Great Gotham Challenge – CTRL/ALT/DECODE Chapter 2 [Hivemind Review]

CTRL/ALT/DECODE Chapter 2 is a puzzle hunt game created by Great Gotham Challenge in New York City. This review covers only Chapter 2, which took place in July 2020. (Chapter 1 took place in May 2020.)

A person in a cyber-punk scene whereing neon goggles, obscuring his identity.

Format

Style of Play: puzzle hunt

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection

Recommended Team Size: 4

Play Time: 3 hours

Price: $40 for a team of 4 players

Booking: This event has concluded, but you can subscribe to the Great Gotham Challenge to learn about future events.

Description

CTRL/ALT/DECODE Chapter 2 began and ended in a group Zoom call. Then teams used a specific Great Gotham Challenge website – and the rest of the internet – to solve the puzzles laid out before them, working on one puzzle at at time. Once a team solved a puzzle, they input the answer into the online app and if correct, automatically received the next clue.

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Eric Berlin – The Social Distancing Puzzles [Hivemind Review]

The Social Distancing Puzzles is a print-and-play word puzzle game played collaboratively with a partner, created by Eric Berlin.

A puzzle grid of interconnected hexagons each made up from 6 triangles.

Format

Style of Play: print-and-play word puzzle game played collaboratively with a partner

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

The documents are meant to be printed and split between two players.

Recommended Team Size: designed to by played by 2 players

Play Time: anywhere from 3-10 hours

Price: a donation to Feeding America

Booking: Make a donation to Feeding America. Take a screenshot of your receipt. Upload your receipt, then enter your e-mail address. You’ll soon receive an e-mail with links to the puzzles.

Description

This is a series of ten independent word puzzles with an eleventh metapuzzle that relies on the answers of the previous ten. The puzzle collection is designed for two players (or two teams.) Each player receives the same instructions per puzzle but a different set of information. You must communicate with your partner to share the necessary information.

If English is not your native language, these puzzles will be incredibly challenging, and at times tedious, especially when phonetics and pronunciation are relevant.

A puzzle grid of hexagons, many of them numbered.

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Agent Venture – The Heist [Hivemind Review]

The Heist is a digital escape game, designed for livestream play, created by Agent Venture in London, The United Kingdom.

Theresa, Richard, Matthew, and Kathryn in Zoom with Dispatch.

Format

Style of Play: digital escape game with audio roleplaying, designed for livestream play

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection

Recommended Team Size: 4-5

Play Time: 60-90 minutes

Price: $13.75 per person

Booking: book online for a specific time slot

Description

The Heist is an audio roleplaying escape game with defined player roles, verbal NPC interaction, and extensive digital interactions. It is played over livestream. Communication and information sharing are keys to success. Interactions with the performer are all verbal and solving puzzles takes place through Zoom and PDFs.

A terminal screen

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Marvo Mysteries – M.A.R.V.O Archives: Online Escape Room Adventure [Hivemind Review]

M.A.R.V.O Archives: Online Escape Room Adventure is a point-and-click adventure game created by Marvo Mysteries in Bournemouth, United Kingdom.

This is a review of the “Director’s Cut,” which combines phases one and two as a continuous experience.

An assortment of strange popups and a terminal attempting a staelite uplink.

Format

Style of Play: point-and-click adventure game

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection

If playing with multiple people over a videoconference, players should use headphones. Game sound plays for all players, which causes echo.

Recommended Team Size: 1-4

Play Time: 1.5 hours (for both parts combined)

Price: £25.00 (for both parts combined)

Booking: purchase the game and play at your leisure

Description

It looks like you’re navigating in a real escape room, but it’s actually a point-and-click adventure game. One person in the group should handle the interface, but it will update for all players. Along the way, everyone also downloads PDFs with additional information to help with solving puzzles.

Red login screen with the username field filled in, "White Rabbit."

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Trapped! – Operation: X-13 Online [Hivemind Review]

Operation: X-13 Online is a real-life escape room livestreamed through an avatar created by Trapped! in San Dimas, CA.

First person view of black gloved hands giving 2 thumbs up.

Format

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

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection

Recommended Team Size: 2-4

Play Time: 60 minutes

Price: $59 ($69 weekends) for up to 2 connections, plus $15 for each additional connection.

Booking: book online for a specific time slot

Description

This is a standard office-themed escape room played via avatar over Zoom. The avatar will give you codes to enter in the inventory system that unlocks photos and 3D map views.

An introduction letter from The Resistance, explaining the mission.

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