Improbable Escapes – The Hot Chocolate Incident [Hivemind Review]

The Hot Chocolate Incident is a digital avatar-led escape game, designed for livestream play, created by Improbable Escapes in Kingston, ON.

Santa sitting beside a Christmas tree reading.

Format

Style of Play: digital avatar-led escape game, designed for livestream play

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

Recommended Team Size: 2-5

Play Time: 60 minutes

Price: $25 CAD per player, plus tax.

Booking: book online for a specific time slot

Description

The Hot Chocolate Incident is an avatar-led game hosted in Zoom with a separate website interface for maps, close-up photos, and helpful diagrams. The avatar interacts with a physical space, but the game was designed specifically for online play.

You’ve been recruited to help Jingles the Elf (your in-room avatar) help save Christmas by remotely solving puzzles in Santa’s Workshop.

The control console fo Santa's sleigh.

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Daydream Adventures – The Witch’s Forest [Hivemind Review]

The Witch’s Forest is a real-life escape room livestreamed and played through an avatar, created by Daydream Adventures in Toronto, ON.

Intro screen for The Witch's Forest, a Virtual Experience. Depicts a colorful magical forest.

Format

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

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection

Recommended Team Size: 2-4

Play Time: 60 minute game clock

Price: $110 CAD for four players plus $15 CAD per additional player (plus tax)

Booking: book online for a specific time slot

Description

This is a standard avatar-led escape game through a forest setting. Video vignettes are sprinkled in throughout to advance the story.

The witch’s home had been intruded by humans who’d left all their trash. We had to help the witch bring everything in her home back to normal and then cast a spell on those rude intruders.

A clock and a mirror hanging from a tree.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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