Improbable Escapes – Neverland: Heist on the High Seas [Hivemind Review]

Neverland: Heist on the High Seas is a livestreamed adaptation of an in-person escape room, by Improbable Escapes in Kingston, ON.

Format

Style of Play:

  • Adaptation of an in-person game (can be played IRL)
  • Avatar controlled by the players
  • Web-based inventory system

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection

Recommended Team Size: 3-4

Play Time: 60 minutes

Price: $28.25 CAD per player

Booking: book online for a specific time slot

Description

This an avatar-led escape game with a kid-friendly theme and puzzles.

There is an inventory website where you see photos of the room and puzzles. Occasionally you type a password into the website to reveal more photos. Other than that, the livestream is through Zoom, as usual.

In-game: Interior of a pirate ship. A large chest sits in the middle.

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.

Cindi S’ Reaction

Rating: 3 out of 3.

Within the first few minutes of Neverland: Heist on the High Seas, I knew this game was going to be special! A delightful adventure from start to finish, Neverland: Heist on the High Seas offered unique puzzles, cool surprises, and creative effects in a space that I would have loved to explore in person. The game is family-friendly and no doubt kids would have a blast in this room. The kid in me enjoyed the playfulness of the puzzles, even if they were mostly straightforward. A couple of tactile puzzles worked fine virtually, but they would have been more fun to solve in person. Nevertheless, Neverland: Heist on the High Seas let me hang out in a storybook world for a while, and I didn’t really want to leave at the end.

Theresa W’s Reaction

Rating: 3 out of 3.

I didn’t think Improbable Escapes could beat the joy portrayed through their previous games (The Hot Chocolate Incident and Seven Dwarves Mining Mission), yet they blasted through my expectations and designed an absolutely adorable experience. Neverland: Heist on the High Seas was another game I would have loved to play in person, yet the adaptation was wonderful while being enhanced for the platform. All of their avatars are top-notch. They are the perfect neutral avatar – not incredibly stupid so the players have to explicitly state everything, but fun and engaging while not solving puzzles for you. I really enjoyed all of their puzzles and design decisions while going digital; the inventory didn’t take away from the gameplay in the slightest. If you’re going to be in the area any time in the next year or two, save this one to play in person. If you have no intentions of that, this is a delightful online avatar game!

Matthew Stein’s Reaction

Rating: 3 out of 3.

Consistent with the other two online games I’ve played from Improbable Escapes, Neverland: Heist on the High Seas features impeccable set design, a genial and articulate avatar, and smooth gameplay. As with the Seven Dwarves Mining Mission, I wish I could have experienced this immersive environment in person, but the game was very thoughtfully adapted for online play and I am equally happy to have played this rendition. Our avatar was an absolute joy to interact with, and while she didn’t play a character, she had plenty of character. Her descriptions of her surroundings were crystal clear and at times a bit too helpful for our experienced team, though never in a way that lessened the experience. I love Improbable Escape’s approach to an “inventory system;” instead of providing 360-degree room images, which often take away from actually paying attention to the live feed of the room, they have a few static images of important parts of the room. There was no need for a dynamic online inventory because the gameplay doesn’t involve significant inventory buildup. Above all, every element of this game experience was beautiful – from a professionally-produced animated intro video to slick website artwork to an in-world illustrated map of each room to the rooms themselves, which were alluring, magical, and perfectly lit.

Joel Smileypeacefun Reaction

Rating: 3 out of 3.

Our friend had been captured by the notorious Captain Hook, but we were here to help.

At its best, it was clear from the very first puzzle how much passion went into this game. I loved the set design, even though I only experienced it digitally. The game had great reveals and diverse puzzles that truly fit the scenery. They had such a smart use of tech enhancing the whimsical theme. The gamemaster matched that with being nice and high energy.

At its worst, within the inventory webpage, certain pictures were already grouped. While this helps you to navigate the website, it takes away an essential part of figuring out which clues belong to which puzzle. Also, there was one puzzle that, for me, did not translate well into the online format; details were pretty small and hard to differentiate.

We were led through such a fun and gorgeous looking experience that I never wanted it to end.

Disclosure: Improbable Escapes provided the Hivemind reviewers with a complimentary play.

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