Eschaton is a virtual nightclub and immersive experience that includes a light puzzle hunt.
Style of Play: an audio-visual experience that includes a light puzzle hunt
Required Equipment: computer with an internet connection
If you plan to solve the puzzles, you’ll want a way to take notes and maybe a Google Sheet to keep organized.
Recommended Team Size: 1-2 people per connection
Play Time: 1 hour per visit
Price: $15 per connection (prices go up for holiday events)
Booking: book online for a specific Saturday night performance
When Eschaton opens, its website provides you with a Zoom link. From the Zoom link, you learn how to get to other Zoom rooms. Players move from room to room throughout the experience at their own whims. You might stumble across a puzzle.
The Eschaton puzzle experience is somewhere between a puzzle hunt and an ARG. There is a lot to find and tons to solve. It would require multiple visits to complete.
Of note, Eschaton is an interesting experience with great performers, but it is not an escape room in any way.
Hivemind Review Scale
Richard Burns’ Reaction
Escaton isn’t an online game. It is not a show you watch. It is a place you virtually go to for an evening. My review is based on a single, 1-hour visit to Eschaton, even though I don’t believe that is enough time to fully experience all it has to offer. There is just so much happening. This is a virtual nightclub with multiple rooms each containing characters both on stage and in the audience. The more I looked, the more rooms I found, and the stranger things became. I had no idea just how big this space really was or what I might find behind the next door.
Oh, and on top of all that, there are puzzles. A behind-the-scences mystery to be solved…..maybe? I don’t know because as much as I tried to follow the puzzle track, I couldn’t help but get distracted by the wonderful performers.
My takeaway is that this isn’t an experience for pure puzzlers. That is not where its beauty lies. In fact, in hindsight, I wish I hadn’t spent so much time pursuing the puzzles. I can play these types of puzzles elsewhere. Instead, visit Eschaton for the performers and to be somewhere else for an hour. Somewhere weird. Go for the community and the interactions with other people who are looking to do the same. Go to hear stories and create some of your own.
The thing I miss the most these days is the unexpected. I long for the allure of not knowing where the night will take me, who I might meet or run into, or even when a random song on TouchTunes in a crowded bar might magically transport me back to another time in my life. Eschaton spoke to my heart because I never knew what might be behind each of its doors, and the only way to find out was to dive right in. I experienced Eschaton at a frenetic pace, jumping from room to room, sampling it all and eager to see what could be waiting for me next. Two rooms in particular pulled me in and sent me down a rabbit hole of lovely memories of the people and experiences I’ve missed so much over the past year. It was bittersweet and emotional and beautiful. I know there was a puzzle track in Eschaton, but it was the last thing on my mind.
I will be returning to Eschaton to experience it at a more relaxed pace, and I hope to see these wonderful performers in person at some point.
Tammy McLeod’s Reaction
I went into this expecting a puzzle experience, but found something very different. I was given 1 hour to explore a series of rooms, each containing a different performance. As the rooms open up, some puzzle clues are also revealed. However, with the short amount of time, and the overwhelming number of performances to experience, spending time on the puzzles feels distracting and incongruous. For a single hour-long visit, I think that Eschaton is best enjoyed when approached as an experiential collection of performances.
Andrew Reynolds’ Reaction
Eschaton is unlike anything else I have reviewed thus far. Eschaton styles itself as “a virtual nightclub and immersive experience,” and some words that are very important to me (such as ‘puzzle’ and ‘escape’) appear nowhere in the description. This is an important takeaway. Although there is a puzzle track in Eschaton, it is by no means front and center and by no means the most entertaining aspect. Seeing everything – visiting each room, completing the puzzles, and so on – requires multiple visits. This is an experience best savored, not rushed through.
What you need to do is to let Eschaton entertain you in whichever way suits you best. There are plenty of ways for this to happen, and you will enjoy the time you spend discovering what it has to offer. What Eschaton lacks is time. The hour goes by very quickly, and you are left wanting more. Not just the ‘more’ that is satisfied by going back a second (or tenth) time, but the ‘more’ that would be satisfied by a bit of a longer runtime. So go experience Eschaton at least once before the prophecy of its name comes true.
David Spira’s Reaction
As a digital nightclub, Eschaton was way cooler than anything I was expecting. The performers were fantastic. Some were my taste; some weren’t. That’s honestly a good thing. It means that the performances had range.
In comparison to the performances, the puzzle experience was boring and a bit shoddy. It barely grabbed our attention at the onset, and it didn’t hold our attention because the performers were way more compelling. I know that there’s a lot of puzzle content in Eschaton, but I have no interest in exploring it further.
That said, I would consider returning to Eschaton. The community that they’ve built and the quality of the performers were outstanding… I just wish that the club was open for more than an hour at a time. By the time we’d really started getting comfortable and finding performances that spoke to us, it was time to go, and that was disappointing. If I return, I will ignore the puzzles.
Disclosure: Eschaton provided the Hivemind reviewers with a complimentary play.