The Escape Game – 49ers Unlocked [Hivemind Review]

49ers Unlocked is a point-and-click adventure game created by The Escape Game in collaboration with the San Francisco 49ers.

Jerry Rice on video call.

Format

Style of Play: point-and-click adventure game

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection, mobile device

Recommended Team Size: 1-4

Play Time: No time limit, and progress saves, so you can log out and resume later. Our reviewers took about 20-40 minutes.

Price: $10 per team

Booking: purchase and play at your leisure

Description

49ers Unlocked was a point-and-click escape game set in the San Francisco 49ers Stadium. The team’s Lombardi trophies had gone missing and Jerry Rice needed us to find them.

This is web-based game, with video instructions and a graduated hint system. Everything you need to know to solve the puzzles can be found within the game, but outside knowledge of the 49ers will help you solve more quickly.

Point & click interface for 49ers Unlocked. It is in red, gold, white, and black and depicts the team's stadium.

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Lockdown Paphos – Space Station Online Adventure [Hivemind Review]

Space Station Online Adventure is a real-life escape room livestreamed and played through an avatar, created by Lockdown Paphos in Paphos, Cyprus.

An astronaut wearing an alien hat.

Format

Style of Play: real-life escape room livestreamed and played through an avatar

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection

Recommended Team Size: 2-6

Play Time: 60 minutes

Price: €80 for up to 6 connections

Booking: book online for a specific time slot

Description

Space Station Online Adventure was a standard live-streamed escape game with an in-character avatar and no external inventory. The avatar was unusually engaging and enjoyable.

Console on a space station viewed through Zoom.

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Palace Games – The Sapphire Palace [Hivemind Review]

The Sapphire Palace is a point-and-click adventure game created by Palace Games in San Francisco, CA.

Overhead view of a boiler room in a digital interface.

Format

Style of Play: point-and-click adventure

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection, pen and paper also recommended

Recommended Team Size: 4

Play Time: 90-120 minutes (but our group solved a bit more quickly)

Price: $20 per player

Booking: purchase and play at your leisure

Description

You log into a web environment where you navigate through a series of collaborative puzzles. Each teammate typically works on one part of a collaborative solve. A little circle always shows you what the other players are currently looking at.

If you’re in different households, you should connect with your teammates through Zoom, Discord, or another video conferencing platform. If you’re in the same household, each player will need their own computer.

Digital interface reads, "Previous, our intrepid heroes cracked the mysteries of the Ruby Palace and claimed their crimson reward."

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My Escape Room Party – The Disappearance of Mr. George [Hivemind Review]

The Disappearance of Mr. George is a print-and-play escape game created by My Escape Room Party, based in Minnesota.

The printed kit for The Disappearance of Mr George, a pen, and scissors.

Format

Style of Play: print-and-play escape game

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

The computer is for purchasing the file, printing it, and viewing the intro video and hints.

Many of the pages had a dark background. Not only did it take a lot of ink to print, but you couldn’t easily write on some of the pages due to the black background.

Recommended Team Size: 1-4

Play Time: 60 minutes, but our reviewers all finished in significantly less time

Price: $24.95

Booking: purchase and play at your leisure

Description

Mr. George is missing, and you’re provided with a set of printed clues for 10 puzzles. Print out the 12-page kit and gather pen, paper and scissors. The puzzles can be done in parallel, and each contributes to a final meta-puzzle. The intro video and hint system are online.

Note that this game can also be used to host an escape room party. To use the game in this way, you hide the clues throughout a room, possibly taking inspiration from the artwork to add props and/ or integrate the puzzles more tightly with the environment

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Project M – Cold Fusion [Hivemind Review]

Cold Fusion is a light puzzle hunt created by Project M in the UK.

Login screen for a website called "The Olsen Files" it is labeled, "Open Your Mind"

Format

Style of Play: light puzzle hunt, a bit ARG-like

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection

This game demands some sort of organization system; minimally pen and paper, but a shared Google Doc could help.

Recommended Team Size: 2-4

Play Time: No true game clock, but you have 7 days to play from the moment of purchase. Our reviewers took ~3 hours over the course of 2 sittings.

Price: £25 per team

Booking: book online and play at your leisure

Description

Players are given an email trailhead and follow it to Facebook profiles. From there, Cold Fusion is about finding information and putting it together to move to the next sequence (solve a puzzle, find a new website, etc.).

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