CU Adventures in Time & Space – The Lost Temple [Hivemind Review]

The Lost Temple is a combination digital + printable game created by CU Adventures in Time & Space in Urbana, IL.

Lisa and David on Zoom with Escape The Roomers, a Print and Play game sitting on their keyboard with scissors and a pen.

Format

Style of Play: fusion of point-and-click adventure game and print-and-play tabletop escape game

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

This game was designed to be printed. There is a “no print” version, but using it really does rob you of this game’s finest moments. We strongly recommend doing most of the cutting out prior to the start of the game. (Keep track of the page numbers for the things you cut out.)

Recommended Team Size: 2-4

Play Time: about 2 hours

Price: $10 for print-and-play with higher prices for shipped components

Booking: purchase the game and play at your leisure

Description

The Lost Temple was a fusion of LucasArts-style point-and-click adventure with tabletop escape room. We received a PDF with a couple of dozen printable pages, many of which had bits that needed to be cut out. Then we used a web-based interface to click around and interact with the game world. This interface kept us organized while presenting the puzzles as well as the story.

The flooplan for a university library with a hand written letter on it.

Hivemind Review Scale

Read more about our new Hivemind Review format.

Rating: 3 out of 3.

I recommend this game to escape room players at any time.

Rating: 2 out of 3.

I recommend this game to escape room players in quarantine.

Rating: 1 out of 3.

I do not recommend this game.

Continue reading “CU Adventures in Time & Space – The Lost Temple [Hivemind Review]”

The Escape Game – Ruins: Forbidden Treasure [Hivemind Review]

Ruins: Forbidden Treasure is a digital adaptation of a real-life escape game created by The Escape Game, a national company based in Nashville, TN.

A view of a beautiful ancient ruins set.

Format

Style of Play: digital adaptation of a real-life escape game

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection

Recommended Team Size: 2-4

Play Time: 60 minutes

Price: $25 per person

Booking: book online for a specific time slot

Description

This is a live virtual experience in which an in-person avatar explores the physical room on your behalf, following your commands. While watching the first-person experience via Zoom, you also have access to a web app that presents a 360-degree view of the room as well as an inventory of the objects you have collected. Each team member interacts with the app asynchronously, which enables effective parallel exploration.

A video of Captain Mac explaining the "Secets of the Ehlari." It's closed captioned, "...managed to remain totally isolated..."

Hivemind Review Scale

Read more about our new Hivemind Review format.

Rating: 3 out of 3.

I recommend this game to escape room players at any time.

Rating: 2 out of 3.

I recommend this game to escape room players in quarantine.

Rating: 1 out of 3.

I do not recommend this game.

Continue reading “The Escape Game – Ruins: Forbidden Treasure [Hivemind Review]”

Virtually Tour: Chernobyl’s Ruins

Chernobyl disturbs me like few things do. The mixture of hubris, human error, and authoritarian stupidity that led to that disaster has long been a source of fascination for me.

A massive, rusted radiation sign mounted outside of a ruined building in Chernobyl.

While the Paris Catacombs might be the living embodiment of macabre, I don’t find them disturbing. Maybe it’s the age… maybe it’s the fact that it was deliberately created… or maybe it’s that the Paris Catacombs are so over the top that they feel less real.

On the other hand, Chernobyl was recent, accidental, and haphazard… all of which is on frightening display. There’s nothing graphically disturbing here, but viewing these ruins hit me in a way that few things do.

These videos are captured in 360-degree VR. While they are playing, you can look around within them.

Via Dread Central

Thank you to Mark from Walnut Creek, CA for sharing this virtual tour.

Approaches For Reopening Escape Rooms in a Pandemic

Update: The following sections were added, or added to, a few hours after publication: Masks, Smarter Cancellation Policies, Gameplay Adaptations

As different regions slowly attempt to reopen, I’ve been putting together a collection of guidelines to help escape room owners think through their reopening strategies.

I honestly believe that escape rooms are well positioned as premium entertainment in this pre-vaccine era. Movie theaters, theaters, bowling, skating rinks, amusement parks, bars, and restaurants generally require large crowds to turn a profit. Escape rooms are intimate, small-group entertainment.

If our industry establishes a strong reputation for safety, fun, and low headcounts, I truly believe that we will bounce back faster and reemerge stronger than before.

I have done my very best to approach this apolitically.

My overarching advice to you is to pay attention to your community and its shifting needs as this pandemic continues to evolve. Smart escape room companies will ratchet up or down the intensity of their policies to meet their regional needs, which will likely change over time.

A mask and a bottle of hand sanitizer on a wooden table.

Adhere to Local Laws

Before we dive in, I want to make it clear that I am not a lawyer or epidemiologist. I’m not claiming that I am.

Before opening, consult with your lawyer and insurance provider. Make sure that you’re following whatever regulations your business is subject to.

Whom Are You Protecting?

When thinking about safety in this pre-vaccine era, there are two groups of people that escape room owners must consider:

  • Employees
  • Customers

Many of the measures that we will discuss apply to both. However, employees may face additional challenges and risks that your customers should not encounter.

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Lokey’s Escape Rooms – Trouble in Tinseltown [Hivemind Review]

Trouble in Tinseltown is a digital adaptation of an escape game created by Lokey’s Escape Rooms in Sarasota, FL.

Zoom view of a noir-ish desk. Everything looks like it's in black & white.

Format

Style of Play: digital adaptation of a real-life escape game

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

Recommended Team Size: 1-4

Play Time: 60 minutes

Price: $19 per person

Booking: contact Lokey’s escape room to book, receive login code, and guide an avatar through the room

Description

The now-standard Zoom meeting to control a gamemaster/ avatar through verbal instructions. The in-character gamemaster was good at managing and executing instructions from multiple players. He was also fairly autonomous; once the players figured out how to solve a puzzle, he would perform the manipulations without needing much input.

A collection of movie posters up on the wall.

Hivemind Review Scale

Read more about our new Hivemind Review format.

Rating: 3 out of 3.

I recommend this game to escape room players at any time.

Rating: 2 out of 3.

I recommend this game to escape room players in quarantine.

Rating: 1 out of 3.

I do not recommend this game.

Continue reading “Lokey’s Escape Rooms – Trouble in Tinseltown [Hivemind Review]”