Enchambered – Apart in Time [Hivemind Review]

Apart in Time is a 2-player point-and-click game created by Enchambered in Sacramento, CA.

This game is in a similar style to Enchambered’s other digital games: Alone TogetherTogether Apart, and Together At Heart.

Key art for Apart in Time features a broken mirror with a haunting face in the shards.

Format

Style of Play:

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

Who is it For?

  • Puzzle lovers
  • Any experience level

Required Equipment: Computer with internet connection. Each player needs their own computer.

Recommended Team Size: exactly 2

Play Time: about 60 minutes

Price: pay what you want, minimum of $10

Booking: purchase and play at your leisure

Description

Apart in Time is a two-person, cooperative game where each player has partial information and needs to communicate with the other person to solve the puzzles.

Enchambered – Together Apart [Hivemind Review]

Together Apart is a digital game created by Enchambered in Sacramento, CA. It is the sequel to Alone Together.

The intro letter to the Clockmaker player.

Format

Style of Play: point-and-click adventure game

Required Equipment: computer with an internet connection

Recommended Team Size: 2

Play Time: about an hour

Price: pay what you want with a $5 minimum

Booking: Purchase a license key, share that key with a friend, and start the game.

Description

Player 1 and player 2 will have independent screens with puzzles and clickable controls. Each screen will have information important to the other player and players must communicate to solve each other’s related puzzles. Both players need to collaboratively solve to escape.

The intro letter to the Fortune Teller player.

Hivemind Review Scale

Enchambered – Alone Together [Hivemind Review]

Alone Together is a free digital game created by Enchambered in Sacramento, CA.


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Starting place for Alone Together. It explains that two players are needed on seperate devices, and they should not show their screen to one another.
Any images beyond this are a spoiler.

Style of Play: Audio/ Visual Experience

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection

Recommended Team Size: exactly 2 (although one reviewer enjoyed it as 2 teams rather than 2 individuals)

Play Time: about 45 minutes

Price: free

Booking: Click to play

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Hivemind Review Scale

REA's hivemind review scale - 3 is recommended anytime, 2 recommended in quarantine, 1 is not recommended.

Read more about our Hivemind Review format.

Andrew Reynolds’ Reaction

Rating: 3 out of 3.

I was excited when I saw that Enchambered had a play-at-home game, and even more excited when I saw the price tag: $0. Alone Together plays like a split-room start to a physical escape room, but without a whisper of a story. You and a partner (who plays on a separate screen) have to use effective communication to solve a series of unrelated puzzles. Alone Together starts off slowly, but just as the game starts to pick up steam, it ends. Even though there was no story – just a collection of puzzles – it still felt there was no satisfying ending. Even so, when you combine the price point, the puzzles, and the play style, you get something that I would play at any time.

Crystal F’s Reaction

Rating: 2 out of 3.

Alone Together was just ok. My partner and I spent the majority of the time describing our screens to each other and not enough time solving puzzles. Once we really got going and started solving, it ended abruptly. Each time a puzzle was solved or a button was pressed, I was expecting to have some sort of storyline or objective introduced. Unfortunately, that never came to fruition. I enjoyed the individual puzzles but never really felt like it came together to create an experience. That being said, it was free, and entertaining enough to play if you have a half hour to kill.

Theresa Piazza’s Reaction

Rating: 2 out of 3.

Alone Together is a short, fun puzzle-solving experience. It’s ideal for individuals of moderate puzzling ability. The digital interface is polished, the majority of the puzzles solve cleanly, and the soundscape was very satisfying! When comparing this to an escape room, there was no story about who trapped you, or reason for why you and your partner needed to escape. There was at least one puzzle that didn’t seem to be gated quite enough (or we accidentally solved in an unintentional order), and one possible red herring where even after reopening the experience, couldn’t figure out where it went to. With a story and a few more puzzles, I could see Alone Together being a game I would want to experience a second chapter of!

Richard Burns’ Reaction

Rating: 3 out of 3.

Alone Together is a terrific little free game, and not just during a lockdown. It is a fun, easy-to-use split-team puzzle game that tests your brain and your communication skills. Play in combination with a video chat session with some friends and you’ll get a lot of the fun and teamwork of a split-team escape room. The sound effects and clickable controls add a nice tactile feel to the game and the mechanical-like actions that occur after a solve give that satisfying feeling of a lock clicking open. The split-team aspect utilized by Enchambered is something that I think works quite well in this time when hanging out with friends is virtual and we are already split up. I’d like to see more games designed with this in mind.

Format Description

Player 1 and player 2 will have independent screens with puzzles and clickable controls. Each screen will have information important to the other player and players must communicate to solve each other’s related puzzles. Both players need to collaboratively solve to escape.

Check out our review of the sequel, Together Apart.

Enchambered – Containment Breach [Review]

Concrete, steel, and puzzles.

Location:  Sacramento, California

Date Played: February 24, 2019

Team size: up to 8; we recommend 3-4

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $30 per player

Ticketing: Public

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock 

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Containment Breach was Enchambered’s first foray into escape rooms. It was a strong initial outing.

A solid, fairly traditional puzzle game, Containment Breach offered some good group solves in a detailed but dim set. The lighting was especially low, and we couldn’t really do anything without a flashlight… which grew old.

In-game: a large piece of metal machinery in a heavily worn concrete bunker.

Since creating this game, Enchambered has produced some truly outstanding experiences in The Whispering Halls and The Legend of the Skull Witch. Those games are the reason to visit Enchambered. Containment Breach, by comparison, was an optional add-on.

Who is this for?

  • Scenery snobs
  • Sci-fi fans
  • Players with at least some experience
  • Players who don’t need to be a part of every puzzle

Why play?

  • A detailed set
  • Some interesting puzzles and interactions

Story

Decades ago, Doctor Henry Rosenburg had built a device that instantly teleported matter. During his first attempt at demonstrating his creation, it had malfunctioned and Rosenburg had disappeared after the ensuing radiation leak rendered his lab uninhabitable.

Now that the radiation levels had dropped to tolerable levels, we went in to investigate what had happened.

In-game: A PA mounted near the ceiling of the bunker. There's a sign warning of surveillance.

Setting 

Enchambered’s first escape game was a bunker.

The dimly lit set was filled with the kind of texture and weathering details that showed the environment was created by someone who cared.

In-game: closeup of a desk with strange schematics beside a large piece of equipment

Gameplay

Enchambered’s Containment Breach was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.

Core gameplay revolved around searching and puzzling.

In-game: a large, weathered, yellow metal door with a strange locking mechanism.

Analysis

➕ The dim, detailed, and weathered set looked like a convincing lab/ bunker hybrid.

➖ We spent a lot of time searching in low light. It was annoying to play the entire game with a flashlight in hand.

➕ The props felt bulky and real. The gameplay was tangible. It frequently encouraged collaborative solves.

➖ There were tons of papers that we didn’t need and would likely be needless red herrings to less experienced players.

➕ In one instance, Containment Breach taught use how to use a prop through the gameplay. In a game with solid, yet standard puzzle play, this puzzle was especially well thought out so that players would build mastery and have a sense of accomplishment.

➖ All solves led to a 4-digit lock. There were a lot of locks and they weren’t correlated to the puzzles. We ended up trying every derived code in lots of places, which slowed momentum, especially early on.

➖ While there clearly was a story, we struggled to follow it. The story got lost amid puzzles.

➕ We particularly enjoyed the solves that required teamwork.

➕ We truly respect Enchambered’s tiered pricing. Containment Breach was their oldest game, and tickets for it were less expensive than tickets for their newer games. This improved the value of the experience. More escape room companies should adopt this approach to pricing.

Tips For Visiting

  • There is a parking lot.
  • We recommend Thai Terrace for a meal before/after your game.

Book your hour with Enchambered’s Containment Breach , and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Enchambered provided media discounted tickets for this game.

Enchambered – The Whispering Halls [Review]

The Haunted Mansion

Location:  Sacramento, California

Date Played: February 24, 2019

Team size: up to 10; we recommend 4-6

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $35 per player

Ticketing: Public

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock 

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

From the theme to their approach to set design and construction, Enchambered’s Disney influences were on display in The Whispering Halls.

As with The Legend of the Skull Witch we were thrilled by The Whispering Halls. While there were some opportunities for additional refinement and drama, overall this was a high quality escape game.

If you’re anywhere near Sacramento, we highly recommend The Whispering Halls. If you’re looking to choose between The Whispering Halls and The Legend of the Skull Witch, you can’t really go wrong… so flip a coin, or better yet, play both.

In-game: an ominous metal door knocker.

Who is this for?

  • Adventure seekers
  • Story seekers
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Best for players with at least some experience
  • Players who don’t need to be a part of every puzzle

Why play?

  • Ambiance born of a detailed set
  • Puzzle progression
  • Interaction design
  • Density of content

Story

The caretaker of an old Victorian manor had hired us to investigate paranormal happenings within the home that he was charged with maintaining.

In-game: a bookcase

Setting

Creepy but never terrifying, The Whispering Halls was beautiful and filled with subtle homages to Walt Disney World’s Haunted Mansion, but never felt like it was ripping off the famous haunted house. Enchambered used time-tested techniques to make the space feel both haunted and larger than it actually was.

In-game: glowing candles mounted to a red wall.

Gameplay

Enchambered’s The Whispering Halls was a standard escape room with a high level of difficulty.

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

Analysis

➕ The Whispering Halls was an enchanting space. Enchambered built vertically, affording them space to add details without red herrings and an expanse without barren space. It was deliberately designed and atmospheric, setting the tone for an exciting escape room.

➕ Enchambered used a variety of effects to create exciting moments inside The Whispering Halls.

➖ The gamespace showed a bit of wear and not all the wiring was completely hidden.

➕ Enchambered built interesting puzzles into unusual interactions. These were a ton of fun.

➖ One puzzle had an overly tight tolerance.

➕/➖ Enchambered provided a step to help shorter players participate in higher puzzles. It would have been helpful to affix this to the floor, or label it, so that it wouldn’t be confused as a puzzle component.

➕ The puzzles flowed well. We could see the different puzzle paths emerging and build mastery of the room as we played. This made similar solves – and even multiple locks with the same digit structure – less arduous. It also built up anticipation for opens.

➖ One moment of individual isolation could have really shined, but felt underwhelming.

➕ Your ticket to The Whispering Halls buy a lot. As this escape room revealed its secrets, it also unveiled more densely packed puzzle content. There was a lot of game within these walls.

Tips For Visiting

  • There is a parking lot.
  • We recommend Thai Terrace for a meal before/after your game.

Book your hour with Enchambered’s The Whispering Halls, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

… when you come out to San Fransisco this June for Escape, Immerse, Explore: The Palace. Enchambered would make a lovely day trip add-on to your time in California. Today is the last day to book tickets to our Palace Games tour. Don’t miss your chance!

Disclosure: Enchambered provided media discounted tickets for this game.