clueQuest – Print + Cut + Escape [Hivemind Review]

Print + Cut + Escape is a print and play game created by clueQuest in London, England.

In-game: A collection of cut paper with black & white images printed on them.

Style of Play: paper-based puzzle game with accompanying website

Required Equipment: Computer with internet connection (but a mobile device will suffice), printer, and scissors. Pen, paper, and scotch tape are also recommended.

Recommended Team Size: 1-3

Play Time: 60 minutes (but there isn’t a time limit if you want to take longer)

Price: £12

Booking: Click to purchase and play

Read more about our new Hivemind Review format.

HIVEMIND REVIEW SCALE

Rating: 3 out of 3.

I recommend this game to escape room players at any time.

Rating: 2 out of 3.

I recommend this game to escape room players in quarantine.

Rating: 1 out of 3.

I do not recommend this game.

In-game: An incoming video message from Agent Crimson.

Theresa W’s Reaction

Rating: 3 out of 3.

ClueQuest was able to create some truly unique and fun puzzles between the printed and digital components. Print + Cut + Escape was incredibly tangible considering the format, and almost every puzzle had an aha moment. The story line was easy to follow and portrayed through videos. It even fit into the overarching story of their in-person rooms! There is no outside knowledge required, which was a nice breath of fresh air. The game was a delightful experience, and I really cannot wait to see what they do next! (Yes, they even hint at a sequel!!!)

Michelle Calabro’s Reaction

Rating: 3 out of 3.

Overall, a delightful game that does a good job of integrating narrative and puzzle mechanisms. The sense of humor is also very appropriate for the spy theme. Criticisms include red herrings in some puzzles, and not knowing how to start a puzzle. It would help to tell players to get a pen and scotch tape before playing. Also, the website timed out and I thought I’d lost my chance to play. I was pleasantly surprised to learn the following day that I could still keep playing.

Sarah Mendez’s Reaction

Rating: 3 out of 3.

This game is a well-rounded play with a coherent and interesting narrative, a variety of plot-driven puzzles, and an effective mix of paper and digital elements. The puzzles are fairly easy, but well designed and fun. The challenge increases steadily throughout. Only drawback: we spent nearly as much time cutting out the 20+ pages of pieces as playing the game, so plan accordingly. Regardless, I enjoyed this more than many mass market boxed escape games, so the price seems fair. I look forward to Episode 2!

Format Description

The game is exactly as described — Print + Cut + Escape!

The game includes a 24-page PDF containing puzzle pieces to print and cut out, an online app, and a one-time access code for registering your team in the app. The app guides you through the story one “chapter” at a time, serving up puzzles as videos, audio, and/or simple gadgets for entering solutions. To solve the puzzles, you refer to the printed pieces that correspond to the chapter.

Player Tip: Make sure to print the PDF in “fit to page” mode. Otherwise, the images bleed off the paper, and you must sadly print the 24 pages all over again.

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

clueQuest – ORIGENES [Review]

Honey I shrunk the players. 

Location:  London, England

Date Played: May 5, 2019

Team size: up to 12 per copy of the game (they have 2 copies); we recommend 4

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: £30 per player

Ticketing: Private

Emergency Exit Rating: [A] Push To Exit

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

We were having so much fun wandering around and looking at things in ORIGENES that we could have accidentally lost this game.

The bizarrely-named ORIGENES shrunk us down and took us through a chapter of clueQuest’s serialized adventure. We had no idea what the rest of the story was because we hadn’t played their other games, but it didn’t matter. Being tiny in this game world was joyous.

In-game: Closeup of a large circuit board with multiple glowing LEDs.
Image via clueQuest

At the risk of sounding like Marie Kondo, we’re increasingly finding that a big differentiator for an escape game is how much joy it instills in us while we’re playing.

In the case of ORIGENES, our delight over the set and interactions made this a game that we loved, in spite of an ending that fizzled.

If you’re visiting London and love escape games, ORIGENES is a must-play. For more current information on other great games to play in London, check out the UK escape room blog The Logic Escapes Me. It’s written by Ken Ferguson and he’s a fantastic reviewer.

Who is this for?

  • Puzzle lovers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Players with at least some experience
  • Players who don’t need to be a part of every puzzle

Why play?

  • A delightful set
  • Great set pieces and interactions
  • Entertaining puzzles

Story

In order to stop the evil Professor’s plans, we had to shrink down and enter his base.

In-game: a red glowing LED strip labeled "THE RULER OF..."
Image via clueQuest

Setting

clueQuest began our adventure in a shrinking machine. Once we’d figured out how to get our shrinkage on… we entered a delightfully oversized world.

This set was a joy to explore.

In-game: Closeup of a circuit board with a large glowing green LED.
Image via clueQuest

Gameplay

clueQuest’s ORIGENES was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.

Core gameplay revolved around searching, making connections, and puzzling.

In-game: closeup of a large circuit board.
Image via clueQuest

Analysis

➕ The world of ORIGENES was fun to explore. The set delivered its own aha moments as we reoriented ourselves as small beings in an oversized environment. Recognizing the huge set pieces and props as real world objects was as fun as anything else in the game. clueQuest didn’t strive to keep the all props and decor to scale against themselves. They didn’t need to. From our shrunken vantage point, each aha was as exciting as the last one.

➕ The oversized mechanisms were a delight to manipulate. The puzzles built into these props solved with satisfying haptic feedback.

➖ We encountered some confusing gameplay as the result of multiple ghost puzzles. We respect clueQuest for removing these from a game already jampacked with content. With a few more tweaks, however, they wouldn’t be so unnecessarily distracting.

➕ The puzzle flow was lovely for the majority of the experience. The gameplay came together well.

➕/➖ One late-game puzzle slowed the pace of gameplay. This sequence had a lot going for it in both story and interaction. It was an interesting take on the “boss battle” puzzle. From a gameplay standpoint, it was a bit too clunky and made the climactic moment drag.

➖ ORIGENES fizzled out at the end. We were coming off a slower puzzle sequence, but with a sense of accomplishment. Then, in order to escape, we had to re-enter the shrinking machine and un-shrink ourselves. While this made narrative sense, it lacked excitement the second time around.

❓ We never felt connected to the story or a part of a larger world and its characters. While they factored into the puzzling, we weren’t invested in their plight.

➕ There was a lot of joy in this game.

Tips For Visiting

  • Take public transportation to King’s Cross.

Book your hour with clueQuest’s ORIGENES, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: clueQuest comped our tickets for this game.