Virtual Escape Global – Escape from the Alternate Dimension [Hivemind Review]

Escape from the Alternate Dimension is a digital escape game created by Virtual Escape Global.

80s pastel logo for Escape from the Alternate Dimension.

Format

Style of Play: digital escape game, designed for hosted online play

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection

Recommended Team Size: 2-3

Play Time: 60 minutes

Price: $25 per person

Booking: book online for a specific time slot

Description

Escape from the Alternate Dimension is a series of webpages with puzzles, which solve to passwords to unlock other pages. Each team member must enter each password individually. The live host on Zoom watches and offers hints.

A video rental store labeled, "Welcome to blankblaster! Be kind, please rewind - or else! We've got some great new movies fresh on VHS! Head to the next page!"

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.

Andrew Reynolds’ Reaction

Rating: 1 out of 3.

Escape the Alternate Dimension is a work of 90s nostalgia parody based around a simple browser-based game. Virtual Escape Global crammed in a huge number of 90s references, and as someone who came of age in the 90s, they hit all the right notes. Our team spent a few minutes of our game clock laughing at a list of mall store parody names and it was time well-spent. But our visit to the mall was mixed; there were puzzles that were very well designed, but there were also puzzles that felt unfinished. These latter puzzles lacked cluing and required hinting from our gamemaster. There’s a good game in here; the strong puzzles were fun to solve, but the others could have used another round of playtesting before being released.

Brett Kuehner’s Reaction

Rating: 1 out of 3.
  • -/+ Before the game started, the gamemaster seemed kind of distracted and uninterested. But once the game started, she became substantially more energetic and engaged, and appeared to be tracking our progress and ready with hints whenever needed.
  • + Several of the puzzles were clever, well-designed, and fun to solve
  • – One puzzle seemed to essentially be “guess what I’m thinking” with odd cluing and many red (and blue and green and yellow) herrings
  • – Several puzzles were lacking essential information or sufficient guidance
  • + Our gamemaster clearly knew where the problem spots were and quickly gave us information so we could proceed. There were definite design flaws, but the gamemaster helped compensate.
  • + Some amusing wordplay and references to the 90s
  • – It felt like a quarter of the puzzles in the game were tested and polished, and the remainder all require varying degrees of additional work to be properly playable.
  • – The per-player price is too high for a game that is essentially a series of static image-based puzzles (with one or two exceptions) that only needs a live host to work around problems in puzzle design.

Tammy McLeod’s Reaction

Rating: 1 out of 3.

The theme of this game was cute, and I was quite amused by the culture references. This is not a difficult game and it would probably be fun for people who are new to escape games. One of the puzzles can only be solved by taking “hints” from the in-game character, which stumped us for a long while. The gamemaster was attentive and offered guidance when appropriate. On the whole, it was a decent game, but there are many comparable games that cost less than $25.

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