Colorado Gold Rush Puzzle Challenge [Hivemind Review]

Colorado Gold Rush Puzzle Challenge is a free light puzzle hunt game created by a group of escape room companies in and around Denver, CO.

Illustration of a cryptex over the entrance to a mine.

Format

Style of Play: light puzzle hunt

Required Equipment: computer with an internet connection

Recommended Team Size: 1-3

Play Time: no time limit, expect to spend about 90 minutes

Price: free

Booking: go to the website and start playing

You must complete Colorado Gold Rush Puzzle Challenge by August 31st to win the prize: exclusive discounts at participating escape room companies.

Description

Each of 10 escape room companies created a puzzle around the Colorado Gold Rush theme. Solving each puzzle yielded a word or phrase. Once you had all 10 solutions, you entered them into a final submission.

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Reality Break Escapes – Mystery of the Missing Mare [Hivemind Review]

Mystery of the Missing Mare is a digital puzzle game created by Reality Break Escapes in Bellevue, WA.

Art of horses in various places that people take horses.

Format

Style of Play: light puzzle hunt

Required Equipment: mobile device with ClueKeeper installed, a printer, and scissors

Recommended Team Size: 1-2

Play Time: listed as about an hour, but likely substantially less for experienced players

Price: $29.99 per team

Booking: purchase from ClueKeeper, download, print, and play

Description

This game is contained in a printed packet and played in conjunction with the (free) ClueKeeper app. When you solve a puzzle, you enter the answer in ClueKeeper. There is a light narrative, with several puzzles that give you clues towards solving a mystery.

An image of a tavern puzzle cut up inito pieces.

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Puzzle Break – The Grimm Escape [Hivemind Review]

The Grimm Escape is a digital adaptation of a real-life escape game created by Puzzle Break in Seattle, WA.

Room Escape Artist has a review of The Grimm Escape in its original real-life format from July 2016. This is a review of the digital adaptation of the same game.

A Zoom call with a shared screen that explains, "Show/tell your answers to your fairy godparent."

Format

Style of Play: light puzzle hunt

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection, recommended equipment includes pen and paper and maybe a printer.

The game had some printable materials, but could easily be played without a printer.

Recommended Team Size: 2-4

Play Time: 60 minutes

Price: $25 per player with a $75 game minimum

Booking: book online for a specific time slot

Description

In this digital form, The Grimm Escape was a light puzzle hunt: a collection of puzzles that culminated in a meta puzzle. It was presented as a digital book with a gamemaster there to keep the game on the rails.

The book/ PDF setup.

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Mystery Motel Murcia – A World of Magic [Hivemind Review]

A World of Magic is an escape game played through an avatar, created by Mystery Motel Murcia in Murcia, Spain.

Hands of a detective holding magnifying glass on a table set with mysterious objects.

Format

Style of Play: escape room designed specifically to be played virtually through an avatar

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection

Recommended Team Size: 2-4

Play Time: 45 minutes

Price: €25-45 depending on the number of devices

Booking: book online for a specific time slot

Description

In A World of Magic, you connect through Zoom and direct the gamemaster / avatar to explore the room and manipulate objects on your behalf to solve the puzzles.

A sealed box on a table surrounded by magical props.

Hivemind Review Scale

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REA's hivemind review scale - 3 is recommended anytime, 2 recommended in quarantine, 1 is not recommended.

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Palace Games – Palace of Destiny [Hivemind Review]

At the time of this review (April 12, 2020), this game was still in testing and development. The content has since expanded and play time has substantially increased.

Palace of Destiny is a free digital game created by Palace Games.

Style of Play: Light Puzzle Hunt

Required Equipment: Computer with internet connection, pen and paper

Recommended Team Size: 1-4

Play Time: about 60 minutes

Price: Free

Booking: Click to play at any time

PalaceSphere Logo

Yesterday we introduced the Hivemind Review format. This is the very first Hivemind Review.

Hivemind Review Scale

REA's hivemind review scale - 3 is recommended anytime, 2 recommended in quarantine, 1 is not recommended.

Read more about our Hivemind Review format.

Theresa W’s Reaction

Rating: 3 out of 3.

Palace of Destiny was a solid at-home game littered with pop culture references. Google-fu comes in handy, as most of the game requires outside knowledge. The puzzles were clever and unique, yet relied a bit on pop culture that would be hard to solve without prior knowledge. Once you knew where to start, the puzzles were fun and engaging. The end of the game wasn’t clear (they will be adding more puzzles), which was confusing. I would recommend this as a fun game to fill the time for both solo puzzlers and small groups.

An overhead view of a gridded floor within a room. The door is flanked by knights.

Diana Kobrynowicz’s Reaction

Rating: 2 out of 3.

I loved the idea of the Palace of Destiny — who doesn’t want to explore a Palace for adventure and mystery? Here, you enter a room, explore, solve, and move on to the next room. The hint system is thematically consistent and works well.

This adventure is very puzzle-centric. Most puzzles need significant outside knowledge to solve. Some of that was tediously obscure, but nothing that some Google sleuthing wouldn’t overcome. This experience lacked a cohesive story, so enthusiasts who love puzzle-focused challenges will like this far more than those who prefer on-theme puzzles interwoven with a compelling narrative.

The Lone Puzzler’s Reaction

Rating: 2 out of 3.

Series of linear puzzles that were pretty fun to play but that relied a bit too much on outside resources (Google) – expected more of a self-contained escape room-like feel to the game. Game play was good – puzzles were moderate difficulty – probably better for casual players than enthusiasts.

A mirror that reads, "When a puzzle is tough, and your minds in a twist, click the button below, and we'll give you the gist."

Peih Gee Law’s Reaction

Rating: 3 out of 3.

This was a fun little puzzle hunt. It took a while to get used to the rhythm of puzzles and having to Google many things. The format was a little unwieldy at times; a few really required either pop culture knowledge or a ton of googling. Some puzzles were a bit tedious, requiring you to refer back and forth. Overall, though, the puzzles were very satisfying, especially if you have a lot of time on your hands like we all do currently in quarantine.

Theresa Piazza’s Reaction

Rating: 2 out of 3.

If online point-and-click escape room games and Puzzled Pint had a baby, it might be this game. The free beta of Palace of Destiny has about an hour’s worth of puzzling to offer either a team or lone puzzler. Each room and puzzle offered a distinct challenge, which we enjoyed solving with the help of a collaborative Google doc full of screenshots. One puzzle required outside knowledge that we didn’t immediately recognize, causing our team to stall for quite a while as we threw all ideas out there, just to see what would stick. Palace Games has teased that Palace of Destiny will be expanded, and I’m looking forward to seeing what they add next!

Format Description

You navigate to a URL, and after signing up for an account, you are met with a series of rooms inside a browser window, each gated by a puzzle to solve before you can progress to the next room. The door is barred by a passcode that is revealed after solving the puzzle. 9 rooms later, you reach the (temporary) end of the series!

This is a classic-style point-and-click overhead two-dimensional game. If you’re playing with friends in other locations, you can either screen share your experience, or each create your own login and play along. Each login is completely siloed and not connected to a team.