2 Years Ago This Month

We joined Patreon two years ago this month.

We were committed to launching our Patreon page before the end of 2018, but actually doing so was a bit of a mad scramble.

We rearranged our apartment and all of our lights to record that video. Moments after recording, we rushed to the airport for a friend’s wedding and a few days of West Coast escape rooms! We returned to an apartment in disarray… all of the lights pointed towards one spot.

The mad scramble was worth it.

Lisa & David in

Because of your support over the past two years, we’ve been able to do more, take risks, find new opportunities, and produce content at a higher level. And speaking of producing better content, we should probably record a new intro video for Patreon. We’ve gotten better at video since then.

I don’t think that anyone has solved all of the ciphers in this video. I’m not sure we remember how to solve one of them.

Thank You!

Thank you to all of our Patreon backers – those of you who joined us back in 2018, joined this fall, and any time in between:

Amanda Harris
Andrew Sturridge
Angie Meyers
Anne Lukeman
Ben Rosner
Bill Chang
Breakout Games
Brett Kuehner
Brian Resler
Bronna Butler
C.J. Smith
Cara Mandel
Chris Cannon
Chris M. Dickson
Chris White
Crystal Farr
Daniel Egnor
Daniel Kolb
Darren Miller
David Longley
Derek Tam
Drew Nelson
Eric Mittler
Farand Pawlak
Game On
Greg Marinelli
Jim of PARADOXsquared
John Wardrope
Jon Kaufthal

Joseph Allen
Joseph Friesen
Josh Kendrick
Julie Burge
Justin Nevins
Kurt Leinbach
Lee-Fay Low
Marisa Capobianco
Mark Blume
Mark Denine
Matt Beverly
Matt Keyser
Michael Wolman
Mihir Kedia
Nathan Walton
Neda Delavarpour
Negina Kolesar
Nick Moran
Nick Rose
No Proscenium
Omer Aru
Patrick McLean
Patrick McNamara
Paul Tashima
Paula Swann
Philip Ho
Rebecca Horste

Rene Sorette
Rex Miller
Rich Bragg
Richard Burns
Rob Tsuk
Ryan Brady
Ryan Hart
S T Cameron
Samantha Koehler
Sara Reed
Scott Olson
Sean McBride
Seth Wolfson
Stephanie McNeill
Steven Valdez
Stuart Bogaty
Stuart Nafey
Tahlia Kirk
Tammy McLeod
Terry Pettigrew-Rolapp
The Wild Optimists
Theresa Piazza
Theresa Wagner
Tiffany Schaefer
Todd Geldon
Todd McClary
Victor van Doorn
Vivien Ripoll

If you’d like to join this wonderful group of people, you can back us on Patreon right here.

“The Speed Cubers” on Netflix is the wholesome puzzling story 2020 needs

Speed cubing is inconceivable to me. Solving a Rubik’s Cube in 6 seconds is sorcery on a level that I can’t process. It’s so impressive.

Stylized image of a speed cube

Two champions, Feliks Zemdegs and Max Park, have completely dominated the sport for the past decade. The Speed Cubers is all about their incredible friendship.

The Speed Cubers is only 40 minutes long. It’s just the most wholesome and lovely story. I didn’t know how badly I needed this documentary in my life.

Also, when they cut to the speed cubing competition announcers… the commentary is so adorably innocent and pure.

Just watch this thing.

Club Drosselmeyer 1943 – Digital [Hivemind Review]

Club Drosselmeyer 1943 is an interactive audio experience, created by Green Door Labs in Boston, MA.

An assortment of puzzle components.


Style of Play: interactive audio experience with tabletop puzzle components

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection, mobile device, pen and paper, scissors, and a printer if you purchased the print-and-play version

If you’re playing with remote friends, you’ll need a video conferencing platform (like Zoom) to communicate. One person will make many phone calls (ideally on speaker phone).

If you are based outside of the United States, note that telephone-based interactions are critical to this experience.

Recommended Team Size: 2-6

Play Time: 2 hours

Price: $35 for print-and-play or $55 Drosseldossier of mailed components

In advance of the live shows in December 2020, there were also Drosselboxes of mailed components for $65, which is the version most of our reviewers played.

Booking: with no more live shows, you can now purchase a printable PDF or mailed Drosseldossier and play at your leisure


The year is 1943, and every citizen has a role to play in the war. You’re corresponding with non-player characters through a phone line, hoping to advance your mission of aiding either Herr Drosselmeyer, Rhett the Rat King, or both!

The story and gameplay were delivered by a blend of printable (or shipped) puzzles, a web-based radio show, and phone-based interactions.

Note that the radio broadcast and phone number are connected. If you’re playing in a group, you must make all the calls from the phone number linked to your radio broadcast.

A wax sealed envelope from Drosselmeyer Industries Inc.

Hivemind Review Scale

Announcing The 2020 Golden Lock Awards Livestream

The 6th Annual Golden Lock Award winners will be announced live on Saturday, January 2. This award is bestowed upon our favorite escape rooms that we played in 2020.

2020 Golden Lock Award Ribbon

Key Details

• Date: Saturday, January 2
• Time: 4pm Eastern
 Duration: Less than 30 minutes

Unlike with previous Golden Lock Award livestreams, there will be no live audience this year. Because 2020.

More Details

Stay tuned for the livestream link, which we will share that morning – January 2 – at our regular 10:01am Eastern blog post time.

New for 2020

With two densely packed trips before March, we managed to play 34 in-person escape rooms this year. Many of these games deserve recognition, and we feel they’d be strong contenders even if we’d played another 200 games throughout the year.

As a first this year, we’ll also recognize online adaptations of the escape room genre with their own category of 2020 Golden Lock Award winners.

About the Golden Lock Award

Check out our list of previous winners to learn more about the award and read about some phenomenal games:

We hope you’ll tune in on Saturday, January 2 at 4pm Eastern for the livestream!

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.


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


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.

Hivemind Review Scale