Trapped Puzzle Rooms – Heist Heist Baby [Hivemind Review]

Heist Heist Baby is an audio escape game created by Trapped Puzzle Rooms in St. Paul, MN.

Heist Heist Baby logo featuring casino chips.

Format

Style of Play: audio escape game

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection

You’ll need to sign up for a free Discord account if you don’t already have one.

Recommended Team Size: 4-6

Play Time: about an hour

Price: $15 per person, with a 3 ticket minimum

Booking: book for a specific time slot

Description

This is an audio game played over Discord. It is played via voice chat, and uses pictures sent by the game host. Each user had their own stream of pictures to use – open, enlarge, go back to – independent of the rest of the team.

Illustrated image of a casino floor.

Hivemind Review Scale

Significant Updates to DarkPark Games’ Conspiracy-19

Back in June we released a review of DarkPark Games’ Conspiracy-19. We described the game as, “interesting, bumpy, and fixable.”

In response, DarkPark Games has issued significant patching to Conspiracy-19, by augmenting the digital side of the experience.

Pomotional image displaying the contents of the game box.

The most notable shift was a complete overhaul of their hint system.

Beyond that, they added quite a few smaller quality-of-life improvements that I suspect will dramatically improve the flow of the game, but it is admittedly hard to assess this in a game that I have already played.

Our review has been updated to reflect these changes to the best of our ability without changing what was originally published.

Should I Buy?

If you were on the fence about Conspiracy-19, I think that it has been significantly improved, and I feel a lot more comfortable recommending it at this point.

That said…

DarkPark Games’ latest creation, Witchery Spell, is special on a whole different level, and I would easily recommend it before playing Conspiracy-19. Both are worthy of playing, but Witchery Spell is magical.

DarkPark Games – Witchery Spell [Review]

Coven fresh.

Location:  at home

Date Played: August 9, 2020

Team size: 1-4; we recommend 2-3

Duration: about 2-3 hours

Price: $58 plus shipping from the Netherlands

REA Reaction

Witchery Spell stood out from the crowd of play-at-home escape games by combining story, puzzles, and design into a polished, cohesive experience. DarkPark Games didn’t just assemble a box full of themed puzzles that could be found in a magazine. They conjured a self-contained experience that felt magical from start to finish.

Through its intricate physical elements, realistic websites, and player-driven gameplay, Witchery Spell made us feel like part of the story. The props and documents included in the box were clearly chosen and created with care. It was easy to ignore the few hiccups we ran into as we pursued the mystery to its conclusion.

The story was perilous and suspenseful, but more mystical than scary. Along with the moderate difficulty level, this makes Witchery Spell approachable to anyone who’s comfortable with the occult theme and slightly dark storyline. 

A pentagram surrounded with decorative symbols, with a lit candle in the center.

Witchery Spell was comparatively expensive for a play-at-home game, especially with international shipping. If cost is a factor, it’s much more affordable to grab a refill kit or two and find someone to split the bill with. 

Witchery Spell was a solid example of the potential of interactive storytelling to transport players to another world. The price may seem high, but it reflects the quality and value of this unique game. Not having had the opportunity to play any of DarkPark’s real life games myself, I can safely say Witchery Spell lived up to their reputation.

Who is this for?

  • Adventure seekers
  • Story seekers
  • Sorcery enthusiasts
  • Any experience level

Why play?

  • Intricate, tactile components
  • Puzzle–story integration
  • Magical ambiance

Story

Years ago, five young girls found an old book and followed a ritual within, binding them into a coven. When one of the five disappeared after her 23rd birthday, the remaining four sent us a package of mysterious items to investigate. Our goal was to save them from the same fate.

Papers including a typewritten letter and a newspaper clipping reporting "Burned Body of Woman Found Near Riverbank in Cleveland."
Continue reading “DarkPark Games – Witchery Spell [Review]”

Announcing a Special REA Patreon Perk: Join the REA Patreon Today!

It’s been almost 2 years since we launched our Patreon and we couldn’t be more thankful for the community of folks who are helping us as we continue to grow Room Escape Artist.

Patreon Logo

New This Fall

At RECON, we presented 15 Featured Talks over the span of two days.

This fall, we’re making these talks available on the REA YouTube Channel. Follow us on YouTube and each week you’ll see a new talk.

REA Patreon backers ($5/month and up) receive access to these talks before anyone else. They already have access to The RECON Keynote by The Escape Game.

If you are eager to rewatch our talk 2020: The State of the Escape Room Industry you can support us on Patreon today. This talk is next! It will be accessible to Patreon backers very soon.

Graph of US Escape Room Facilities Over Time
2020: The State of the Escape Room Industry

More Than Videos

By joining the REA Patreon community you get so much more than early video access. This is an amazing group of people that we reach out to for inspiration and to be a sounding board for new ideas. We share stories and discuss the games and innovation that push our understanding of this industry.

We continually introduce unplanned perks. In the past 6 months, we brought our Patreon backers with us to play the Global Dominance, invited Patreon backers to join the RECON Discord early to kick the tires, and livestreamed a Patreon-only RECON retrospective.

These folks are our community within a community, and we’d love for you to join in.

Your Support

Please support our mission to provide well-researched, rational, and reasonably humorous pieces that push the industry forward. You can help our efforts to build a community of players and creators that will sustain the escape room industry for the future. Your support goes toward our website improvements, industry research, event production, and more.

Get the F Out – The Experiment [Hivemind Review]

The Experiment is a real-life escape room livestreamed and played through an avatar, created by Get the F Out in Los Angeles.

Sadly this company is closing soon. Book now if you want to play this game.

Room Escape Artist played this game in real-life in August of 2018.

In-game: torn ship's mast.

Format

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

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection, maybe a pen and paper for notes

Recommended Team Size: 4-5

Play Time: 60 minutes

Price: $30 per person

Booking: book online for a specific time slot

Description

The Experiment is a straightforward avatar game livestreamed over Zoom. The inventory system for this game consists of password-protected files that are emailed to you beforehand. The host gives you the passwords to unlock them as you progress through the game.

This is described as a “meta-escape room” so it’s like an escape room about an escape room. It becomes more and more clear as you progress through the game.

In-game: The Experiment teaser, reads, "The Doctor Will See You Now."

Hivemind Review Scale