Puzzle Theory – P.T. Railways: Spectral Rift [Review]

Like a Ghost Rider

Location:  South Windsor, CT

Date Played: October 1, 2021

Team Size: 4-10; we recommend 4-5

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $30 per player

Ticketing: Private

Accessibility Consideration: Most players must duck through an opening repeatedly

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Puzzle Theory’s P.T. Railways: Spectral Rift was a storyline-driven experience that paired well with the immersive, appropriately designed space. 

The same set was utilized for this escape room and another (P.T. Railways: Rebel Run), which allowed for a unique way to look at the same space through a different lens, but removed many of the surprises on the second adventure through the space. There were a fair amount of items marked in red to delineate which props went to which escape room.

If playing these experiences back to back, be especially alert to fastidiously check items in the second room. It was easy to think that we checked something, only to find that we had actually cleared it in the first room instead. That being said, the set was really impressive and this dual-use certainly made for an uncommon team experience.

A large and dramatically lit lock in a metal structure.

Ultimately, this had the potential to be a standout experience if technology and memorization aspects were adjusted to build up momentum rather than detract from it. One puzzle in particular was incredibly time-intensive due to the designed digital experience.

P.T. Railways: Spectral Rift was worth the play-through for the wide variety of puzzle types found in the space and the focus on teamwork. We hope that they make some adjustments to give it an even broader appeal.

Continue reading “Puzzle Theory – P.T. Railways: Spectral Rift [Review]”

Puzzle Theory – P.T. Railways: Rebel Run [Review]

Bought a ticket for a runaway train

Location:  South Windsor, CT

Date Played: October 1, 2021

Team Size: 4-10; we recommend 4-5

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $30 per player

Ticketing: Private

Accessibility Consideration: Most players must duck through an opening repeatedly

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Puzzle Theory’s P.T. Railways: Rebel Run was an escape room that highlighted physical manipulation puzzles, blended into an immersive, technology-driven set design. These challenges allowed us to work in a non-linear fashion in several different spaces at one time without crowding.

The game area was impressively designed to match the storyline, with the integration of special effects and lighting that complemented the puzzles at hand.

Metal devices and chains, dramatically lit.

Most of the gameplay flowed well, but there was one puzzle towards the beginning of the experience that seemed to continually give feedback that it was reset in the middle of a sequence, surprising all of us when we completed it and were allowed to continue.

P.T. Railways: Rebel Run 
was a solid escape room and certainly worth the trip if you are in the Hartford, Connecticut region.

Continue reading “Puzzle Theory – P.T. Railways: Rebel Run [Review]”

Exit the Game – Kidnapped in Fortune City [Hivemind Review]

Kidnapped in Fortune City is a tabletop escape game created by Exit: The Game.

Looking for holiday gifts? Find Kidnapped in Fortune City and other great games in the Room Escape Artist Holiday Gift Guide – 2021.

Exit: Kidnapped in Fortune City box depicts the old west. A sheriff's badge laying on the ground.

Format

Style of Play: tabletop escape game

Who is it For?

  • Puzzle lovers
  • Any experience level

Required Equipment: pen & paper

No scissors were needed, which is unusual for this series.

It is helpful to take notes in this game, as you collect information from the locations and characters.

Recommended Team Size: 1-3

Play Time: 1.5-2 hours

Price: about $15

Booking: purchase and play at your leisure

Description

The sheriff of Fortune City disappeared after a gold robbery, and it was our job to search the town, interview witnesses, solve the crime, and find the sheriff. We had more materials to help us than in other Exit: The Game installments: a map of the city, the sheriff’s notebook, clue cards, a set of “strange items,” several location pamphlets to explore one at a time, and a decoder wheel for entering the solutions to puzzles. Because this was a higher difficulty game, the puzzles were not presented linearly, and we had to determine what game pieces to use for each puzzle. As in all Exit: The Game installments, we had to use game pieces in unexpected ways, but there was not as much destruction in this game as in others.

Game contents include a number of old west themed items.
Continue reading “Exit the Game – Kidnapped in Fortune City [Hivemind Review]”

True Clue – The Eighth Wonder [Hivemind Review]

The Eighth Wonder is a print-and-play game created by True Clue.

An illustration of a bronze age port with the Colossus standing over it.

Format

Style of Play:

  • play on demand
  • print-and-play

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

Recommended Team Size: 1-3

Play Time: about 2 hours

Price: $20, or $16 with a coupon earned for solving a sample puzzle on their home page

Booking: purchase and play at your leisure

Description

Players will print the puzzle book. Each puzzle is introduced on the website, has some paper component, and the user enters the solution on the website to proceed to the next puzzle.

Exit: The Game – The Cursed Labyrinth [Hivemind Review]

The Cursed Labyrinth is a tabletop escape game created by Exit: The Game.

Exit The Game, The Cursed Labyrinth box art with a stone maze structure on the cover.

Format

Style of Play: tabletop escape game

Required Equipment: scissors, pen & paper

A phone is not required but there is an app with a timer and background sounds.

Recommended Team Size: 1-4

Play Time: 1-2 hours

Price: about $15

Booking: purchase and play at your leisure

Description

While touring the grounds of a castle, you wander into a mysterious labyrinth and become trapped with only your puzzle-solving skills to save you. Your adventure follows the standard format for novice Exit: The Game installments.

You have access to a puzzle book, clue cards, various “strange items,” and a decoder wheel for entering the solutions to puzzles. In the novice games like this one, the puzzle book walks you through one puzzle at a time. As in all Exit: The Game installments, you must embrace destroying various parts of the game to solve some of the puzzles, though this installment preserves more components than most.

Assorted game components including a maze, a solution wheel, card deck, and instructions.

Cindi S’ Reaction

During a visit to an ancient castle, you discover a mysterious stone labyrinth in the nearby gardens. Unable to resist, you walk through the entry gate to explore further and quickly become trapped as the doors slam shut! In The Cursed Labyrinth, you will meet mysterious creatures as you puzzle your way through the maze’s twists and turns. I always enjoy the sound effects in the companion app, and for the first time they added a character voice reading the introduction, which immediately brought the story to life. The puzzles were fun to discover and solve, as always, but a few had more direction than usual, making The Cursed Labyrinth less challenging than other Exit: The Game installments. This is a very good choice for younger players and beginners, but experienced players will still enjoy their path through the Labyrinth.

Kate Wastl’s Reaction

During a tour of an old castle, you and your friends find yourself trapped in a complicated maze with all sorts of creatures in Exit: The Game’s The Cursed Labyrinth. With two or three reaches that stretch past the Novice rating on the box, this game would be most appropriate for a group of 2-4 people (including a few adults) that have played at least one Exit: The Game installment before. There were several puzzles executed with new game mechanics that will interest even those people who have played a number of games in this series before. That being said, while Exit Game installments are typically translated flawlessly into English, there is one hint card that notes to pay attention to text in cursive, which is incorrect and may be misleading.*

*Update October 21, 2021: This translation issue has been fixed in subsequent printings.

Theresa W’s Reaction

The Exit: The Game series is usually a fairly positive experience for me, usually containing clever puzzles and fun interactions that break from my expectations, given the game components. The Cursed Labyrinth lived up to its ‘cursed’ title and was one of the weakest additions to the Exit: The Game series so far. From vague extractions that weren’t well clued to arbitrary deciphering to lack of signposting, this game fell apart. While a handful of puzzles were easy to solve, they felt more like a process and less like solving a puzzle. The game had either extremely easy but satisfying solves, or poorly executed difficult puzzles, with none of them quite landing in the middle. Each puzzle in the game was a good idea, and could have been a cleaner solve, but in the current state, I really cannot recommend The Cursed Labyrinth. If you’re looking to pick up a title in the series, I’d recommend The Enchanted Forest or The Gate Between Worlds.

Sarah Mendez’s Reaction

This was a solidly average Exit: The Game installment with no major flaws, but also no major wow moments. The setting of a “cursed labyrinth” offered coherent mythological theming throughout the game, but resulted in visually murky game materials. All of the puzzles were reasonable with fairly obvious cluing, though a couple required us to reason about game mechanics in ways that benefitted from familiarity with those mechanics. There was also a surprising red herring, which was rather unusual for the series and was particularly disappointing in this case because we were otherwise intrigued by it.

New to Exit: The Game? Maybe don’t start here. Although some puzzles provide decent onramps to the series’s mechanics, there are too many that expect more familiarity with those mechanics than a first-time player is likely to develop within their first play.

Fan of Exit: The Game? If you gravitate toward the easier, more linear installments in the series, this game is a fine choice with a couple of interesting twists on game mechanics. Don’t expect anything mind-blowing, and you’ll have a nice time.

Disclosure: Exit: The Game provided the Hivemind reviewers with a complimentary play.

Support Room Escape Artist’s Mission

There are lots of ways to support Room Escape Artist, like buying from Amazon, Etsy, or Art of Play after clicking into the links included in this post or backing us on Patreon.

The money that we make from these helps us to grow the site and continue to add more value to the community that we love so much.