Eleven Puzzles – Parallel Lab [Hivemind Review]

Parallel Lab is a point-and-click adventure game created by Eleven Puzzles in Poland and Scotland.

A comic of two people speaking, discussing the case at hand.

Format

Style of Play:

  • Online native experience (can NOT be played IRL)
  • Play on-demand (i.e. purchase and play any time)
  • Point-and-click

Who is it For?

  • Story seekers
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Any experience level

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection

Recommended Team Size: 2

Play Time: 60-120 minutes

Price: $20 per team

Booking: purchase and play at your leisure

Description

Each player connects from their own computer (via web browser). They proceed to play in parallel, with the each player having access to a set of information and puzzles that the other player does not see. Players must share information verbally and coordinate their efforts to progress, with the story remaining synchronized for both players.

An illustration of a basement hacker's den with many monitors.
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Project Avatar (Hypno Dive) – Mystery Hotel [Hivemind Review]

Mystery Hotel is an avatar-led online escape game created by Project Avatar of Hypno Dive based in Ukraine.

Card reads, "This escape room created in Ukraine."

Format

Style of Play:

  • Adaptation of an in-person game
  • Avatar controlled by the players
  • Includes video segments

Who is it For?

  • Adventure seekers
  • Any experience level

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection

Recommended Team Size: 2-8

Play Time: 60 minutes

Price: $100 for a team of 4 players plus $25 for each additional player

Booking: book online for a specific time slot

Description

Mystery Hotel is a first-person avatar-led escape game with graphic overlays and cut scenes that give it a videogame style.

First person view, with a HUD. Hands reaching out to open an ornate book.
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Hourglass Escapes – Nova [Hivemind Review]

Nova is a point-and-click game designed by Puzzle Effect and built by Hourglass Escapes.

Rendering of the inside of a spaceship.

Format

Style of Play:

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

Who is it For?

  • Adventure seekers
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Any experience level

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection

Recommended Team Size: 1-3

Play Time: 90 minutes

Price: $25 per team

Booking: purchase and play at your leisure

Description

Nova is an online game with built-in video function so you can see and talk with your teammates. It’s a nicely-skinned Telescape interface with point-and-click-and-drag interactions. You explore the scenes and solve puzzles. Although multiple puzzles are available in parallel, the game structure encourages group solving instead of parallel solves.

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Emergency Exit – Virtual Dr. Becker [Hivemind Review]

Virtual Dr. Becker is real-life escape room livestreamed and played through an avatar, created by Emergency Exit in Greater Manchester, England.

The game host looking into the camera intensely. He's wearing a headset with a microphone.

Format

Style of Play:

  • Adaptation of an in-person game (can be played IRL)
  • Avatar controlled by the players
  • Includes video segments
  • Interactive NPC(s) (other than a player-controlled avatar)

Who is it For?

  • Adventure seekers
  • Story seekers
  • Any experience level

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection, pen and paper

It also helped to have a note taking device handy.

Recommended Team Size: 2-4

Play Time: 60 minutes

Price: £80 per team

Booking: book online for a specific time slot

Description

You are invited to spend an hour with the famous Dr. Becker at Boleskine Lodge Practice… but do not dig too deep. Dr. Becker has a past which is questionable at best and not everyone agrees with his methods.

The game was livestreamed through Zoom. Emergency Exit added some amazing video sequences to transition between scenes. There were also two people running the game: our gamemaster and an additional cameraman. There was no inventory website.

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Vektek Security Kit Escape Game by Chris Ramsay [Hivemind Review]

Vektek Security Kit Escape Game is a tabletop escape game created by Chris Ramsay.

Cyber Security Kit box, a deck of cards, and a booklet.

Format

Style of Play:

  • Tabletop escape game
  • Includes video segments

Who is it For?

  • Newbies
  • Fans of Chris Ramsay

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

You can play with either a computer or a mobile device. If you’re on mobile, we recommend a tablet instead of a phone. You can get by without scissors, but technically you’re supposed to use them.

Recommended Team Size: 1-2

Play Time: No game clock. Our reviewers took 30-45 minutes, at most.

Price: $29.99 + shipping

Booking: purchase and play at your leisure

Description

Your job is to use the VekTek Security Kit to help Chris Ramsay, a magician and YouTuber, track down some kind of nefarious clones aboard a spaceship. To do so, you use a small set of tabletop game pieces and a mobile app. The app presents a series of Chris Ramsay video clips to guide the experience. These clips, along with in-app instructions, present a linear series of tasks, asking you to use physical materials from the box (a booklet and 7 or 8 puzzle information cards). You enter solutions into the app to progress through the game.

Chris Ramsey wearing a backwards baseball cap and a foil suit looking into the camera and reaching for it.
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