Escape Room Melbourne – Isolation [Hivemind Review]

Isolation is a digital escape game, designed for livestream play, created by Thin Reality Experiences for Escape Room Melbourne in Melbourne, Australia.

Research scientist Logan in his lab, looking into a video call.

Format

Style of Play: narrative-driven digital escape game, designed for livestream play

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

You need to tweak your Zoom settings to properly play this game. Pay attention to the instructions at the beginning.

Recommended Team Size: 2-4

Play Time: 120 minutes

Price: $96 USD ($120 AUS) for 2 players, plus about $8 USD for each additional player

Booking: book online for a specific time slot

Description

The structure was organic. We found ourselves on a Zoom call with a person in need of our help.

Isolation is a live-streamed immersive experience/ escape room that takes place over Zoom with a live actor, called a room runner. Puzzles are provided as links supplied in the Zoom chat as the story unfolds. Once solved, they unlock the next puzzle and story element. Expect to have a lot of browser tabs open, but you won’t be overwhelmed with too much info at any one time.

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Cirque du Nuit – Thickett [Hivemind Review]

Thickett is a digital immersive game with puzzles, created by Cirque du Nuit.

The Thickett virtual world with hand illustrated black & white landscapes and mono-colored faceless figures. It's very cute.

Format

Style of Play: digital immersive game with puzzle gates, designed for large group digital play

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection, pen and paper (or Google doc)

Recommended Team Size: Each Quest is public ticketed. Because you are part of an interactive experience, you can join solo, or with a large group of people all booking into the same Quest. We recommend only 1 person per connection.

Play Time: about 90 minutes

Price: $20 per person per Quest

Booking: book online for a specific time slot

Note, next weekend is the last Quest of Season 1. Thickett will return with Season 2 Quests in the spring.

Description

tldr:

  1. Upon purchasing a ticket, first-time players fill out a “job application” to be sorted into a Department.
  2. Join a Zoom call to get your Department’s assignment.
  3. Leave Zoom for Topia (a web-based, 2D-scrolling world, with video chat capabilities)
  4. Explore Topia where you can solve puzzles, interact with actors, and get information
  5. Return to Zoom to reconstruct a story with the rest of your Department using the information you’ve gathered in Topia.
  6. Wait (~24 hours) to see which Department’s version of the story is crowned the winner

In Depth

Each Thickett Quest is based around a fable or other well-known story. Every Thickett player is sorted into one of three Departments: Relationships (Rabbits), Confidence (Foxes), or Knowing (Ravens). Each Department has a different style and set of goals for a Quest. For example, Foxes are more competitive within their Department, while Rabbits are more collaborative.

At the beginning of a Quest, Departments go to separate Zoom breakout rooms and, after a brief departmental ritual, the Department Handlers describe their Department’s goals for that Quest. Players then go to “Topia,” which is a web-based 2D-scrolling world that allows players to see and talk to players or characters (live performers) in their area of that world. A character you meet may want you to play a game, or challenge you to an insult battle, or send you on a mission.

The Thickett virtual world with hand illustrated black & white landscapes and mono-colored faceless figures. It's very cute.

As players explore the world, they can find objects that can be delivered to characters by solving simple decoding puzzles in order to get information and advance their Department’s goals.

After spending time exploring Topia, everyone returns to Zoom breakout rooms to “edit” the story to a new version that best suits the ethos of their Department. These edited stories are submitted at the end to the Princess, the CEO of Thickett. She will decide which of the versions is the “true” story, and that Department will receive credit for “taming” that story so it can be placed back in the Book of Turns, which contains the answers to all of life’s mysteries.

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Trapped Puzzle Rooms – The Heist [Hivemind Review]

The Heist is a real-life escape room livestreamed and played through an avatar, created by Trapped Puzzle Rooms in St. Paul, MN.

Painting of a key.

Format

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

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection, pen and paper

Recommended Team Size: 3-4

Play Time: 60 minutes

Price: $26 per person

Booking: book online for a specific time slot

Description

This is a standard live avatar-led game played over Zoom and using Telescape. It is set in an art gallery.

5 labeled plates on a wall in a museum.

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Present Quest [Hivemind Review]

Present Quest is a free text-based puzzle adventure created by Errol Elumir of the Room Escape Divas for Adventuron’s Christmas Game Jam.

Text adventure: Pixel art kitchen depicts your character's wife and the plate of eggs she made for you.

Format

Style of Play: text-based puzzle adventure

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection

Recommended Team Size: 1-2

Play Time: about an hour

Price: free

Booking: click to play at your leisure

Description

This is a narrative- and character-focused text adventure game with supplemental pixel art.

Note that there is a content warning at the onset, so that you can understand if this game is right for you.

Text adventure: depicts your bedroom and tutorial.

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Codebreakers – #MISSING [Hivemind Review]

#MISSING is a light puzzle hunt created by Codebreakers in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Image on Facebook of a woman from behind, a grid of numbers tattooed between her shoulder blades.

Format

Style of Play: light puzzle hunt

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection and a mobile device

Facebook and Instagram are required. You will also need to call an international number (+44); our reviewers used WhatsApp.

Recommended Team Size: 1-3

Play Time: There is no time limit, but probably about 60 – 90 minutes.

Price: NZ$ 20.00 per team

Booking: purchase the game and play at your leisure

Description

This is a puzzle hunt-style game that requires you to interact with multimedia clues (email, Facebook, audio clips, video, etc.) to find clues about a missing woman.

You can play alone or you can set up a Zoom or similar videoconference to play with friends using a screen share. If you screen share, we suggest each player also plays along on their own screen.

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