Eschaton [Hivemind Review]

Eschaton is a virtual nightclub and immersive experience that includes a light puzzle hunt.

A well dressed man on video speaking into a camera.

Format

Style of Play: an audio-visual experience that includes a light puzzle hunt

Required Equipment: computer with an internet connection

If you plan to solve the puzzles, you’ll want a way to take notes and maybe a Google Sheet to keep organized.

Recommended Team Size: 1-2 people per connection

Play Time: 1 hour per visit

Price: $15 per connection (prices go up for holiday events)

Booking: book online for a specific Saturday night performance

Description

When Eschaton opens, its website provides you with a Zoom link. From the Zoom link, you learn how to get to other Zoom rooms. Players move from room to room throughout the experience at their own whims. You might stumble across a puzzle.

The Eschaton puzzle experience is somewhere between a puzzle hunt and an ARG. There is a lot to find and tons to solve. It would require multiple visits to complete.

Of note, Eschaton is an interesting experience with great performers, but it is not an escape room in any way.

Hivemind Review Scale

Mystery Mansion Regina – DTF: Drag Task Force [Hivemind Review]

DTF: Drag Task Force is an escape room livestreamed and played through an avatar, created by Mystery Mansion Regina in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Drag Task Force's fabulous character.

Format

Style of Play: escape room livestreamed and played through an avatar, designed exclusively for remote play

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection

Recommended Team Size: 2-4

Play Time: 60 minutes

Price: CAD 25.00 per person plus tax ($5 from every ticket sale is donated to a local non-profit)

Booking: book online for a specific time slot

Description

DTF: Drag Task Force has standard remote avatar gameplay, where players instruct the avatar what operations to perform and what objects to inspect. It takes place over Zoom with Telescape for the inventory. Note that the content of this game is NSFW; expect sassy adult humor.

Drag Task Force's rainbow comic book cover style art.

Hivemind Review Scale

Virtual Escape Games — REC: Escape the 80’s Workout VHS [Hivemind Review]

REC: Escape the 80’s Workout VHS is a light puzzle game with a live game host, created by Virtual Escape Games.

An old CRT television introducing Escape the 80s workout vhs.The TV is flanked by mirrored images of a guy holding a dumbell.

Format

Style of Play: light puzzle game with a live game host

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection, also a pen and paper may be helpful

Recommended Team Size: 2-4

Play Time: 60 minutes

Price: free for teams of friends and families at the regularly scheduled times on the website, with optional tipping. Bookings outside of those times, or for corporate groups, is $10-20/ per person.

Booking: book online for a specific time slot

Description

This is a light puzzle hunt with a gamemaster verifying answers and giving hints. You play via Zoom and a separate website (Telescape) that contains all the puzzles, representing different workout rooms. Your team is advised to work together even though you could split up and each take a different puzzle. The gamemaster is there to “make it more interactive,” as the creator explained.

This game can handle multiple groups of 6 playing at the same time. Each group will play in a separate Zoom breakout room and you are only all together at the very beginning.

A pasel illustration of a gym.

Hivemind Review Scale

Locurio – The Vanishing Act Remote [Hivemind Review]

The Vanishing Act Remote is a real-life escape room livestreamed and played through an avatar, created by Locurio in Seattle, WA.

Room Escape Artist reviewed the real-life version of this game in April of 2016 (yes, 4.5 years ago!) and awarded it a 2016 Golden Lock Award. This is a review of the online adaptation.

Casey showing us into the dressing room over Zoom.

Format

Style of Play: real-life escape room livestreamed and played through an avatar

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection

Recommended Team Size: 4

Play Time: 90 minutes

Price: $140 per team

Booking: book online for a specific time slot

Description

The Vanishing Act was an avatar-led adaptation of a classic escape room with a significant online inventory component. The puzzles were highly collaborative and communication was key.

360 degree image of the room with clickable hotspots

Hivemind Review Scale

Exit: The Game – Theft on the Mississippi [Hivemind Review]

Theft on the Mississippi is a tabletop escape game created by Exit: The Game.

The assorted items fom Theft on the Mississippi laid on a wood table.

Format

Style of Play: tabletop escape game

Required Equipment: scissors, pen & paper

A mobile device isn’t strictly necessary, but there is an optional companion app.

Recommended Team Size: 1-4

Play Time: about 90 minutes

Price: ~$15

Description

You are trying to solve a whodunit mystery. You have access to a puzzle book, a game “poster,” several suspect cards, clue cards, and various “strange items.” You study these items to identify puzzles and gather information. When you deduce a solution to a puzzle, you enter a code in a decoder disk, which instructs you to collect additional clue cards that advance the game. Also, the game requires you to destroy various components to solve some of the puzzles.

Room Escape Artist has reviewed many games in the Exit: The Game series. Our first review in the series explains the core mechanics and structure of play in greater detail.