Farmington Underground – Enchanted Realms [Hivemind Review]

Enchanted Realms is an actor-driven scavenger hunt created for families by Farmington Underground in Farmington, ME.

7 illustrated characters from Enchanted Realms: Little Bread Riding Hood, Singerella, Jackie Beanstalk, Rhyme-punzel, Captain Book, Prince Farming, & Sleeping Foodie."

Format

Style of Play:

  • Online native experience (can NOT be played IRL)
  • Video-based experience
  • Interactive NPCs (actors in Zoom rooms)

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection and lots of random items from around your house, including from the kitchen

Recommended Team Size: You can play with any size family/ household. This experience is designed for families with children.

Play Time: standard ticket is 1.5 hours, VIP tickets is 2.5 hours

Price: $35 per household for a standard ticket, $55 per household for VIP experience

Booking: This show runs again on April 10, 2020.

Description

This game is more of a scavenger hunt than an escape room experience. Your mission is to solve a who/ where/ how mystery by gathering information from various storybook characters. To earn information from a character, you first watch a pre-recorded video of the character explaining a task for you to complete. When you complete the task, you dial up the character on a live, personal Zoom call and present your solution. If the character approves of your solution, they give you a piece of information for the meta-mystery and then send you on a second quest.

Each quest is a simple STEAM activity that uses materials from around your house. These activities cover a range of interests and skills, from dancing to building to cooking. Each activity also comes with differentiation options that let participants choose their challenge level. However, there are very few “correct” answers in this game; it’s mostly about completion.

The game mentions that you’ll need common household objects. Players should rest assured that there are no specific items that are required. You will be able to complete the tasks as long as you have objects in your house.

A character in an elf hat, greeting us.

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Experios – Time’s Ticking [Hivemind Review]

Time’s Ticking is an online puzzle game created by Experios and sold through them and their resellers.

Web page with an introductory ltter and video to Melbourne police regarding an important case.

Format

Style of Play:

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

Required Equipment: Computer with internet connection

Recommended Team Size: 2-4

Play Time: about an hour

Price: $45 AUD per team

Booking: purchase and play at your leisure

Description

This is an online puzzle game that presents a series of simple challenges across different webpages.

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Les Enfants Terribles – Sherlock Holmes: An Online Adventure – The Case of the Hung Parliament [Hivemind Review]

Sherlock Holmes: An Online Adventure – The Case of the Hung Parliament is a digital theatrical game, designed for digital play, created by Les Enfants Terribles in London, England.

A beautiful old desk covered in documents, artifacts, and a pipe.
Image via Les Enfants Terribles

Format

Style of Play: digital theatrical game, designed for digital play, combining point-and-click adventure game, audio-visual experience, and Zoom

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection

Multiple screens were helpful during this experience. We also recommend the use of google drive to coordinate intelligence among team members.

Recommended Team Size: 4-6

Play Time: 80 minutes

Price: £15 per person / £90 for a private group of up 6 people

Booking: book online for a specific time slot

Description

We were hosted live by Watson over Zoom, then let loose in a series 360-degree photos of crime scenes. We had to discover clues, interpret their meaning, and determine the suspect, their methods, and their motivations. This was not an escape game. Also, web searching and outside knowledge are encouraged.

Sherlock Holmes smoking his pipe.
Image via Les Enfants Terribles

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The Escape Game – 49ers Unlocked [Hivemind Review]

49ers Unlocked is a point-and-click adventure game created by The Escape Game in collaboration with the San Francisco 49ers.

Jerry Rice on video call.

Format

Style of Play: point-and-click adventure game

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection, mobile device

Recommended Team Size: 1-4

Play Time: No time limit, and progress saves, so you can log out and resume later. Our reviewers took about 20-40 minutes.

Price: $10 per team

Booking: purchase and play at your leisure

Description

49ers Unlocked was a point-and-click escape game set in the San Francisco 49ers Stadium. The team’s Lombardi trophies had gone missing and Jerry Rice needed us to find them.

This is a web-based game, with video instructions and a graduated hint system. Everything you need to know to solve the puzzles can be found within the game, but outside knowledge of the 49ers will help you solve more quickly.

Point & click interface for 49ers Unlocked. It is in red, gold, white, and black and depicts the team's stadium.

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Palace Games – The Sapphire Palace [Hivemind Review]

The Sapphire Palace is a point-and-click adventure game created by Palace Games in San Francisco, CA.

Overhead view of a boiler room in a digital interface.

Format

Style of Play: point-and-click adventure

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection, pen and paper also recommended

Recommended Team Size: 4

Play Time: 90-120 minutes (but our group solved a bit more quickly)

Price: $20 per player

Booking: purchase and play at your leisure

Description

You log into a web environment where you navigate through a series of collaborative puzzles. Each teammate typically works on one part of a collaborative solve. A little circle always shows you what the other players are currently looking at.

If you’re in different households, you should connect with your teammates through Zoom, Discord, or another video conferencing platform. If you’re in the same household, each player will need their own computer.

Digital interface reads, "Previous, our intrepid heroes cracked the mysteries of the Ruby Palace and claimed their crimson reward."

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