Palace Games – Emerald Palace [Hivemind Review]

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

An old treasure map with a few markings including an X, compass rose, a mallet, and a carrot. It is labled, "Don't worry, be mappy."

Format

Style of Play:

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

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

Recommended Team Size: 3-4

Play Time: about 90 minutes

Price: $20 per player for an unlimited number of players, playing in multiple teams with a shared leaderboard; also available in “Standard Team” pricing of a $28 flat team fee for 2-5 players, one team maximum per game.

Booking: purchase and play at your leisure

Description

The is the latest game in the Jewel Palace series following Palace of Destiny, Ruby Palace, and Sapphire Palace.

You log into a web environment where you navigate through a series of collaborative point-and-click puzzles. Each teammate typically works on one part of a collaborative solve.

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.

A photo of an old tunnel with a blue door at the end, a puzzle mounted on it. The image is labeled, "Tunnel Vision."

Puzzling Pursuits – Mission: ElfPossible [Hivemind Review]

Mission: ElfPossible is a Christmas-themed text adventure game created by Puzzling Pursuits.

Elf Enterprises interface set against a snowy forest.

Format

Style of Play:

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

Who is it For?

  • Story seekers
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Best for players with at least some experience
  • Families with older kids

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection

Recommended Team Size: 1-3

Play Time: about 60 minutes… more if you’re playing as a family with kids

Price: $17.95 per group

Booking: purchase and play at your leisure

Description

We joined a band of skillful elves to navigate a heavily guarded North Pole and rescue Santa from his evil brother. To complete this mission, we had to select which elf to help us with each new scenario we encountered based on their unique skill sets. After choosing the correct elf, we then solved a puzzle to proceed to the next situation. We entered solutions in a text field and received helpful and/ or chiding responses for incorrect solutions.

Ghost Ship Murder Mysteries – Superheroes [Hivemind Review]

Superheroes is an online murder mystery game created by Ghost Ship Murder Mysteries.

We’ve reviewed their in-person mysteries Murder in the West Wing, Space Smugglers, and Western. This was their first mystery in an online format.

Cara, Peih-Gee, and David in costume on video chat in Gather.

Format

Style of Play:

  • Online native experience (can NOT be played IRL)
  • Interactive NPC(s)
  • Murdery mystery

Who is it For?

  • Story seekers
  • People who want to role-play and interact with each other in-character
  • Players who don’t need to be a part of everything going on
  • Any experience level

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection, with a webcam and microphone

Recommended Team Size: exactly 12 players

Play Time: 2 hours

Price: $30 per person

Booking: book online for a specific time slot

Description

You will be assigned a role, complete with backstory and goals. By interacting with other players in-character, you can try to achieve your goals and advance the story. There are 4 “rounds” to the game, and in each round every player will get additional information and goals.

The superhero HQ in Gather.

Next Level Escape – The Strange Disappearance On Station Eleven [Hivemind Review]

The Strange Disappearance On Station Eleven is a point-and-click game created by Next Level Escape in Sydney, Australia.

Illustration of a trench coat and fedora clad person in the rain. It looks like futuristic noir.

Format

Style of Play: computer with internet connection

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

Required Equipment:

Recommended Team Size: 1-3

Play Time: no timer; plan for 1-2 hours depending on group size

Price: $40 AUD per team

Booking: purchase and play at your leisure

Description

The Strange Disappearance On Station Eleven is an online solo or multiplayer point-and-click game where you explore a space station via an interactive 3D web interface. You must find information, piece together the circumstances of the mystery, and solve puzzles to gain access to new locations or information.

A sleek, white, humanoid robot reaching out with its hand.

Exit the Game – Kidnapped in Fortune City [Hivemind Review]

Kidnapped in Fortune City is a tabletop escape game created by Exit: The Game.

Looking for holiday gifts? Find Kidnapped in Fortune City and other great games in the Room Escape Artist Holiday Gift Guide – 2021.

Exit: Kidnapped in Fortune City box depicts the old west. A sheriff's badge laying on the ground.

Format

Style of Play: tabletop escape game

Who is it For?

  • Puzzle lovers
  • Any experience level

Required Equipment: pen & paper

No scissors were needed, which is unusual for this series.

It is helpful to take notes in this game, as you collect information from the locations and characters.

Recommended Team Size: 1-3

Play Time: 1.5-2 hours

Price: about $15

Booking: purchase and play at your leisure

Description

The sheriff of Fortune City disappeared after a gold robbery, and it was our job to search the town, interview witnesses, solve the crime, and find the sheriff. We had more materials to help us than in other Exit: The Game installments: a map of the city, the sheriff’s notebook, clue cards, a set of “strange items,” several location pamphlets to explore one at a time, and a decoder wheel for entering the solutions to puzzles. Because this was a higher difficulty game, the puzzles were not presented linearly, and we had to determine what game pieces to use for each puzzle. As in all Exit: The Game installments, we had to use game pieces in unexpected ways, but there was not as much destruction in this game as in others.

Game contents include a number of old west themed items.
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