Escape Hunt – An Enola Holmes Adventure [Hivemind Review]

An Enola Holmes Adventure is a free print-and-play collection of puzzles with a light narrative created by Escape Hunt in the UK. This game was released in partnership with Netflix to promote their new movie, Enola Holmes. The film was noticeably escape room-ish.

An Enola Holmes Adventure depicting the main character behind a magnifying glass.

Format

Style of Play: print-and-play collection of puzzles with a light narrative

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

This game is meant to be printed.

Recommended Team Size: 1-3

Play Time: 30-60 minutes

Price: free

Booking: download and play at any time

Description

This is a full-color PDF of puzzles with setup instructions, a few minimal/ quick folding and/ or cutting puzzles, and an accompanying hints website with some hints also included at the end of the pdf in mirror writing.

A flower on a portion of a cipher wheel.

Hivemind Review Scale

Edaqa’s Room – Prototype [Hivemind Review]

Prototype is a point-and-click adventure game created by Edaqa’s Room.

A cartoonish looking digital escape room set in a living room with toys and books strewn about.

Format

Style of Play: point-and-click adventure game

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection

Recommended Team Size: 2-4

Play Time: There is no timer. The website says groups usually take about 90 minutes. Our reviewer group played in about 45 minutes.

Price: introductory price of $12.50 per team

Booking: Upon purchase you gain immediate access to the game in the browser.

Description

Prototype is a point-and-click adventure game with collaborative elements. The whole team plays together, but everybody can move around the screens separately.

Hivemind Review Scale

ThinkFun – Escape The Room: The Cursed Dollhouse [Review]

Come play with us…

Location:  at home

Date Played: September 15, 2020

Team size: 1-4; we recommend 2-3

Duration: 2-3 hours

Price: about $43

REA Reaction

We’ve heard whispers for years about Rebecca Bleau and Nicholas Cravotta’s followup to their original two Escape The Room games published by ThinkFun (Mystery at the Stargazer’s Manor & Secret of Dr. Gravely’s Retreat). We had heard tales of a dollhouse built from the game box, creating the feeling of an actual escape room on your table.

Those rumors were true.

Closeup of the assembled dollhouse.

Playing Escape The Room: The Cursed Dollhouse felt a lot like playing an escape room on our table. We did a proper turn-down search in each room of the dollhouse – the first time we’ve searched like that since the beginning of March… and that felt damn good.

The puzzles in The Cursed Dollhouse played well. They were approachable, but noticeably more challenging than in ThinkFun’s previous two games. We enjoyed playing through almost all of this game, with the exception of a late-game segment that felt like a bit of a grind.

Overall, this was a premium product. It delivered the kind of experience we would have expected from a high-end boutique tabletop puzzle game company, not a mass market product, buyable off of a store shelf or Amazon. Thinking about it… it’s crazy that this product was manufactured with this level of care, and for that, our hats are off to the folks at ThinkFun.

We recommend you buy this thing. It’s novel, fun, and feels like an actual escape room in a box.

Who is this for?

  • Story seekers
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Prop collectors
  • Players with at least some experience

Why play?

  • Strong and crafty puzzle content
  • You build a dollhouse out of the game’s packaging

Story

Everyone in the neighborhood remembered Old Man Garrity being a good guy, but ever since his daughter disappeared, he had withdrawn from the community.

Recently people had been hearing strange noises coming from the shed in Garrity’s backyard. We decided to break in… and found a dollhouse?

The Cursed Dollhouse box art depicting a creepy doll peering through the cracked wall of a dollhouse.
Continue reading “ThinkFun – Escape The Room: The Cursed Dollhouse [Review]”

Novel Escape – 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea [Hivemind Review]

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is a real-life escape room livestreamed and played through an avatar, created by Novel Escape in Austin, TX.

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

In-game: A locked hatch within the submarine.

Format

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

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection

Recommended Team Size: 2-5

Play Time: 75 minutes

Price: $60 for first two connections; $15 for each additional connection

Booking: book online for a specific time slot

Description

This is a standard, avatar-guided adaptation of a real-life escape room. In addition to the live first-person video stream of the room, you also have an auto-populating inventory that allows you to inspect items up close. This game uses Zoom video chat with Telescape inventory.

In-game: A control panel with a variety of switches and buttons.

Hivemind Review Scale

Hatch Escapes – Mother of Frankenstein [Review]

Love, scandal, & puzzles

Location:  at home

Date Played: September 13, 2020

Team size: 1-6; we recommend 2-3

Duration: 3-5 hours

Price: back on Kickstarter at $89 for the standard edition of the game

REA Reaction

Mother of Frankenstein was a narrative-driven experience with ample puzzle content.

Hatch Escapes has a history of putting story at the center of their productions. One of their co-founders Tommy Wallach is a New York Times bestselling author… and his expertise showed in Mother of Frankenstein. The writing was fantastic, which it needed to be. When a company makes the bold decision to retell the story of one of history’s most significant authors through an immersive narrative, writing quality matters.

Beyond the writing, Mother of Frankenstein included high quality puzzles and production (of the beta version). The Astronomy puzzle in particular was a standout puzzle, not just in this game; it ranks among my favorite puzzles.

An assortment of red, green, and brown interlocking tracks each with a symbol in the center.

We played about 40% of the full 3-volume game, and between that experience and hearing more about what is coming next, I can comfortably say that we are sold on Mother of Frankenstein.

If you’re down for a narrative-focused experience with puzzle content evenly and thoroughly dispersed throughout, I’d strongly recommend backing this beast on Kickstarter. I’m already eager to continue the journey.

Who is this for?

  • Story seekers
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Any experience level

Why play?

  • Exceptional writing, characterization, and voicing
  • Solid puzzling with a couple of true standouts

Story

Over the course of 3 volumes, Mother of Frankenstein reimagined the life and experiences of Mary Shelley that led to her writing Frankenstein. Shelley was quite the interesting character in her own right.

A welcome letter tied off with red, green, and brown ribbon.
Continue reading “Hatch Escapes – Mother of Frankenstein [Review]”