District 3 Escape Rooms – Haunted [Hivemind Review]

Haunted is an avatar-led, livestreamed adaptation of an in-person game created by District 3 Escape Rooms in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.

A person entering into a strangely shaped room with high ceilings.

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: 3-5

Play Time: 60 minutes

Price: $19 CAD per person (accounting for the current discount)

Booking: book online for a specific time slot

Description

Players control the game host avatar through Zoom, and have access to a Telescape inventory website site for a 360-degree view of the space and a better view of puzzles.

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: 3 out of 3.

District 3’s Haunted is a kind of creepy ghost story that was incredibly pleasant to play and worked very well over Zoom. Our gamemaster was interactive, intuitive, and quick to react to our direction – all big pluses in my book. Something as simple as knowing when and where to place his camera down for a set piece shows the consideration for the user’s experience that went into this game.

Speaking of user experience, this game might have had the best implementation of the Telescape platform that I have seen. The iconography they utilized was simple, but extremely effective. This was also the first time that I saw a folder for completed items – not necessary from a puzzling perspective, but I appreciated it.

District 3 did a good job of building up the ambiance over Zoom. Our gamemaster acted appropriately frightened of the things that were going on; the audio in the room was clear and easily understood; even the lighting added to the effect (although this would have been better and more noticeable in person).

Tammy McLeod’s Reaction

Rating: 3 out of 3.

I enjoyed this game a lot more than I expected to. It’s a fairly standard ghost story, but the actor was convincing and managed our gameplay very well. I found the game space intriguing and the sound effects thematically appropriate. The Telescape interface was very thoughtfully planned, with great labeling, and it made the entire solving process quite painless. I also liked the presence of an Easter egg puzzle and achievements.

Joel Smileypeacefun Reaction

Rating: 2 out of 3.

We were locked in a haunted mansion, faced with a ghost family that had lost their daughter. So to save them and us, we had to reunite their family.

At its best, the game makes you feel like there is a lot to do, while still gating things cleverly. There was even a bonus puzzle and you could also unlock achievements depending on how well you play. Also, the inventory page had some thoughtful labels that helped everybody to navigate the unusual gamespace.

At its worst, we found a partial runbook and the gamemaster said: “Uh, I hate reading.” I’m not a fan of extensive reading in escape rooms either, so this did not sit well with me. The game could use more diversity in types of locks and tech inputs. Some parts of the set felt a bit plain beside one cool room section, which disappointingly turned out to be pure decoration.

For those folks like me who want to know the fear level: It’s a spooky vibe, but it never really gets frightening, with no hefty jumpscares.

Theresa W’s Reaction

Rating: 3 out of 3.

Haunted did a great job at achieving the balance of a horror game that wasn’t scary, yet was still spooky and enjoyable without the use of low lighting or cheap gimmicks. District 3 was able to use Telescape to aid in gameplay without it taking over the experience. They used some great features through Telescape to remind you which rooms had which objects, what type of lock each item had, and what had been newly discovered using clever icons, saving players the frustration of clicking in and out of items. Their attention to detail was prominent throughout the game – such small things really enhanced the gameplay. The puzzles, with the addition of a bonus puzzle for groups who wanted added difficulty, were really well designed.

Disclosure: District 3 Escape Rooms provided the Hivemind reviewers with a complimentary play.

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