YouEscape – A Twist of Time [Hivemind Review]

A Twist of Time is the 13th game in a collection of avatar-led games created by YouEscape in Athens, Greece.

A blue table with a few locked boxes, a 75 minute timer, strange art with labels, and an odd transparent box.

Format

Style of Play:

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

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection, pen and paper

Expect to have multiple tabs open, plus Zoom, and to be switching back and forth between everything. Multiple screens would also be helpful.

Recommended Team Size: 2-4

Play Time: 70 minutes

Price: $30/month for a YouEscape Patreon membership which includes 1 game per month

Booking: book online for a specific time slot

Description

Once connected to Zoom, players get a brief introduction from the gamemaster. Then they are given a link to a Google Drive folder as well as a camera feed of boxes to unlock and props to interact with. The game begins by examining the contents of the folder, solving the puzzles within (sometimes by using outside internet resources), and following the puzzle path from there.

Editor’s note: YouEscape recommends players start with their easier games and progress through the games in order. Here are our reviews of some of their earlier games. I elected for REA to jump to a later game to see more of the series. Some of the writers contributing to this piece had more experience with YouEscape than others.

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The Escape Game – The Mysterious Benedict Society [Hivemind Review]

The Mysterious Benedict Society is a free avatar-led escape game to promote the Disney+ show of the same name. It was created by The Escape Game in Nashville, TN.

An ornate hallway with portraits and many curious objects.

Format

Style of Play:

  • Online native experience (can NOT be played IRL)
  • Avatar controlled by the players
  • Web-based inventory system

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection

Recommended Team Size: 2-4

Play Time: 45 minutes

Price: This was a free event, promoting an upcoming Disney+ series.

Booking: book online for a specific time slot

Description

This was a typical livestreamed escape room, played via Zoom with the gamemaster as the avatar. It included a separate custom inventory interface that kept track of locks in a separate list, and played game-related videos.

Closeup of a bell in a box.

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The Escape Game – Rugrats: Search for the Losted Toys Remote Adventure [Hivemind Review]

Rugrats: Search for the Losted Toys Remote Adventure is a livestreamed adaptation of an in-person escape game created by The Escape Game.

We also reviewed the real-life experience, offered in King of Prussia, PA, and Las Vegas, NV.

Zoom view of a pair of hands assembling a jigsaw puzzle.

Format

Style of Play:

  • Adaptation of an in-person game (can be played IRL)
  • Avatar controlled by the players
  • Web-based inventory system

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection

Recommended Team Size: 3-5

There’s no minimum player count, but you must purchase a minimum of 4 spots to reserve a game Monday – Friday and a minimum of 5 spots to reserve a game on Saturday and Sunday.

Play Time: 60 minutes

Price: $35 per person

Booking: book online for a specific time slot

Description

In celebration of the Rugrats 30th Anniversary, The Escape Game partnered with Nickelodeon to create this game, which can be played in person and as a remote adventure. This is a review of the remote adventure.

We played on a livestream through Zoom. We had a custom inventory page where we could keep track of found objects and which locks we still needed to open. The Escape Game also provided us background pictures to spice up our Zoom!

We were in the Rugrats house and backyard for the game, playing puzzles with the babysitter as the avatar (non-speaking), with a gamemaster added in Zoom only.

Angelica had tricked all the babies by hiding their favorite toys. Unfortunately, she’d also misplaced her own beloved doll Cynthia. We had to step in and save the playtime before Grandpa Lou woke up from his nap.

Zoom view of a crossword puzzle on an animated window.

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Swamp Motel – Plymouth Point [Hivemind Review]

Plymouth Point is an online game with elements of puzzle hunt and ARG, created by Swamp Motel.

An older woman on Zoom.

Format

Style of Play:

  • Online native experience (can NOT be played IRL)
  • Light puzzle hunt
  • Video-based experience

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection

Recommended Team Size: 2-4

Play Time: 75 minutes

Price: $75 for a group of 2-6 players

Booking: book online for a specific time slot

Description

Plymouth Point is an online experience that included a Zoom call with sleuthing around the internet. In the Zoom meeting we had an introduction by the main character (gamemaster). Then we went bouncing around the web using Facebook, websites developed by the game, Google Earth, etc. to track the missing person and solve the mystery. To solve certain clues, we needed a phone (call) and a Facebook login. This game required a large amount of screen sharing via Zoom as we visited all these websites.

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Clue Chase – Scarab’s Curse [Hivemind Review]

Scarab’s Curse is a web-based puzzle game created by Clue Chase in New York City.

A panoramic view of art and hieroglyphics in an ancient Egyptian tomb.

Format

Style of Play:

  • Online native experience (can NOT be played IRL)
  • Play on demand
  • Web-based puzzle game

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection, pen and paper, mobile device

One puzzle requires you to call a US phone number.

Recommended Team Size: 1-4

Play Time: 1-2 hours

Price: $20 per team

Booking: purchase and play at your leisure

Description

This game takes place on a website where you get a bit of the plot, solve a puzzle, enter the solution and then get to the next page (and the process repeats). Sometimes you find clues for later puzzles that you need to write down because you can’t return to a page once you leave it. It does have a hint system, but no gamemaster. Be prepared to read a lot in this game.

A video crew filming in an Egyptian tomb reads, Congratulations, for finding the murderer!

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