Solve Entertainment – Professor Prank! [Hivemind Review]

Professor Prank! is an avatar-led escape game created for livestream play by Solve Entertainment in Duluth, MN.

Avatar holding a plastic rat beside a plastic human skeleton wearing a bowtie.

Format

Style of Play:

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

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection

Recommended Team Size: 2-5

Play Time: 60 minutes

Price: flat rate of $80 for up to 4 players, + $10 taxes

Booking: book online for a specific time slot

Description

There’s a livestream of a prank youtube channel. It’s a dude (aka. Prankster) who wants to pull a prank on his old science teacher because that teacher used to give him bad grades. As you enter the school lab, however, much more serious issues occur.

This is an avatar-led escape room play through Zoom. The avatar is in a physical room, but one that was built for the online game, so this room can not be played in person.

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Deadlocked Escape Rooms – Tunnelling Through Time [Hivemind Review]

Tunnelling Through Time is a point-and-click escape game created by Deadlocked Escape Rooms in Reading, England, and all proceeds go to the Brunel Museum.

And… today is Matthew and Theresa W’s 100th Hivemind Review!

Tunnelling Through Time title card over Zoom. Performer looking nervously behind her while in a large cavernous space.

Format

Style of Play:

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

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection

Recommended Team Size: 1-3

Play Time: 90-120 minutes

Price: £15 donation to the Brunel Museum

Booking: purchase and play at your leisure

Description

You are at the Brunel Museum which showcases how the Thames Tunnel in London was built, and through some unfortunate events, you’ll end up time traveling. At least now you get to explore the true stories of the Thames Tunnel.

This is an online puzzle game with strong video elements that drive the story. After watching a scene, you interact with a point-and-click section containing several puzzles related to the narrative.

A man in a top hat and dated suit with a ghastly expression on his face.

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Lucardo Manchester – University of Magic: The Entrance Exam [Hivemind Review]

University of Magic: The Entrance Exam is an avatar-led livestreamed adaptation of an in-person game, created by Lucardo Manchester in England.

A wizard in the stone halls of a magical university over Zoom.

Format

Style of Play:

  • Adaptation of an in-person game (can be played IRL)
  • Avatar controlled by the players

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection

Recommended Team Size: 2-5

Play Time: 60 minutes

Price: £80 per team

Booking: book online for a specific time slot

Description

This is an avatar-led game (with a separate camera person) that takes place in a real-life escape room. You play through Zoom and there is no inventory.

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Wizards Against Lizards [Hivemind Review]

Wizards Against Lizards is a blend of immersive theater and escape room-style puzzles.

A wizard on zoom.

Format

Style of Play:

  • Online native experience (can NOT be played IRL)
  • Interactive NPCs
  • Immersive theater

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection

Recommended Team Size: 3-6

Play Time: 90 minutes

Price: £100 per team (~ $140)

Booking: book online for a specific time slot

Description

You are roleplaying as trainee wizards drafted into a secret mission against the lizard people, who are bent on destroying the world and increasing human misery.

You will need to solve puzzles and infiltrate the lizard people by tricking them via conversation. Multiple puzzling styles are used along with a good amount of character interaction and improv.

A lizard person on Zoom.

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Theatre Department at Lehigh University – GPS [Hivemind Review]

GPS is an immersive theater experience with puzzles, created by Theatre Department at Lehigh University, in Bethlehem, PA.

A news anchor on a broadcast for NFG.

Format

Style of Play:

  • Online native experience (can NOT be played IRL)
  • Immersive theater

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection

It helps to be familiar with Zoom breakout sessions.

Recommended Team Size: any – you’re booking into a public show

Play Time: 60 minutes

Price: free!

Booking: this show ran in late April 2021 and is no longer running

Description

GPS was a theatrical performance put on in 3 Zoom breakout rooms. You could freely hop between the breakout rooms to interact with different characters and storylines. Each character’s room also had a puzzle displayed in the framing that sometimes utilizes components within the set. Performers were monologuing while solves were happening. Audience members could just watch the show if they didn’t want to solve puzzles. Players could collaborate to solve puzzles in the Zoom chat, and give solutions there. Once a solution was found, the puzzle was marked as complete, and the solution might impact character actions in later scenes.

A person in a greenhouse lab.

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