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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Society of Curiosities – Winchester Mystery House: The Glasshouse Ghost [Hivemind Review]

Winchester Mystery House: The Glasshouse Ghost is a point-and-click game created by Society of Curiosities.

Interface played over zoom with the Winchester Mystery House Historical Records.

Format

Style of Play:

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

Who is it For?

  • Story seekers
  • Accessible for newbies
  • Fun for any experience level

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection

Recommended Team Size: 1-3

Play Time: about 60 minutes

Price: $15

Booking: purchase and play at your leisure

Description

This game has a web interface that allows viewing documents, sending text messages to an in-game character, and interacting with one prop.

While not an audio game, there were audio components, though transcripts of these were available.

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Fifthroom – Ouija [Hivemind Review]

Ouija is an online game created by Fifthroom in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Game streamed over zoom, a website shows a creepy forest at night, text reads, "You are almost ready click here."

Format

Style of Play:

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

Who is it For? At the time we played, the game was broken and we cannot recommend it.

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection, pen and paper

Recommended Team Size: 1-4

Play Time: When you buy the license key you have 24 hours to play. Active playtime was about 30 minutes.

Price: 19.9 MYR per license (about $5 per license key )

Booking: purchase and play at your leisure

Description

This was an on-demand digital experience played in a browser. The game consists of text and pictures, with one puzzle on each page. When you solve a puzzle, you enter the answer in the answer box and hit submit. You are then taken to the next puzzle.

A broken website for Fifth Room.
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