Fantasy Escape Games – Ghosts of Craven Manor [Hivemind Review]

Ghosts of Craven Manor is an audio escape game created by Fantasy Escape Games.

Three cute sheet ghosts around a table.

Format

Style of Play:

  • Online native experience (can NOT be played IRL)
  • Audio game

Who is it For?

  • Any experience level

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection

Recommended Team Size: 2-4

Play Time: 60 minutes

Price: $15-$19/person

Booking: book online for a specific time slot

Description

The narrator/ gamemaster screen-shares a slide deck over a Zoom call while vocally providing information about what the players are seeing in the slides. Players call out which objects they want to interact with and the gamemaster shows a slide (if available) and narrates the effects of the interaction.

Escape Blair Witch [Review]

“She’s coming…”

Location:  Las Vegas, NV

Date Played: December 17, 2021

Team size: up to 8 in a public booking; we recommend a private group of 4-5

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $45.99 per player for General Admission or $65.99 per player for Private VIP Experience

Ticketing: Public (General Admission) or Private (Private VIP Experience)

Accessibility Consideration: You’ll experience dim lighting, loud noises, and fog. At least one person needs to crawl.

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

The Blair Witch Project was an interesting phenomenon back in 1999. The first person “found footage” style of this horror movie blended with its fabricated legend and a bit of clever marketing to leave some asking the question, “Is this real? Did this really happen, like in real life?”

Now, if you knew me back in ’99, and posed that question, I would have informed you that, “of course it wasn’t real… it was a theatrically released horror movie, not evidence of supernatural murders.” And I would have said that in the most condescending teenage tone possible.

The good news about Escape Blair Witch is that it is real… or at least, it feels real.

The Blair Witch symbol lashed together from twigs and twine, hanging from a tree branch.
Image via Escape Blair Witch

A lot went into building the set and crafting the experience of Escape Blair Witch, and that’s really how I recommend looking at it: as an experience.

Escape Blair Witch was experientially strong, creating an intense horror experience with an actor who adapts to the skill level of the team. The puzzles and story themselves were unremarkable; it was about the adventure.

The big catch with Escape Blair Witch is that it is a public game, with the option to pay extra to make it private. In my opinion, this game must be played with a private group; it’s worth paying the extra money. If you don’t, you’re likely going to find yourself crammed into a room filled with randoms (and it’s not just randoms you’d be playing with – it’s randoms in Vegas). The game doesn’t support a group of 8, and it especially doesn’t support teams of mixed skill level.

Escape Blair Witch was experientially the strongest escape game we played in Las Vegas, and I recommend checking it out if you’re in-town and looking for an intense time. Just buy the private tickets… or don’t bother.

Who is this for?

  • Adventure seekers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Blair Witch fans
  • Any experience level

Why play?

  • Fantastic set design
  • Strong haunt effects
  • A great actor who read the room and adjusted to our team’s skill

Story

After a few college students had disappeared in the Black Hills Forest, we set off to investigate their mysterious disappearance. Our search began in the Burkittsville Ranger’s Station. Was this an accident? Was there foul play? Or was this something else entirely?

A man in the woods looking scared.
Image via Escape Blair Witch
Continue reading “Escape Blair Witch [Review]”

Star-Crossed Puzzles – Romeo and Juliet [Hivemind Review]

Romeo and Juliet is an online game created by Star-Crossed Puzzles

A wooden chest labeled, "Romeo also spots an empty table with an abandoned card game. He sits to think about how to open the chest."

Format

Style of Play:

  • Online native experience (can NOT be played IRL)
  • Play on-demand

Who is it For?

  • Story seekers
  • “Aging lit majors like myself” – anonymous hivemind reviewer

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection

Recommended Team Size: 1-2

Play Time: 45-60 minutes

Price: £9.99

Booking: purchase and play at your leisure

Description

This is a browser-based game, played through a series of text and images, where you are following a story, solving puzzles, and entering the answers to progress to the next section. Answers must be exact and in all caps. If you get an answer wrong, you remain on the same page. Hints are available if you are stuck.

Room Escape Divas 141: Year in Review with Reality Escape Pod

As is our annual tradition, we wrapped up 2021 with the Room Escape Divas.

In this year’s conversation, Manda hosts David and Peih-Gee, giving these two podcast hosts a fun opportunity to be podcast guests. And they cover a lot of ground! We just might have a lot of projects these days.

Plus, if you are on the fence about Escape Immerse Explore New Mexico, David and Peih-Gee explain why these tours are so much fun.

Room Escape Divas Logo, a cartoon representation of the four hosts.

Topics

In this episode David and Peih-Gee tell you about:

And if you want to hear more from David and Peih-Gee, join our Patreon to get access to the REPOD bonus episodes. We really appreciate your support.

New Mexico Escape Room – Super Secret [Review]

To the Secretcave!

Location:  Albuquerque, NM

Date Played: December 14, 2021

Team size: 2-6; we recommend 3-5

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $28 per player

Ticketing: Private

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

We haven’t had a lot of luck playing superhero themed escape rooms… until we visited Super Secret.

The struggle with superhero games is that it’s really hard to make the players – who know that they are just regular humans – believe that they are in a superheroic world. New Mexico Escape Room solved this problem by casting us as regular humans supporting the hero from his headquarters… and it worked damn well.

Animation of superhero Captain Secret.

The characters, setting, and props blended with a campy superhero story, and sold the whole package. And New Mexico Escape Room accomplished this while telling their own story with their own Albuquerque-based superhero.

There were times where I wished that the puzzles and challenges blended a bit more into the story, but overall, this game was a stellar example of puzzle design, characters, setting, and story coming together to create an adventure.

Super Secret was one of our favorite games from Albuquerque… which is saying a lot because we loved the games we played in this city. This game is a must-play in a region that is worth traveling to specifically for escape games.

Who is this for?

  • Superhero fans
  • Adventure seekers
  • Story seekers
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Any experience level

Why play?

  • Engaging and approachable puzzle play
  • The Batcave-esque set was beautiful from floor to ceiling
  • A delightful original superhero story set in Albuquerque

Story

For years, Captain Secret had kept the city of Albuquerque safe from evildoers… until today. Our city’s superhero had been captured by his greatest foe, and needed our help. Fortunately everything he needed was within his secret lair, but time was running short.

A super computer inside of a superhero's base.
Continue reading “New Mexico Escape Room – Super Secret [Review]”