cluequest – Print + Cut + Escape: Mechanics of the Heart [Hivemind Review]

Print + Cut + Escape: Mechanics of the Heart is a print-and-play escape game created by cluequest in London, England.

Video of a robot.

Format

Style of Play:

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

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

Make sure to follow the instructions regarding printing.

Recommended Team Size: 2-3

Play Time: about 90 minutes (less for highly experienced teams)

Price: £15 for the print-and-play version

Booking: purchase and play at your leisure

Description

The newest member in our team against evil in the world is robot “MM7”. In order to fully function he needs to understand how emotions work. It is up to us to help MM7 decipher the complex and puzzling ways of love.

The bulk of the game is a 19-page pdf to print out and cut up before the game clock begins. Once ready, access the web client to start the timer and story. Puzzles are solved using the papers, and answers are inputted into the website.

There’s also a feature that lets you hide little personal messages throughout the game.

Printed game materials, scissors, and a pen sitting on a laptop.

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Gaggle Studios – Awakened [Hivemind Review]

Awakened is a collaborative, multiplayer point-and-click adventure game created by Gaggle Studios.

In-game, 3d rendering of glowing sigils in some sort of magical ritual.

Format

Style of Play:

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

Required Equipment: Computer with internet connection that meets the minimum requirements below. Plus, it’s better with a mouse.

  • Windows minimum requirements: Windows 10, Core i3-3rd Generation 1.8Ghz+, 4GB RAM, Intel® UHD Graphics
  • Mac minimum requirements: OSX 10.14+, Core i3-3rd Generation 1.8Ghz+, 4GB RAM

Recommended Team Size: 2-4

Although you can play this game with 2-4 players, our reviewers agree it’s best suited to teams of 4. There is a lot to explore, and the communication puzzles are more approachable this way.

Play Time: You win by completing the game in 150 minutes, but you’ll get up to 210 minutes of play time, should you need it.

Price: $29.99 per group of 2-4 players

Booking: purchase and play at your leisure

Description

The game is structured identically to Return of the Mayan Curse. Collaborate with up to 3 other teammates – each on their own device – to click around the rooms and solve puzzles; communication is a must.

Audio and video streams funnel through the game, so you can see and hear your remote teammates within the game itself. Every player watches synchronized cutscenes, and then explores independently and interacts with the items they find. When one player solves a puzzle or takes an item, everyone else’s view changes accordingly, keeping everyone in sync.

The main difference is that Awakened allows more individual searching, and a greater portion of the game requires communication between separate groups of players.

In-game, 3d rendering of a large foyer in a creepy mansion.

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SCRAP – Escape from the Lockdown: The Demon Fortress [Hivemind Review]

Escape from the Lockdown: The Demon Fortress is a digital puzzle game created specifically for online play by SCRAP in Japan.

Promo Image of a tower with 9 heroes trapped within.

Format

Style of Play:

  • Online native experience (can NOT be played IRL)
  • Play on demand
  • Video-based experience
  • Light puzzle hunt

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection, pen and paper

There were a few puzzles where it was especially helpful to digitally draw on the images.

Recommended Team Size: 1-3

Play Time: about 3 hours

Price: $29 per player

Booking: purchase and play at your leisure

Description

We encountered 9 characters, a party of heroes, displayed in a Brady Bunch 3×3 video call grid. They delivered story and clues to a larger mystery in these scenes. After they resolved, we solved a series of well designed yet generic puzzles and gained access to a boss battle.

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Escapologic – ConTRAPtion [Hivemind Review]

ConTRAPtion is a livestream, avatar-led adaptation of an in-person game, created by Escapologic in Nottingham, England.

Format

Style of Play:

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

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection

Recommended Team Size: 2-4

Play Time: 60 minutes

Price: £60 for two connections, more for additional connections

Booking: book online for a specific time slot

Description

ConTRAPtion is a standard avatar-led game with an inventory system including 360 views of the room.

You’re in a steampunk-esque room proving your worth by solving the puzzles. The story setup has been adapted slightly from the in-person experience.

Avatar view: A stationary bike powering a strange contraption.

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Cave Escape – Carfax The Hunter [Hivemind Review]

Carfax the Hunter is a livestreamed escape game created by Cave Escape in Nottingham, England.

A woman in black walking through a dramatically lit cave.

Format

Style of Play:

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

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection

Recommended Team Size: 2-4

Play Time: 75 minutes

Price: £85 per group

Booking: book online for a specific time slot

Description

This is an avatar-led game in a cool setting. You only see the avatar’s hands as you direct them to pick things up or open things. They also communicate back to you with hand movements. It utilizes Telescape in a separate window for inventory and cutscenes.

Avatar view: an old wooden desk covered in lab equipment, and a phrenology bust.

Hivemind Review Scale