Agent Venture – Cyborg Island [Hivemind Review]

Cyborg Island is a digital escape game, designed for livestream play, created by Agent Venture in London, England.

The Hivemind on a Zoom call 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 minutes

Price: tickets range from £10.00 – £14.00 per person

Booking: book online for a specific time slot

Description

Cyborg Island is an audio choose-your-own-adventure style game. It’s a 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.

Hivemind Review Scale

Crack a Nut Mysteries – S.O.U.P. [Review]

S.O.U.P. is on

Location:  at home

Date Played: September 20, 2020

Team size: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯; we recommend 2

Duration: about 90 minutes

Price: about $77

REA Reaction

S.O.U.P. was a light-hearted and approachable puzzle game with a fantastic sense of humor.

While largely paper-based, this game was deeply personalized and made with an abundance of care.

A field notes notebook branded SOUP, a SOUP enamil pin, an airline ticket with Lisa's name on it, and a world map with places of interest flagged.

The writing in S.O.U.P. was superb, and drastically different in tone and style than that of Root of All Evil. It’s impressive to see creators shift tone and approach so elegantly.

S.O.U.P. is an easy game to recommend. Because of the level of personalization, I suspect that it would make a great surprise gift.

Who is this for?

  • Story seekers
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Prop collectors
  • Any experience level

Why play?

  • Impressive personalization
  • Amusing and succinct storytelling
  • Strong, well presented puzzles

Story

In S.O.U.P. we had recently been recruited into the Society for the Observation of Unknown Phenomena. As junior investigators we were told to expect packages to examine strange happenings around the globe.

3 different mailed letters from SOUP.
Continue reading “Crack a Nut Mysteries – S.O.U.P. [Review]”

Codebreakers – Hunting a Killer [Hivemind Review]

Hunting a Killer is a light puzzle hunt created by Codebreakers in Christchurch, New Zealand.

An illustration of a person holding an umbrella broken into 3 parts.

Format

Style of Play: light puzzle hunt

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection, mobile device

Recommended Team Size: 1-3

Play Time: about 1-2 hours.

You can take as long as you want, but there is a scoreboard of the highest score on their website (based on how fast you are and how many guesses it took you for each puzzle solution.)

Price: NZ$ 20.00 per team

Booking: purchase the game and play at your leisure

Description

You help solve a series of murders by engaging with an “agent” via an online chat mechanism. The agent asks you to solve a linear series of clues about the murders by asking you questions about different portions of the killer’s website. You also explore a fabricated social network to get information about the victims.

This game may be played alone, or with teammates via Zoom and screen sharing.

A chat application where someone is asking the participants if they are ready?

Hivemind Review Scale

You’re Invited to our IndieCade Panel!

The 2020 IndieCade Festival is happening on the Internet… because that’s where everything is happening this year.

IndieCade Anywhere & Everywhere palm tree banner.

We’ve been talking to the folks from IndieCade for years about doing a session with them, and this was the first time that the stars aligned… so here are the details (and a few other sessions that we think you’ll want to watch):

The Evolving Business of Escape Rooms

When: Thursday, October 22 from 9:00 – 9:45AM Pacific / 12:00 – 12:45PM Eastern

Who: We’ll be joining Juliana & Ariel from The Wild Optimists, and Elan Lee from Exploding Kittens (yes, the Exploding Kittens)

What: Escape Rooms, one of the fastest-growing sectors in games, has always been the site of bold innovation. The pandemic created upheaval. This was inevitable for a medium formed around the idea of physical, group interactivity. While early adaptation allowed escape room businesses to survive, creators continued to evolve the online medium to explore new areas: creating new styles of interaction and broadening accessibility. This panel of accomplished escape room designers, players, and researchers will discuss what has been lost, but also how these creators are pushing their industry to thrive in a future that is both online and in real life.

Tickets

While much of IndieCade is free, our session is only available to folks with a Plus ($45) or Premium ($155) pass. So grab your tickets before we’re on stage.

IndieCade is 10 days long and packed with games to play, people to meet, and things to learn. We’re excited to be a part of it.

Other Must-See Sessions

  • Expert Roundtable: Influence of Escape Rooms on Video Games (Premium/Plus)
    • This session has passed, but reruns are available on IndieCade’s Twitch channel
    • Speakers: Henry Smith, Laura E. Hall, Mink Ette, William Stacey, and Kim Belair (who spoke at RECON 2020)
  • Finalist Session: Mixing Realities (Premium/Plus)
    • Friday, October 23, 7:00-7:45AM Pacific / 10:00-10:45AM Eastern
    • Eva Anderson, Mark Backler, Mattieu Begin, Patrick Jagoda, Ricky Helgesson, and Tommy Honton

This is just a small selection of the many great sessions that IndieCade has to offer. We hope that you learn lots and play more.