctious elementary schooler – continued to wow. From a puzzle perspective, Playground is nothing particularly noteworthy; though flow and theming were solid, the puzzles were very easy and many felt similar in mechanics and structure to Fuzzy Logic’s other rooms. However, Fuzzy Logic is upfront with its intention to foremost be as appealing as possible to newcomers and families, communities which might feel unwelcome in more “intense” escape rooms, and in this mission they succeed most impressively. I often kvetch about the lack of good beginner-friendly puzzle content, as one’s first exposure to escape rooms or puzzles typically colors one’s standards and expectations going forward. As such it’s wonderful to see Fuzzy Logic continuing to produce content which makes a wholesome, positive first impression for escape room newbies. And, while these games aren’t targeted at escape room enthusiasts, they still are an absolute blast for us too!
David Spira’s Reaction
Fuzzy Logic is a testament to the power of a strong avatar character. Our avatar’s infectious enthusiasm and playful silliness was more than enough reason to recommend Playground.
Additionally, the puzzles in Playground were player-friendly and well adapted for streaming, with one card-based puzzle jumping out to me as especially clever in its design.
There’s a catch here: The video was a bit bumpy, and the lighting in one instance was sub-par… but I could forgive those. The biggest issue was that the inventory system used project management software Trello (which we use to run Room Escape Artist). It required too much attention and far too many clicks to pull up information. It distracted heavily from the fantastic character work and the puzzle play. A few months ago, this might not have bugged me, but at this point it feels like inventory management is a problem that has more than a few superior solutions. The good news is that it is fixable.
All of that said, I still strongly recommend this game, especially for families. I’ll also add that while I cannot visit Fuzzy Logic in real life, I’d happily play more of their streamed games… but I think that they are capable of elevating their current offerings through a few small tweaks.
Disclosure: Fuzzy Logic provided the Hivemind reviewers with a complimentary play.