So You Wanna Save The World – Episode One: Into The Fire [Hivemind Review]

Episode One: Into The Fire is a free online narrative puzzle game created by So You Wanna Save The World.

We reviewed Episode 0 in October of 2019, which is no longer available, as So You Wanna Save The World has changed their product significantly since then. Episode One is the current introductory episode.

Cartoon of Agent Bishop pulling two guns to him, he exclaims, "Targeted magnetic resonance, gloves. What will I think of next?"

Format

Style of Play:

  • Online native experience (can NOT be played IRL)
  • Play on demand

This is a story-based puzzle game with comic-strip video sequences delivering the narrative. Puzzles are based on static images and ARG-style websites.

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection, mobile device

Recommended Team Size: 1-2

Play Time: Unlimited, but your playtime determines your score. Figure on 1-2 hours.

Price: Episode One (reviewed here) is free. Subsequent episodes are $30 each.

Booking: purchase and play at your leisure

Description

You’ll receive instructions via the website and explore other sites, solving puzzles to progress the story. Most of the story is given as comic-style videos with a mix of voice acting and speech bubbles. There are other types of interactions, including phone calls/ messages, that will occur as you progress through the game.

Illustration of a bored office worker in a cubical, captioned, "Kenzie Keaton didn't start off as a confident, badass recruit. Every story has a beginning, this is hers..."

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Mad Experiments: Escape Room [Hivemind Review]

Mad Experiments: Escape Room is a puzzle video game.

Format

Style of Play:

  • Online native experience (can NOT be played IRL)
  • Play on demand
  • Video game

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection

Your computer needs to be sufficiently powerful to handle a moderately graphics-intensive video game.

Recommended Team Size: 2-4

Play Time: 60 minutes for each chapter

Price: $14.99 per player for all 3 chapters

Booking: purchase and play at your leisure

Description

Mad Experiments: Escape Room is a first-person puzzle video game set in three chapters, each with a unique theme.

Note, if you get motion sick playing first-person games, this game will make you motion sick.

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Neon Dreams Mystery [Hivemind Review]

Neon Dreams Mystery is an ARG-style puzzle game.

Purple code falling vertically, with the words, "Let's Go" written in the middle.

Format

Style of Play:

  • Online native experience (can NOT be played IRL)
  • Light puzzle hunt
  • Includes video-based elements

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection, mobile device

Recommended Team Size: 2-5

Play Time: 2-3 hours

Price: $80 per team

Booking: book online for a specific time slot

Description

You are assigned a mission and given a briefing via pre-recorded video. Your task involves figuring out how a set of mysterious deaths might be related, and you explore websites, hack email, and send live operatives to collect the information you need.

This is an ARG-esque game, so you’ll need to browse through different websites, text/ phone characters, or sent emails.

An agent named Briggs, briefing the team over Zoom.

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Crux Club – Mob Treasure [Hivemind Review]

Mob Treasure is a puzzle book treasure hunt created by Crux Club.

Mob Treasure book cover and open book displaying a puzzle.

Format

Style of Play:

  • Book
  • Light puzzle hunt
  • Play on demand

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection, mobile device, pen and paper, scissors

Expect to use an internet-connected device (phone or PC) to do research for some of the puzzles.

Recommended Team Size: 1-3

Play Time: No game clock. Chapters took anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour or so of active puzzling.

Price: $15.99

Booking: purchase and play at your leisure

Description

In this book, you are on a quest to find the rumored treasure of mobster Dutch Schultz. This treasure hunt is divided into fifteen chapters full of illustrations and a bit of text, and each chapter contains about five puzzles. To solve each puzzle, you must analyze the information within the chapter and sometimes consult outside sources. You verify your answer by comparing it to the solution list in the back of the book. Once you have completed all of the puzzles within a chapter, you may proceed to the next chapter.

CodinGame – Coding Escape [Hivemind Review]

Coding Escape is a selection of online escape games created by CodinGame.

For this review, we played The Steam House and Finding Sherlock – The Apartment. At the present, these are the only games publicly available, and they’re both free. You’ll need to create an account to see these. They aren’t immediately visible on the website.

An illustrated study beside a code editor.

Format

Style of Play:

  • Online native experience (can NOT be played IRL)
  • Play on demand
  • Point-and-click

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection

Recommended Team Size: 2-4

Play Time: less than 1 hour for each game

Price: basic games are free

Booking: purchase and play at your leisure

Description

Players choose to play as coders or non-coders. Gameplay is fairly standard: make connections to solve puzzles. Non-coders solve everything manually, but coders have the chance to write lines of code that will provide solutions to the puzzles when given the correct input. There is a shared screen for all teammates to see.

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