Virtual Escape Games — REC: Escape the 80’s Workout VHS [Hivemind Review]

REC: Escape the 80’s Workout VHS is a light puzzle game with a live game host, created by Virtual Escape Games.

An old CRT television introducing Escape the 80s workout vhs.The TV is flanked by mirrored images of a guy holding a dumbell.

Format

Style of Play: light puzzle game with a live game host

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection, also a pen and paper may be helpful

Recommended Team Size: 2-4

Play Time: 60 minutes

Price: free for teams of friends and families at the regularly scheduled times on the website, with optional tipping. Bookings outside of those times, or for corporate groups, is $10-20/ per person.

Booking: book online for a specific time slot

Description

This is a light puzzle hunt with a gamemaster verifying answers and giving hints. You play via Zoom and a separate website (Telescape) that contains all the puzzles, representing different workout rooms. Your team is advised to work together even though you could split up and each take a different puzzle. The gamemaster is there to “make it more interactive,” as the creator explained.

This game can handle multiple groups of 6 playing at the same time. Each group will play in a separate Zoom breakout room and you are only all together at the very beginning.

A pasel illustration of a gym.

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CU Adventures in Time & Space – Floor 13 [Hivemind Review]

Floor 13 is a combination digital + printable game created by CU Adventures in Time & Space in Urbana, IL.

The print and play packet resting on a laptop keyboard.

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

The no-printer variant is really good, but the print-and-play version is better. Also, make sure that all players are using the same packet (print or no-print).

Recommended Team Size: 1-3

Play Time: about 60 minutes

Price: pay what you want; minimum $10

Booking: purchase online and play at your leisure

Description

Floor 13 was a fusion of LucasArts-style point-and-click adventure with tabletop escape room. We received a PDF with about a dozen printable pages (there is a no-print variant as well), and a few pages had bits that required cutting 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.

Avoid using the paper elements before being instructed to do so or you might short circuit the game.

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Deadlocked Online – The Movember Virtual Moscape Room [Hivemind Review]

The Movember Virtual Moscape Room is a point-and-click adventure game created by Deadlocked Escape Games (Reading, England) in collaboration with Movember.

Movember "It's about to get hairy" logo.

Format

Style of Play: point-and-click adventure game with light puzzle hunt elements

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection, Facebook access

Recommended Team Size: 1-4

Play Time: 90 minutes

Price: £15.00, a third of which is donated to Movember

Booking: purchase and play at your leisure

Description

In the game, your goal is to bring a razor to the protagonist so he can participate in Movember. Gameplay relies on social media snooping combined with custom digital puzzle games. The audio and video content from the characters adds a lot to the experience.

There is a regular mode, and an “extreme” mode that uses most of the same solutions, but the way you get them is different, with the regular version connecting the dots a bit more concretely. We’ve noted which version each reviewer played.

Guess a number puzzle from the puzzle pack.

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Fuzzy Logic – Villains Lair [Hivemind Review]

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

An evilvillain's lab with a large raygun.

Format

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

Required Equipment: computer with an internet connection

Recommended Team Size: 2-5

Play Time: 60 minutes

Price: $69.99 for small groups or $99.99 for larger groups

Booking: book online for a specific time slot

Description

This is a standard escape room played via avatar over Zoom. It uses Trello for inventory management. You’re a villain and you want to fire your mega-weapon to take over the city.

Team post-game photo for Villains. 34:35 on the clock.

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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?

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