Wolf Escape Games – Hallows Hill: The Virtual Escape Room Experience [Hivemind Review]

Hallows Hill: The Virtual Escape Room Experience is a point-and-click game created by Wolf Escape Games.

Hallows Hill title card, looks like its for a horror movie; a van drives into the darkness and fog towards an ominous building.

Format

Style of Play:

  • Online native experience (can NOT be played IRL)
  • Play on-demand
  • Web-based inventory system
  • Includes video segments
  • Point-and-click

Who is it For?

  • Story seekers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Any experience level

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection and a mobile device for remote players who are not in front of the main screen

Recommended Team Size: 1-4

Play Time: 60 to 90 minutes

Price: £20.00 per team

Booking: purchase and play at your leisure

Description

Hallows Hill is a well-executed narrative-driven point-and-click adventure, with unusually cinematic presentation and support for remote players to view items on their devices.

A journal with writing and drawings. Text above it reads, "Her journal is full of stuff about the house."

Pine Studio – Escape Simulator [Review]

🎶 This is the game that never ends… 🎶

Location: at home

Developer & Publisher: Pine Studio

Date Played: October & November 2021 (version 1.0.18718r)

Team size: varies; solo and co-op modes available

Duration: official levels: 4+ hours; user-created rooms and creating your own rooms: basically forever

Platform: PC, Mac & SteamOS + Linux on Steam

Price: $14.99 on Steam

REA Reaction

Pine Studio’s Escape Simulator is not just a single escape room but an entire platform based around playing and creating custom escape games. My initial take on Escape Simulator was that it felt eerily similar in some ways to playing an in-person game. After putting many hours into playing this title, that still holds true.

Escape Simulator key art: 3D rendering of two people in an escape room, one with a magnifying glass, the other with a book. They are approaching an open box with a maze on top.

There are three main ways that a player can engage with Escape Simulator. There are official escape rooms, a workshop for building custom rooms, and published user-generated rooms. Because each of these game modes is unique, I will address them separately. Whether you want to explore this game purely as a player, if you just want to build perplexing puzzles, or if you think you can try your hand at both this game has a lot to offer.

12/23/21 Update – This review was originally written in November 2021 and some notes have been added to reflect game updates since then.

Continue reading “Pine Studio – Escape Simulator [Review]”

Moroi Springs – Winterlore Chapter I [Hivemind Review]

Winterlore Chapter I is a point-and-click game created by Moroi Springs.

Moroi Springs Winterlore title screen shows a forest in a blizzard.

Format

Style of Play:

  • Play on demand
  • Point-and-click

Required Equipment: computer with an internet connection or mobile device

Recommended Team Size: 1

Play Time: No game clock; expect 30 minutes at most.

Price: $1.00 on itch.io, $0.99 on Google Play

Booking: purchase and play at your leisure

Description

This was a standard point-and-click game for one player. Find inventory items and combine them with other items, or use them in the environment to solve puzzles and advance the story.

Inside of a small kitchen, there are many cloth items with vibrant colors.

Lock Paper Scissors – Envy [Hivemind Review]

Envy is a print-and-play escape game created by Lock Paper Scissors.

Cover art, illustration for Envy, depicts a flapper dressed up and holding a martini glass.

Format

Style of Play:

  • Play on demand
  • Print-and-play
  • Escape room party kit

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

Recommended Team Size: 1-2

Play Time: 20-40 minutes

Price: $29

Booking: purchase and play at your leisure

Description

The police have failed to solve the murder of Lord Carnegie, so you must explore the aftermath of the party where he was killed. You explore eight separate puzzles that contribute information to a final metapuzzle, which theoretically validates all of your answers.

These materials are designed to be presented as an escape room party where the printouts (or physical substitutes) are arranged in “logical” locations throughout a room. You can also play the game as a tabletop experience just by printing out the materials.

Illustrated set of game instructions.

Headlocked Escape Rooms – The Keeper & the Fungus Among Us [Hivemind Review]

The Keeper & the Fungus Among Us is an unusual, avatar-led, live streamed escape game created by Headlocked Escape Rooms in the UK.

A puppet with evil eyes, closed captioned, "I put the fun in fungi."

Format

Style of Play:

  • Online native experience (can NOT be played IRL)
  • Avatar controlled by the players
  • Video-based experience

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection

Recommended Team Size: 2-5

Play Time: 90 minutes

Price: £75 for up to 6 players

Booking: book online for a specific time slot

Description

This is a Zoom-based game with standard avatar-led gameplay… except your avatar is a hand puppet and the game area is a series of changing miniature dioramas. It also includes videos and a bangin’ soundtrack.

A large turtle puppet in a diorama beside a bule spider puppet.