Hourglass Escapes – Rise of the Mad Pharaoh [Hivemind Review]

Rise of the Mad Pharaoh is a real-life escape room livestreamed and played through an avatar, created by Hourglass Escapes in Seattle, WA.

The team all dressed in fairly elaborate costumes for their game.

Format

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

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection

Recommended Team Size: 3-6

Play Time: 60 minutes

Price: $30 per person

Booking: book online for a specific time slot

Description

This is an online adaptation of an in-person escape room. There is a light story that is cohesive throughout, but the focus is on the moderately difficult puzzles. Teamwork and communication are key.

Players interact with puzzle materials in Telescape, while the avatar on Zoom manipulates the physical elements that unlock things.

Promo art for Rise of the Mad Pharaoh shows a mummy hand reaching out of the sand towards a laptop.

Hivemind Review Scale

Escape New Haven – Wreck Havoc: Global Catastrophe [Hivemind Review]

Wreck Havoc: Global Catastrophe is a digital megagame created by Escape New Haven in New Haven, CT.

Japan's HQ in Gather.

Format

Style of Play: digital megagame

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection

Recommended Team Size: The game supports team sizes from 24 to 240. We played with 32 (8 groups of 4) and this worked well.

Play Time: about 2 hours

Price: $38 per person

Booking: Fill out the contact form on Escape New Haven’s website to set up a booking for a large private group.

Description

A global catastrophe has occurred and nations must sort out how to address the problem. Each player was assigned a team named for a country. Individual countries had to solve puzzles in order to earn currency. The currency could be spent on tools to help solve the crisis. Your country will need to ally with other countries.

Virtual world in Gather. A central meeting place with the Room Escape Artist logo and many character avatars.

Hivemind Review Scale

Claustrophobia – Global Dominance [Hivemind Review]

Global Dominance is an online social deduction game for remote play, created by Claustrophobia in Moscow, Russia.

Kim Jung Un cuddling a nuclear bomb and holding up a piece sign.

Format

Style of Play: social deduction game

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection

Recommended Team Size: 30 players (6 teams of 5 players each)

Play Time: 2 hours

Price: sliding scale between $5-$10 for 4-50 players

Booking: book online for a specific time slot

Description

Our large group of 30 players was split up into 6 teams (USA, Germany, Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea). The game took place over 6 rounds, each round representing a year in gameplay. During a round we were sent by the host into our own national group chats, where we analyzed the situation and assigned resources to develop our cities, improve the environment, develop nuclear weapons, build nuclear shields, spy on other countries, sanction other countries, or launch our missiles at a city.

We were also permitted to have the host send one of our people as an ambassador to a different country’s private Zoom breakout room where we could discuss and negotiate.

To conclude a round, each team filled out a Google Form that committed our resources and decisions. At the end of each round we were brought back into the main room all together to see how things played out.

The game round order. News, debate, separate negotiations, and decision-making.

Hivemind Review Scale

Hourglass Escapes – Evil Dead 2 [Hivemind Review]

Note: The online version of Evil Dead 2 (reviewed here) runs until March 31, 2021. The in-person version, located in Seattle, WA, runs until 2022.

Evil Dead 2 is a digital adaptation of a real-life game created by Hourglass Escapes in Seattle, WA.

A demonic home setting with the necronomicon, and an undead dear mounted to the mantle.

Format

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

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection

Recommended Team Size: 3-5

Play Time: 70 minutes

Price: approximately $30 per person (varies slightly based on team size)

Booking: book online for a specific time slot

Description

You’re a team of paranormal investigators who are being shown around by your boots-on-the-ground companion. Not only is he your eyes and ears, he also has your trusty evil-dead-vanquishing toolkit that you can interact with throughout the game. In addition to this gamemaster/ avatar, this digital adaptation included a webpage with pictures and 360-degree scans of the room.

A boarded up door.

Hivemind Review Scale

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