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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ThinkFun – A Cold Case: A Story to Die For [Hivemind Review]

A Cold Case: A Story to Die For is a tabletop mystery game created by ThinkFun.

A cat sitting on top of the game's components.

Format

Style of Play:

  • Tabletop mystery game
  • Play on demand

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection

Recommended Team Size: 1-3

Play Time: about 1-2 hours, maybe more with all the reading

Price: ~$15

Booking: purchase and play at your leisure

Description

Your job is to solve an old murder case. To do so, you examine all the evidence in the case file and answer four questions about the particulars of the case. When you have your answers, you input them into a website for confirmation.

There were no “puzzles” along the way to the solution, just reading and comparing evidence. Note that there is a lot of reading.

Cold Case: A Story To Die For cover art and a police report.

Virtual Escaping – Underground Murder [Hivemind Review]

Underground Murder is a collaborative point-and-click game created by Virtual Escaping.

An old, rundown subway platform that is the scene of a crime.

Format

Style of Play:

  • Online native experience (can NOT be played IRL)
  • Play on demand
  • Point-and-click

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection, pen & paper

Recommended Team Size: 2-4

Play Time: 75 minutes, but experienced groups will complete it much more quickly

Price: $28 per team

Booking: purchase and play at your leisure

Description

This is a point-and-click game with built-in video chat, allowing for team members to collaborate via a browser-based system. Solve puzzles by searching, using inventory items, and opening locks. At the end, use the evidence to figure out who the killer is and why they committed the murder.

How to play was a bit confusing. As it turned out, one player purchased the game and received a code that was shared with the other players. There was a location on the site to enter a “voucher” for the game and then everyone was in the same instance and the team could “press start” to play the game.

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escape.exe – The Butterfly Effect [Hivemind Review]

The Butterfly Effect is a point-and-click game created by escape.exe.

An elaborate hall with an invite letter labeled, "You have accepted our invitation."

Format

Style of Play:

  • Online native experience (can NOT be played IRL)
  • Play on-demand
  • Point-and-click

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection, pen & paper

Recommended Team Size: 1-2

Play Time: unlimited, plan on 1.5-2 hours

Price: $10

Booking: purchase and play at your leisure

Description

You are trapped in an art gallery that consists of several rows of paintings. You navigate the gallery using a set of directional buttons, which takes you from painting to painting or from row to row. You can click an “interact” button to interact with some paintings and other objects. When you find clues, you must figure out where and how to enter the information. If you are correct, you trigger various changes in the environment.

You need to play this in one session since it does not save progress. Also, there is no hint system. If you are stuck, you are stuck.

An art gallery like space with installations on walls throughout.

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