PostCurious – The Light in the Mist [Review]

If you enjoy The Light in the Mist, we hope you’ll check out our interview with creator Rita Orlov on The Reality Escape Pod.

Enchanting

Location:  at home

Date Played: September 2021

Team size: 1-4; we recommend 2

Duration: 5-10 hours (easily spread out over as many sittings as you like)

Price: about $32 + shipping for the standard edition

REA Reaction

I think you’re going to want to back The Light in the Mist on Kickstarter.

Rita Orlov of PostCurious teamed up with masterful illustrator Jack Fallows of Cryptogram Puzzle Post to create a custom, bepuzzled tarot deck packed with gorgeous art, all wrapped in a heartfelt story. The collaboration played to the strengths of these two creators.

The Light in the Mist box and full contents, including tarot deck, booklet, and journal.
Image via PostCurious

The Light in the Mist displayed both creators at their absolute best and showed a maturity of design, while making use of the tarot deck as a medium for both puzzle design and storytelling.

Beyond the incredible aesthetics and stellar puzzles, The Light in the Mist was a remarkably unopinionated product. It can be just a puzzle game, or just a story, or just a tarot deck – which was a nifty trick of design.

7 assorted tarot cards with stunning art.
Image via PostCurious

When we complete tabletop puzzle games, even the ones we love, we usually find ourselves feeling a certain sense of relief. When we finished The Light in the Mist, we found ourselves missing it… wishing it were a little longer. Honestly, this was the perfect length. It’s better to return from a vacation wishing it were a couple of days longer than ultimately wishing that the trip had ended sooner; the same is true for puzzle games.

We loved The Light in the Mist. Although we’ve already played, we will back it on Kickstarter because we want to own a production copy. You’re going to want one too.

Who is this for?

  • Story seekers
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Art aficionados
  • Practitioners of the Tarot
  • Any experience level

Why play?

  • The tarot deck looks gorgeous. It’s the kind of thing you’ll want to own.
  • The puzzles are stellar and varied, with an incredible hint system to make this game as easy you want it to be. Play at your own level.
  • There’s a beautiful, intimate, and well-crafted story running throughout the experience.

Story

Our dear friend had disappeared under unusual and mystical circumstances leaving behind a tarot deck. Could we brave the deck’s mysteries and occult power to help our missing companion?

Tarot box, deck, and 5 beautiful cards fanned out.
Image via PostCurious
Continue reading “PostCurious – The Light in the Mist [Review]”

Lock Paper Scissors – Lost Mummy [Hivemind Review]

Lost Mummy is a Print-and-play escape game created by Lock Paper Scissors.

Lost Mummy art depicts a redheaded adventurer descending into a tomb by rope.

Format

Style of Play:

  • Play on demand
  • Print-and-play

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection, printer, pen and paper, scissors, tape or glue

Recommended Team Size: 1-4

Play Time: no game clock, but adult players took about 30 minutes.

One reviewer set up this game for her kids. She notes, “my kids took about an hour, including the search elements I added.”

Price: $29

Booking: purchase and play at your leisure

Description

You are on a quest to use your grandfather’s journals to find a lost mummy near Tutankhamun’s tomb.

The most basic form of this quest is a table top experience in which you print, cut, assemble, and analyze five puzzles. You capture answers on a central mission page. To verify the answers, you consult an online hint/ solution guide (which is also available in the game’s ZIP file).

However, beyond this basic setup, this game was designed to be used as a kit for creating an escape room party. For the party version of the game, a host prepares and hides the puzzle components throughout a room. In this setup, players have the added task of determining which pieces of information correspond to which puzzle. This version can be enhanced with an optional physical challenge at the end.

Hivemind Review Scale

Encrypted Escape Room West Reading – The Last Vampire [Review]

Make no mi-stake!

Location:  West Reading, PA

Date Played: August 14, 2021

Team Size: 2-10; we recommend 4-6

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $29.50 per player

Ticketing: Private

Accessibility Consideration: flashing lights and loud noises

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

If you like vampires, you’ll love The Last Vampire. If you’re meh on vampires, you’ll likely still love it. If you are a vampire, well, this might not be the game for you if you want to make it out alive.

The Last Vampire was the most challenging of the current offerings at Encrypted Escape Room West Reading, and with a large quantity of parallel puzzling, it’s a solid choice for medium to large teams.

In addition to having a beautifully eerie set, The Last Vampire was also full of clever interaction design choices. A room full of puzzles has the potential to be overwhelming, but this problem was largely avoided by having spotlights illuminate which puzzle elements were in play at any given point. A tactile meta element helped us track our progress in the game. Light religious overtones provided diegetic justification for looking at things from a different perspective. And as the final nail in the coffin, an exhilarating finale made us, the players, an integral part of the story.

An alter surrounded by gothic arches.

Who is this for?

  • Puzzle lovers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Supernatural fans
  • Players with some experience
Continue reading “Encrypted Escape Room West Reading – The Last Vampire [Review]”

So You Wanna Save The World – Episode One: Into The Fire [Hivemind Review]

Episode One: Into The Fire is a free online narrative puzzle game created by So You Wanna Save The World.

We reviewed Episode 0 in October of 2019, which is no longer available, as So You Wanna Save The World has changed their product significantly since then. Episode One is the current introductory episode.

Cartoon of Agent Bishop pulling two guns to him, he exclaims, "Targeted magnetic resonance, gloves. What will I think of next?"

Format

Style of Play:

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

This is a story-based puzzle game with comic-strip video sequences delivering the narrative. Puzzles are based on static images and ARG-style websites.

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection, mobile device

Recommended Team Size: 1-2

Play Time: Unlimited, but your playtime determines your score. Figure on 1-2 hours.

Price: Episode One (reviewed here) is free. Subsequent episodes are $30 each.

Booking: purchase and play at your leisure

Description

You’ll receive instructions via the website and explore other sites, solving puzzles to progress the story. Most of the story is given as comic-style videos with a mix of voice acting and speech bubbles. There are other types of interactions, including phone calls/ messages, that will occur as you progress through the game.

Illustration of a bored office worker in a cubical, captioned, "Kenzie Keaton didn't start off as a confident, badass recruit. Every story has a beginning, this is hers..."

Hivemind Review Scale

Encrypted Escape Room West Reading – Viking Raid [Review]

Bjorn to escape.

Location:  West Reading, PA

Date Played: August 14, 2021

Team Size: 2-10; we recommend 3-5

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $29.50 per player

Ticketing: Private

Accessibility Consideration: Brief moment of flashing lights

Emergency Exit Rating: [A] Push To Exit

Physical Restraints: [B] Mechanical Release (just for one player)

REA Reaction

Usually it’s the little things that make me happy, but in the case of Viking Raid, wielding large fake swords while sitting on an even heftier wooden throne really did the trick.

Viking Raid was thoroughly Viking-themed in its set and props as well as the ways in which we interacted with them. The distinctively Norse mythological objective of collecting amulets representing the Nine Worlds of Yggdrasil was solid structural framing for the game, though the amulets themselves — printed stickers on flat discs — could have been better crafted given their prominence in the story.

While this room didn’t have as much of the outwardly fancy tech or flashy reveals that characterized some of Encrypted Escape Room West Reading’s other rooms, it was still quite smooth in its own right, notably eschewing standard combination locks in favor of object placement.

If you’re visiting Encrypted Escape Room West Reading, Viking Raid is well worth a play, though I’d recommend playing it before The Last Vampire and Galactic War for the optimal progression of difficulty and immersion.

A wooden throne in a hall.

Who is this for?

  • Puzzle lovers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Any experience level
Continue reading “Encrypted Escape Room West Reading – Viking Raid [Review]”