Goodbye to the Hivemind Stars, Hello Live Games

A single hand holding a glowing star viewed through a window at sunset.

When we started the REA Hivemind in April of 2020, our approach was a response to an industry in crisis. As so many online games emerged, we considered each one in the context of our lives without in-person escape rooms. As such, we built the following scale, represented by stars:

REA's hivemind review scale - 3 is recommended anytime, 2 recommended in quarantine, 1 is not recommended.

The hivemind review stars have specific meanings, tied to a time of quarantine. As each reviewer has slowly emerged into the world outside their homes again, some more than others, the stars have remained indicative of thoughts on a game during a period of quarantine.

Now, 18 months later, the REA Hivemind is still going strong, but we’re leaving the stars behind… and honestly, it’s about time.

Today’s online escape room products are much more akin to tabletop escape rooms in that they are their own genre, intentionally designed for their medium and not as a substitute for something else. We’ll continue to review them in the more classic REA way, relying entirely on prose to help a discerning audience decide if this is the game for them.

Upcoming In-Person Reviews

In addition to continued online and tabletop escape game coverage, in-person escape room coverage will be back in full swing this fall.

Provided all traveling goes according to plan, you can expect reviews from:

  • South Carolina
  • North Carolina
  • Virginia
  • Maryland
  • Maine
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Montreal

We’re excited to be visiting friends, family, and escape rooms again!

Thank you

Thank you to our Patreon backers, who continue to support us as we shift how we cover escape rooms and strive to provide the best content we can for this industry.

Amanda Harris
Andrew Reynolds
Andrew Sturridge
Angie Meyers
Anna Lysova
Anne Lukeman
Ben Rosner
Bill Chang
Breakout Games
Brett Kuehner
Brian Resler
Brian Vinciguerra
Bronna Butler
Byron Delmonico
C.J. Smith
Cara Mandel
Chris Cannon
Chris M. Dickson
Chris White
Daniel Egnor
Daniel Kolb
Darren Miller
David Longley
deadpan 1113
Derek Tam
Drew Nelson
Emile Wang
Eric Mittler
Erich Schultz
Farand Pawlak
Greg Marinelli
Haley & Cameron Cooper
Herbert Chan
James Shearer
Jan-Luc Van Damme
Jason’s Fitness Consigliere
Jim of PARADOXsquared
John Wardrope
Jon Kaufthal

Jonathan Dautrich
Jonathan Driscoll
Joseph Allen
Joseph Friesen
Joseph Mayeux
Josh Kendrick
Julie Burge
Justin Nevins
Kurt Leinbach
Laura E. Hall
Lee-Fay Low
Leo Dennett
Lindsay Froelich
Lori Miller
Marisa Capobianco
Mark Blume
Mark Denine
Matt Beverly
Matt Keyser
Matthew Stein
Michael Andersen
Michael Wolman
Michelle Rundbaken
Mihir Kedia
Nathan Walton
Neda Delavarpour
Negina Kolesar
Nick Moran
Nick Rose
No Proscenium
Olivia Anderson
Omer Aru
Patrick McLean
Patrick McNamara
Paul Tashima
Paula Swann
Philip Ho
Phillip Justman
Psych Out

Puzzling Company
Rebecca Horste
Rene Sorette
Rex Miller
Rich Bragg
Richard Burns
Rob Tsuk
Ruud Kool
Ryan Brady
Ryan Hart
S T Cameron
Samantha Koehler
Sara Reed
Sarah Zhang
Scott Olson
Sean McBride
Sendil Krishnan
Seth Wolfson
Spencer Arnold
Stephanie McNeill
Steve Ewing
Steve Gaddy
Steven Valdez
Stuart Bogaty
Stuart Nafey
Tahlia Kirk
Tammy McLeod
Teo Litto
Terry Pettigrew-Rolapp
The Escape Room USA
The Wild Optimists
Theresa Piazza
Theresa Wagner
Tiffany Schaefer
Todd Geldon
Todd McClary
Tom Henley
Victor van Doorn
Vivien Ripoll
Wesley James
Will Rutherford

To those of you reading who have the means, we hope you’ll consider joining this wonderful group of supporters.

Support Room Escape Artist’s Mission

There are lots of ways to support Room Escape Artist, like buying from Amazon, Etsy, or Art of Play after clicking into the links included in this post or backing us on Patreon.

The money that we make from these helps us to grow the site and continue to add more value to the community that we love so much.


  1. If you are in Colorado, I would love you have you visit us at 303 Escape! We opened a couple of weeks after your last visit here and I was so bummed you guys couldn’t play our game.

    1. I’m sorry that we missed you on our last trip, and that Matthew missed you again on his whirlwind trip this fall. I’ve made a note so that we’re sure to stop in next time any REA writer is in the area.

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