HomeScapeHome – Blast From the Past [Hivemind Review]

Blast From the Past is a print-and-play or tabletop escape game created by HomeScapeHome.

Blast From The Past paper puzzles. Cover looks reminiscent of Stranger Things, interior pages have a wide assortment of puzzles, one has pictures of a Rubick's Cube, another has a map.

Format

Style of Play:

  • Play on demand
  • Print-and-play or tabletop escape game

Who is it For?

  • Story seekers
  • Any experience level

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection, printer, pen and paper, scissors

Recommended Team Size: 1-3

Play Time: There is no timer. Expect 60-120 minutes depending on team size.

Price: $14.90 for a digital copy, $24.90 for a mailed paper copy

Booking: purchase and play at your leisure

Description

Read through a set of documents that set the scene, then sort out which apply to each puzzle, and solve to determine a set of 10 locations on the map. Enter those location names into a Google Form to validate, and then solve a meta-puzzle based on the response.

There are two versions: a digital download and a mail-order paper kit. If you buy the digital download, you will need to print out the game. You will need to print in color.

An intricate map puzzle laying on top of a stack of pages.

Cindi S’ Reaction

Played the digital version:

Blast From the Past leans heavily into the Stranger Things universe, complete with a classmate named Will who mysteriously disappeared years ago, and puzzles built around classic 80’s toys and games. The puzzles were unique and fun to solve and had varying degrees of complexity. Because each was completely different, they will appeal to a wide variety of puzzle solvers. We did struggle with one puzzle that included unnecessary information, whether as a red herring or leftover from an earlier version. Though we went through multiple steps, these ultimately were not needed to find the solution. The game is available as a digital print-and-play or as a mail-order kit, and while buying the digital version saves you $10, you will need to print out 19 full-color pages, so I would recommend just buying the kit. If you are a fan of Stranger Things or have a Rubik’s Cube sitting on your shelf, you will get a kick out of this game.

Joel Smileypeacefun Reaction

Played the digital version:

Your childhood best friend mysteriously disappeared in the 80s. Finding his old notebook makes you believe that there could be portals to different dimensions.

At its best, the printed contents were colorful and fun to look at. There is a lot of content to go through. The puzzles themself are nicely themed and one or two of them I found pretty unique.

At its worst, if the puzzles had been presented more sequentially, the difficulty level would have been fine. But since almost the entire game content is available at once, at times it felt unnecessarily chaotic, under-clued, and frustrating to parse through. Additionally, one of the puzzles painfully overstayed its welcome.

There is an option to have a printed version shipped to you or to print the game yourself, which I did. Don’t print it in black and white. However, you can save some paper by printing two pages onto one sheet of paper (single-sided) if you play alone or with a small group.

Brett Kuehner’s Reaction

Played the mailed version:

  • + Good progressive hint system
  • + Nice puzzle variety
  • – One puzzle had an interesting setup, but iterated far too many times, and the final extraction was unclear
  • + Some puzzle structures initially looked overly complex, but turned out to be clear and fun
  • +/- Generally well translated, but “un peu de français” crept into the English version of the website and final email
  • + Puzzles fit the story well
  • – Result entry system via Google Form was workable, but didn’t fit the narrative and felt clunky
  • ? Puzzles are on the easier side, so this would be best for beginners or intermediate/ advanced puzzlers who want a relaxing solve

Disclosure: HomeScapeHome provided the Hivemind reviewers with a complimentary play.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.