My Escape Room Party – The Disappearance of Mr. George [Hivemind Review]

The Disappearance of Mr. George is a print-and-play escape game created by My Escape Room Party, based in Minnesota.

The printed kit for The Disappearance of Mr George, a pen, and scissors.

Format

Style of Play: print-and-play escape game

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

The computer is for purchasing the file, printing it, and viewing the intro video and hints.

Many of the pages had a dark background. Not only did it take a lot of ink to print, but you couldn’t easily write on some of the pages due to the black background.

Recommended Team Size: 1-4

Play Time: 60 minutes, but our reviewers all finished in significantly less time

Price: $24.95

Booking: purchase and play at your leisure

Description

Mr. George is missing, and you’re provided with a set of printed clues for 10 puzzles. Print out the 12-page kit and gather pen, paper and scissors. The puzzles can be done in parallel, and each contributes to a final meta-puzzle. The intro video and hint system are online.

Note that this game can also be used to host an escape room party. To use the game in this way, you hide the clues throughout a room, possibly taking inspiration from the artwork to add props and/ or integrate the puzzles more tightly with the environment

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Project M – Cold Fusion [Hivemind Review]

Cold Fusion is a light puzzle hunt created by Project M in the UK.

Login screen for a website called "The Olsen Files" it is labeled, "Open Your Mind"

Format

Style of Play: light puzzle hunt, a bit ARG-like

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection

This game demands some sort of organization system; minimally pen and paper, but a shared Google Doc could help.

Recommended Team Size: 2-4

Play Time: No true game clock, but you have 7 days to play from the moment of purchase. Our reviewers took ~3 hours over the course of 2 sittings.

Price: £25 per team

Booking: book online and play at your leisure

Description

Players are given an email trailhead and follow it to Facebook profiles. From there, Cold Fusion is about finding information and putting it together to move to the next sequence (solve a puzzle, find a new website, etc.).

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ParadigmQ – Film Noir: The Black Box Mystery [Review]

Outfox some wise guys.

Location:  at home

Date Played: January 23, 2021

Team size: 2-4; we recommend 2

Duration: 60-75 minutes

Price: about $60 per box

REA Reaction

Film Noir: The Black Box Mystery is a tabletop game for escape room players, by an escape room company. It combined a mailed box with a digital interface, and the two paired well together, delivering a high quality tabletop product.

The puzzles solved relatively quickly, with satisfying aha moments. They were approachable and attainable for newer puzzlers, but still enjoyable for more experienced players.

Closeup of game components. Everything is in black & white. There's a magnifying glass, and film reel.

I like tight, deliberately designed puzzle games that run 60-90 minutes. I value intentionality and games that also respect my time. I recommend Film Noir: The Black Box Mystery. That said, I need to address the price point of $60.

At $60, Film Noir: The Black Box Mystery is fairly expensive when compared with similar mostly paper-based tabletop escape rooms. For your money you’re getting a refined product that feels professionally designed, but it’s not a keepsake and you cannot easily repack this game. (You destroy most of the components over the course of normal play.)

At half the price, this would be a must-play. At its current price, it’s a strong recommend if you are in a position where you won’t miss the money. Deal hunters should look elsewhere.

Who is this for?

  • Detectives
  • Escape room players looking for at-home puzzles
  • Film noir fans
  • Any experience level
  • Great for less experienced puzzlers

Why play?

  • Fun puzzles that solve pretty quickly
  • High quality, styled video scenes
  • A fun aesthetic
  • To support an escape room business

Story

Our friend Tracey had been investigating a big case… until he ended up dead. Now this box had arrived and it held the clues we needed to figure out what had transpired.

Film Noir Black Box Mystery box.
Continue reading “ParadigmQ – Film Noir: The Black Box Mystery [Review]”

House of Tales – Hong Kong The Night Before [Hivemind Review]

Hong Kong The Night Before is a point-and-click adventure game created by House of Tales in Berlin, Germany.

Image of an empty back alley as the sun rises.

Format

Style of Play: point-and-click adventure game

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection, mobile device

You have to call a phone number during this game. We recommend using Whatsapp to avoid the international fees.

Recommended Team Size: 2-4

Play Time: 90-120 minutes

Price: €24.99 per team

Booking: purchase and play at your leisure

Description

Hong Kong The Night Before is a point-and-click adventure game with linear puzzles. The photos and audio tell the story.

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Fuzzy Logic – Concert Quest [Hivemind Review]

Concert Quest is a real-life escape room livestreamed and played through an avatar, created by Fuzzy Logic in Downers Grove, IL.

Jayson from Fuzzy Logic holding up a pair of backstage passes.

Format

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

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection

Recommended Team Size: 2-4

Play Time: 60 minutes

Price: $99 per team

Booking: book online for a specific time slot

Description

This is a Zoom live-streamed avatar-led game in which you’re trying to earn back-stage passes to your favorite rock star’s final concert. You search a simple set and store clues in a Telescape inventory system that also houses a 360-degree view of the room.

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