Colorado Gold Rush Puzzle Challenge [Hivemind Review]

Colorado Gold Rush Puzzle Challenge is a free light puzzle hunt game created by group of escape room companies in and around Denver, CO.

Illustration of a cryptex over the entrance to a mine.


Style of Play: light puzzle hunt

Required Equipment: computer with an internet connection

Recommended Team Size: 1-3

Play Time: no time limit, expect to spend about 90 minutes

Price: free

Booking: go to the website and start playing

You must complete Colorado Gold Rush Puzzle Challenge by August 31st to win the prize: exclusive discounts at participating escape room companies.


Each of 10 escape room companies created a puzzle around the Colorado Gold Rush theme. Solving each puzzle yielded a word or phrase. Once you had all 10 solutions, you entered them into a final submission.

Hivemind Review Scale

Now Available: RECON Swag

We have some pretty nifty RECON swag… and it is now available for purchase.

David’s looking cool in the RECON Hoodie.

Swag Options

The t-shirts and the sweatshirts are pretty great. We have men’s and women’s cut t-shirts. The shirt design is special for RECON ’20 Global, complete with a hidden message.

The sticker will look great on a laptop, notebook, or water bottle.

Notebook with the RECON die-cut sticker.

Your RECON mug can come with you to all your online escape rooms – whether you’re playing, creating, or gamemastering.

However, the mask is something special. It’s the accessory of 2020… and it displays the RECON insignia as argyle.

Lisa modeling the RECON Argyle mask.

Support RECON

RECON is a free event. Your purchase of RECON swag helps make this event possible. Please help us cover our costs by buying these limited edition RECON ’20 Global accessories.

Announcing: RECON Schedule of Featured Talks

RECON ’20 Global is thrilled to present 15 Featured Talks.

All attendees will be able to watch Featured Talks on the RECON website, followed by Q&As with the speakers.

RECON is a free digital escape room convention for industry professionals and players that we’re hosting this August 23-24.

Featured Talks

Below, the Featured Talks are presented in the order in which they will be streamed at RECON.

Day 1 – Sunday, August 23

Opening Remarks

Make it Immersive: Turning Walls into Worlds by Haley E. R. Cooper & J. Cameron Cooper, Strange Bird Immersive (Immersion)

A Conversation with the Western World’s Most Experienced Escape Room Player by Sera Dodd & David Middleton, ERIC & Bewilder Box (Player Q&A)

The Video Game Talk that You Want to Attend Even if You’re Not a Gamer by Kim Belair, Ari MacGillivray, David Bedard, Sweet Baby Inc (Video Game Roots)

Blogger Bonanza: A Fast-Paced Blogger Panel (Blogger Panel)

  • Ken Ferguson of The Logic Escapes Me, United Kingdom (moderator)
  • Cici Cao & Brandon Chow of ESCAPETHEROOMers, United States
  • Randy Hum of Escape Rumors, United States
  • Sebastian Miska of Escape Maniac, Germany
  • Stefan Bauer & Alex Osorio of Two Bears Life, Austria​
  • Toby Powell of EscapeTheReview, United Kingdom
  • Victor Espriu & Maria José Navarro, El Quinto Elemento, Spain

Make it Work: Leveling Up Your Escape Room Tech by Jason Richard, Steal and Escape (Tech Tools)

Guardians of Fun and Property: A Conversation Between Two Veteran Gamemasters, Hillary Manning & Aaron Gold​ (Gamemastering)

Escape the Building: Lessons from Outdoor Escape Game Creators by Emma Rochon & Fred Preddy, Improbable Escapes & Escape Maze (Outdoor Games)

Day 2 – Monday, August 24

2020: The State of the Escape Room Industry by Lisa and David Spira, Room Escape Artist (Industry Report)

Adapting Your Escape Room Business to New Mediums by Charlie Bond & James Hamer-Morton, Deadlocked Escape Rooms (Product Variety)

An Interview with the Enigmatist: Blending Puzzles & Magic by David Kwong, The Enigmatist (Puzzle & Magic)

Characters in Escape Rooms by Manda Whitney, Room Escape Divas (Characters)

Owning an Escape Room in 2020: An Owner Panel Reflecting on Where We Were, Where We Are, and Where We’re Going (Owner Panel)

  • Lisa Spira, Room Escape Artist (moderator)
  • ​Amy Philip of Escape Games PDX, Portland, OR, USA
  • Anne Lukeman of CU Adventures, Champaign-Urbana, IL, USA
  • Bogdan Dascalescu of Puzzle Punks, Dubrovnik, Croatia
  • Gijs Geers of DarkPark, Zoetermeer, Netherlands
  • Megan Mouton of Clue Carré, New Orleans, LA, USA
  • Seth Wolfson of Hourglass Escapes, Seattle, WA, USA
  • Summer Herrick of Locurio, Seattle, WA, USA

Escape the Cliché or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Design Creatively by Bizzaro, Krystal, & Greg, Test Subjects (Creativity)

Set Design on a Budget by Mike Preddy, Escape Maze (Budget Sets)

Concluding Remarks

Schedule FAQ

What’s with the words in parenthesis?

Our virtual venue is the RECON Discord Server. Although you will watch all the talks from the RECON website, these shortened talk names will help you navigate to deeper conversations on these subjects in the RECON Discord Server. All registered attendees will get information about Discord and joining the RECON Discord Server before the start of the event

How do I Learn More About What a Talk Covers?

All the talk abstracts are available on the Event Schedule page of the RECON website below the image with the schedule. Scroll down to read more about each talk.

How Do I Know When the Talk Will Take Place?

The Featured Talks will be streamed from 10:00 – 20:00 (8:00pm) New York time on Sunday, August 23 and Monday, August 24. They do not overlap. You can watch them all!

Click the RECON Schedule link above to see what time we’ll stream each talk.

Join us at RECON

RECON is about sharing knowledge. We thank all the RECON speakers for offering their insights to our community. We are excited to share their talks with you very soon!

Escape Kit – The Mysterious Murder [Hivemind Review]

The Mysterious Murder is a print-and-play escape game created by Escape Kit.

Illustration of a hand in a pool of blood with a #1 evidence card beside it.


Style of Play: print-and-play escape game

You need to be able to print double-sided, preferably in color. Also, for the “Print Both Sides” PDF, begin printing on page 2; otherwise, the fronts and backs will be mismatched.

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection, printer, scissors, tape or glue

Recommended Team Size: 1-3

Play Time: 60 minutes

Price: €19.99

Booking: purchase from the website and play at your leisure


This game is designed to simulate the scene of a murder. To set up, you print, cut, and/or assemble a large variety of “evidence” that you then distribute to seven numbered locations within your house. You will spend time printing and preparing the game. To play, your team begins at location #1, solves the puzzle, and continues to location #2, possibly gathering additional “clues” for the mystery in the process. As the game proceeds, you collect information about the murder so that, after all seven puzzles, you can make an accusation. At the end, you check your solution on a website.

Evidence setup and numbed on a floor, beside a DDR pad.

Hivemind Review Scale

Escape Summit Presents 2 Featured Talks at RECON

The Reality Escape Convention (RECON) believes that collaboration will grow our industry and the community around it. To that end, RECON recently announced that the Escape Summit, the Canadian escape room conference, would present two featured talks:

Mike Preddy of Escape Maze in Peterborough, ON, will speak about creating sets on a budget.

Emma Rochon of Improbable Escapes in Kingston, ON, and Fred Preddy of Escape Maze will speak about creating outdoor games.

Collaborating with Escape Summit

Escape Summit is the Canadian escape room conference. Last year, David flew to Canada to speak on the Escape Summit stage.

This conference has built an intimate, low key community that we really enjoy. Their approach to small-group discussions was one of the inspirations for RECON’s planning.

The folks behind Escape Summit love and support this industry as much as we do.

Budget Scenic

Money may be tight right now, but the folks from Escape Maze have had budget scenic down to a science for years. Their unusual and skillful approaches to using recycled and inexpensive materials to create beautiful settings is something that everyone should learn more about in 2020.

About Michael

Mike Prede

Mike Preddy is a carpenter/ contractor with 35 years of experience, as well as an accomplished chainsaw artist and ice sculptor. Since 2014, he has been the lead of the creative design team in charge of all the builds at Escape Maze, PTBO Escape, and other escape room facilities. His sharp eye for detail and keen sense of design bring an authenticity to all his builds. Convincing decor is what keeps players immersed inside the story throughout the game experience. Mike prides himself on creating beautiful, immersive decor on a shoestring budget.

Outdoor Games

Doing things outdoors is simply safer these days. Escape Maze and Improbable Escape were running outdoor escape room-style games before it was cool.

Come learn valuable lessons from folks who know what they’re doing when hiding puzzles in the great outdoors.

About Emma & Fred

Emma Rochon & Fred Prede

Emma Rochon is the Director of Game Experience and Design at Improbable Escapes. She has been working in the escape room industry since 2014, and has designed more than 30 escape rooms. An avid board game player, Emma has recently opened a board game cafe to further share her love of games.

Fred Preddy and the Escape Maze team have created over 100 games for themselves and other facilities since opening their doors in 2014. After the first year in the escape room business, attention turned to outdoor games, especially games to be played on the farmland where Escape Maze is located. These games were an instant hit with school groups and corporate clients. In addition to farm escape games, Fred and the team also created games to take place in workplaces, historic buildings, and at special events.

Join us at RECON

RECON ’20 is a free digital event with curated talks covering aspects of experience design in physical and digital media.

The RECON team is excited to collaborate with Escape Summit, and have them present these two talks on the RECON stage. This collaboration furthers our goals of community and building a sustainable industry together.

RECON is less than one month away. Pre-register today so that you receive all information about registering to get your virtual badge, the full schedule of talks, and how to meet other folks at RECON. All this information will be available to pre-registrants really soon!