Paragamix – Bermudas Wrecks [Hivemind Review]

Bermudas Wrecks is a light puzzle hunt created by Paragamix. It is available in English, German, and Spanish.

Interior of a primitive home.

Format

Style of Play:

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

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection

Recommended Team Size: 1-3

Play Time: no clock, play time is about 90 minutes, game code lasts for 60 hours, stop and start as you wish

Price: $12 for 1-2 players

Booking: purchase and play at your leisure

Description

In this game you virtually tour Bermuda locations to find things and solve puzzles. There is a blog with puzzle content, and gameplay is controlled through a chat-bot interface that gives puzzles, verifies answers, and provides hints.

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SCRAP – Escape from the Science Lab of Shifting Rules [Hivemind Review]

Escape from the Science Lab of Shifting Rules is an avatar-led game, played in Zoom, and created specifically for digital play by SCRAP in Japan.

Promo art shows a chaotic lab with a shark and the words, "Alter the rules and save the world!"Alter

Format

Style of Play:

  • Online native experience (can NOT be played IRL)
  • Avatar controlled by the players

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection

Recommended Team Size: 2-6

Play Time: 60 minutes

Price: about $192 per team of up to 6 players

Booking: book online for a specific time slot

Description

Escape from the Science Lab of Shifting Rules is an avatar-led game that uses wordplay and critical thinking to move the story along.

Standard avatar interaction. Non-standard physics interaction. Players control a machine that changes reality and – as a fortuitous side effect – helps them solve puzzles.

This game is played entirely in Zoom with no additional interface. It was specifically designed as a remote game and can not be played in real life.

Escape from the Science Lab of Shifting Rules is also available in Japanese, but we played the English version of this game. You need a strong grasp of English to succeed.

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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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The Virtual Breakout – Operation Apex [Hivemind Review]

Operation Apex is a live-hosted, point-and-click escape game created by The Virtual Breakout in Arcadia, CA.

A computer desktop with a background insignia that reads, "I.D.I.O.T."

Format

Style of Play:

  • Online native experience (can NOT be played IRL)
  • Point-and-click
  • Interactive NPC (in-character, non-avatar gamemaster)

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection

Recommended Team Size: 3-5; but probably best with exactly 4, as there are 4 player roles

Play Time: 60-minute game clock

Price: from $30 per player for teams of 2 to $20 per player for teams of 4+

Booking: book online for a specific time slot

Description

Operation Apex was a point-and-click escape game with video content and a few actor interactions in a Zoom call. We’d hacked a computer, which acted as our main game space. There, we clicked through different files, solved puzzles, and entered passwords.

In-game spy character with an eye patch.

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