A/Maze – The Ghost of Pointe-à-Callière [Hivemind Review]

The Ghost of Pointe-à-Callière is an online escape game that explores a real-life museum. It was created by A/Maze in Montreal, Canada.

An illustration of a puzzle involving letters plugging into one another.

Format

Style of Play:

  • Online native experience (can NOT be played IRL)
  • Point-and-click… ish

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection

Recommended Team Size: 2-4

Play Time: 60-90 minutes

Price: $50 per team

Booking: fill out a form on their website to book

Description

In this game, you’re navigating through a 3D representation of the museum by either 1) clicking on an area using an overhead floor map of the museum or 2) moving around the museum in a Google Street View style.

The game tells the player what to look for, and provides puzzles to solve using the exhibit displays. This game is linear and it says so up front.

When a puzzle is solved, any team member can type it into “Mission Control” (a shared session across the team) and advance the entire team to the next puzzle.

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: 2 out of 3.

The Ghost of Pointe-à-Callière is basically just a clickable self-guided tour of what looks to be a slick and modern archaeological museum in Montreal. The slight twist is that you are asked to investigate the appearance of a ghost who has been haunting the museum. The game is an exploration of who the ghost is, why they are cursed, and how to free their spirit. This can be done by answering the specific research questions the game poses to you, all to do with the history of the Montreal area.

Despite taking place in a museum, the puzzles flip between actual history and more supernatural themes. Almost all were solved by examining clickable displays either from a first person view or an overhead floor plan view of the spaces available to explore. The puzzles solved cleanly, but there were some issues with the scale of the information. I was unable to put my viewer into fullscreen mode, and as a result some of the visuals were very small and almost impossible to see in great detail. Thankfully, the other player was on a different screen and was able to do what needed to be done. On the usability front, the text of the puzzles indicated where in the building to look for the next clue. There was a museum full of clickable exhibits to explore, so this was a very helpful addition.

As an advertisement for the museum, I think the designers did a great job. The areas you are able to explore looked full of interesting exhibits. It definitely seems like a worthwhile stop to make next time you’re in Montreal… Escape Immerse Explore: Montreal 2021 anyone?! (This tour is sold out, but you can join the waitlist.)

Diana Kobrynowicz’s Reaction

Rating: 1 out of 3.

My 1-star rating was solely driven by the $50 price per team; otherwise I would have rated this experience a 2-star. This was a very cute game that allowed you to travel through the museum and solve a mystery that was superimposed upon the exhibits. While you solved puzzles, different video clues would appear, giving you more information and advancing the mystery. It was easy to learn how to click around the museum and the floor plan cuing was excellent. In addition, the hint system was excellent. While on occasion I found it tedious to be doing so much clicking around, I was relieved by both the floor plan help and the hint system. The story was sufficiently engaging as were the puzzles. My only concern was that I did not feel this was a $50 experience and would have been disappointed had I paid that much for it; I’m not sure I would have felt paying $20 was worth it. Maybe $10.

Tammy McLeod’s Reaction

Rating: 2 out of 3.

While virtually wandering around this museum, I learnt a lot of interesting information about Montreal. The game consists mostly of searching the space for the relevant exhibits and relevant puzzle clues, followed by some fairly straightforward solving. The interface was nicely done. Overall, it was a nice and polished educational game.

Disclosure: A/Maze provided the Hivemind reviewers with a complimentary play.

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