Improbable Escapes – The Hot Chocolate Incident [Hivemind Review]

The Hot Chocolate Incident is a digital avatar-led escape game, designed for livestream play, created by Improbable Escapes in Kingston, ON.

Santa sitting beside a Christmas tree reading.

Format

Style of Play: digital avatar-led escape game, designed for livestream play

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

Recommended Team Size: 2-5

Play Time: 60 minutes

Price: $25 CAD per player, plus tax.

Booking: book online for a specific time slot

Description

The Hot Chocolate Incident is an avatar-led game hosted in Zoom with a separate website interface for maps, close-up photos, and helpful diagrams. The avatar interacts with a physical space, but the game was designed specifically for online play.

You’ve been recruited to help Jingles the Elf (your in-room avatar) help save Christmas by remotely solving puzzles in Santa’s Workshop.

The control console fo Santa's sleigh.

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Myss Tic – Ghost Light [Review]

Leave the light on when you depart.

Location:  Brooklyn, NY

Date Played: November 8, 2020

Team size: 2-8; we recommend 3-5

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $35-60 per player depending on team size and day

Ticketing: Private

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Ghost Light was Myss Tic’s second escape game and it sent us into a unique haunted theater – without horror.

While it was an escape room through and through, with escape room logic, and all of the trappings… there was a lot about Ghost Light that felt fresh and novel. It looked different, told a new story, and incorporated lighting with an elegance that we rarely see.

In-game: Two changing stations backstage. Makeup, perfume, and jewlery are laid out.

I’ll go so far as to say that lighting was the secret weapon in this game. It drew us in, focused our attention on what mattered (and where Myss Tic spent effort and money building), and deprioritized segments that weren’t essential. It felt a little like a magic trick, and served as a constant reminder that truly caring about craft is a superpower in and of itself.

With this and their first game Montauk Project, Myss Tic has established itself as a must-play venue in New York City. If you’re choosing between Montauk Project and Ghost Light, my first question would be, why not play both? If you can’t do that, honestly, pick the one that speaks to you. There are no wrong choices.

It’s also worth noting that we visited in November of 2020 and Myss Tic made us feel about as safe and comfortable as would be possible during a pandemic.

Who is this for?

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

Why play?

  • A unique setting & story
  • Some beautiful interactions
  • A well crafted, layered final sequence

Story

Everyone had heard of the Ziegfeld Follies, the Vaudeville era’s most famous theatrical revue. And who doesn’t know about Olive Thomas, the Follies’ most popular star? You don’t?

Well, while Thomas was known for her performances, she’s been remembered for being murdered. Poisoned.

To this day, she still haunts Broadway’s New Amsterdam Theatre. If we don’t figure out how to turn on the stage’s ghost light at night, giving her and her fellow Follies a stage to perform on, they will surely find ways to make our daytime stage performances memorable… for better or for worse.

In-game: A photo of an actress, an hourglass, and opera glasses on a shelf.
Continue reading “Myss Tic – Ghost Light [Review]”

Legendary Quests – Avatar Stalker [Hivemind Review]

Update: Legendary Quests has rebranded as Project Avatar.

Avatar Stalker is an unusual avatar-led escape room livestream, designed specifically for online play, created by Legendary Quests in the Ukraine.

Utya Duck in glowing LED glasses.
Utya Duck, the escape room character that 2020 needed.

Format

Style of Play: avatar-led livestream of a physical room, but designed specifically for online play

Required Equipment: computer with an internet connection

Recommended Team Size: 2-6

There is also a battle mode where up to 20 players compete on opposing teams, starting in different areas, and meet in the final room where they each hope to win the most points.

Play Time: 60 minutes… and you won’t even see everything in this time

Price: 100 € for up to 4 players + 25 € additional player

Booking: book online for a specific time slot

Description

You give instructions to a silent avatar, who will gather items, unlock locks, and sometimes [redacted] [redacted] on [redacted]. You are not escaping rather, your goal is to collect the maximum score. Oh, and you have to avoid Chickman, while helping Utya Duck.

First person view of an old building, the avatar's hands are visible along with various HUD indicators.

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60out – Miss Jezebel Online [Hivemind Review]

Miss Jezebel (Online) is a real-life escape room livestreamed and played through an avatar, created by 60out in Los Angeles, CA.

Room Escape Artist writer Sarah Willson reviewed the real-life version of this game in August of 2019. This is a review of the online adaptation.

Miss Jezebel looking handsome over zoom.

Format

Style of Play: real-life escape room livestreamed and played through an avatar, with a large immersive theater component

Required Equipment: computer with an internet connection, mobile device

Recommended Team Size: 2-4

Play Time: 60 minutes

Price: $45 per person

Booking: book online for a specific time slot

Description

This is an 18+ game played with 2 actors. Some of the props in the room will be sex toys and fetish gear. Many of the jokes are sexual innuendos. Miss Jezebel is usually played by a man in drag.

One actor is Miss Jezebel, the other is the detective, who is also the cameraman and your avatar. This is an interaction-heavy game; part of the experience is bantering with Miss Jezebel. The detective will interact with her himself, but he will also ask you what to say, or you can direct him to say or do anything (within reason). Part of the game is “social engineering” Miss Jezebel to either get information from her, distract her, or accomplish some other goal. Get into character and get really involved to get the most out of this experience.

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Emergency Exit – The Beast [Hivemind Review]

The Beast is a real-life escape room livestreamed and played through an avatar, created by Emergency Exit in Greater Manchester, England.

A red lit cabin with the words "There is no escape" written in blood on the wall.

Format

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

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection; an additional mobile device is recommended but not required

Recommended Team Size: 2-5

Play Time: 90 minutes

Price: £100 per group

Booking: book online for a specific time slot

Description

The Beast is an avatar-led playthrough of a physical escape room with added visual elements. There is a dedicated cameraman and there are multiple camera angles that help you out. There is no inventory website.

A black statue of a demon.

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