District 3 Escape Rooms – Something Brewing [Hivemind Review]

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

A coffee machine beside a post for the Something Brewing Coffee house.

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

Description

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

Theresa W’s Reaction

Rating: 3 out of 3.

Something Brewing was a uniquely themed game with a great online inventory, fun interactive puzzles, and branching puzzle paths. I really love what District 3 did with this game by giving you a decision that changes about 50% of the game, making your choice actually matter. They once again (as they did in Haunted) did some wonderful things with the online inventory system that made the gameplay flow really well. One puzzle in particular took us longer to solve than I would have liked and could have used a bit more cluing, but other than that one, the puzzles were smooth solving!

Joel Smileypeacefun Reaction

Rating: 3 out of 3.

We went to a coffee shop and helped the employee there to finish his shift and close the shop. But there was something brewing…

At its best, without giving away anything, the game allows you to make some impactful decisions. The set design had major reveals and the puzzles made great use of the space. The game was not easy – somewhat tricky, in fact – but it was solvable. The adventurous story successfully played with the element of surprise.

At its worst, a lot of puzzles relied on paper instructions that told you what to do, where to go, or how to input a code. I wished more of the puzzles worked more intuitively. The downside of different paths based on our decisions was having multiple locks which we were not going to open. This made my experience feel incomplete. The gamemaster gave us some not-so-subtle pushes in the right direction. It was clear that the game does not allow much time for errors.

This experience was so interesting that I would have loved to see how other choices would have impacted the story.

Andrew Reynolds’ Reaction

Rating: 3 out of 3.

District 3’s Something Brewing offers up a theme not often dealt with in the escape room world – getting out of a coffee shop to make it to a party. Of course the game becomes just a bit more than that, but the opening was a pleasant change of pace from the usual themes. I did find the intro puzzle to be a bit of a head-scratcher, but that was the questionable puzzle.

What I liked most about Something Brewing was that it asked us to make a narrative choice part of the way through, and that choice impacted the remainder of the puzzle path that we went on. I can’t be sure the extent of the differences between our choice versus the other choice, but few games that I have played even allowed for any sort of moral choice.

Tammy McLeod’s Reaction

Rating: 3 out of 3.

This game starts out prosaic, and gets more interesting. The Telescape interface enhances the game well by allowing players to handle clue pieces for solving. The set buildout is neat, and would probably look even better in person. We made our avatar run around quite a bit!

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

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