Plymouth Point is an online game with elements of puzzle hunt and ARG, created by Swamp Motel.
Style of Play:
Online native experience (can NOT be played IRL)
Light puzzle hunt
Required Equipment: computer with internet connection
Recommended Team Size: 2-4
Play Time: 75 minutes
Price: $75 for a group of 2-6 players
Booking: book online for a specific time slot
Plymouth Point is an online experience that included a Zoom call with sleuthing around the internet. In the Zoom meeting we had an introduction by the main character (gamemaster). Then we went bouncing around the web using Facebook, websites developed by the game, Google Earth, etc. to track the missing person and solve the mystery. To solve certain clues, we needed a phone (call) and a Facebook login. This game required a large amount of screen sharing via Zoom as we visited all these websites.
My Name is Jamie is a real-life escape room livestreamed and played through an avatar game created by THE BASEMENT in Los Angeles.
Style of Play: real-life escape room livestreamed and played through an avatar
Required Equipment: computer with an internet connection
Recommended Team Size: 2-6
Play Time: 45 minutes
Price: $20 per person
Booking: book online for a specific time slot. The bookings are all public with a maximum of 6 players, so you could be playing with strangers unless you buy all 6 tickets.
This is a live escape room played via a live actor. You log in with Zoom to their custom interface, which will include a live feed to the actor in the room, a map, an inventory system, and a whiteboard for taking notes.
Update: Legendary Quests has rebranded as Project Avatar and this game is now called First Mission.
Project Avatar is an unusual avatar-based escape room livestream, designed specifically for online play, created by Legendary Quests in the Ukraine.
Style of Play: avatar-based livestream of a real room, but designed specifically for online play
Required Equipment: computer with internet connection; pen and paper also recommended
Recommended Team Size: 2-5
Play Time: about 2 hours
Price: €200 for up to 8 players
Booking: book online for a specific time slot
You are controlling a silent avatar through an environment that encourages video game-like play. You will see a first-person POV with some HUD-type overlays showing status information and maps. While the avatar does not speak, they will respond nonverbally to the commands you give.
Potter’s Escape fell into a structure we’ve seen before in this new world of remote escape room play. It was an online experience with one puzzle per room, requiring you to solve that puzzle before advancing to the next. This experience did have a storyline that provided some light continuity between each puzzle, a welcome change to what some other similar experiences have offered. One major plus was that only limited outside knowledge was required for this experience, though one puzzle seemed like a bit of a backwards stretch. Escape Room Herndon plans to add more challenges to this adventure, and I’ll be returning to check out what they add in the coming weeks.
If your quarantine involves abundant free time and you never tire of puzzles, you could include this in your play list. However, there wasn’t much novel about this experience, and I sometimes felt like I was just going through motions to finish it.
The story reads as CliffsNotes for Harry Potter, and prior knowledge might help you solve puzzles faster. A few puzzles are fun; however, many require more process than aha, yet simultaneously lack sufficient guidance to understand the goal. Fortunately, both issues improve later in the game. Ultimately, I didn’t regret playing, but better options exist.
Cara Mandel’s Reaction
Rating: 2 out of 3.
This was a charming sequence of puzzles. I played along with my friends Ciara and Rachel over Zoom, using Photoshop to manipulate the puzzles. The instructions recommend you print puzzles out, which may be prohibitive for some folks. I don’t think you could easily solve a couple of them without the use of either a printer or photo editing software. I would also caution players that there are spoiler alerts as to the plot line of the first Harry Potter book / film. However, if you’re familiar with the plot and love that wizard as much as we do, this will be a delightful story to play.
Peih Gee Law’s Reaction
Rating: 3 out of 3.
This was a delightful, puzzling romp through the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The puzzles, answers, images and narrative were all thematically on point and really helped keep you immersed in the Wizarding World. There was a good mix of puzzles, nothing that experienced puzzlers haven’t seen before, but they were still fun to solve. I think for a casual player, these puzzles would be a bit challenging, however, they are clued well and very satisfying. Overall I think this was a very charming game with decent production value.
This was a linear sequence of self-contained puzzles presented through a series of web pages. Players are expected to solve a puzzle, enter the answer into a validation box, and then progress onto the next web page. As the game recommends, you do need to print out some of the puzzles.