Enibot – The Vaccine Chase [Hivemind Review]

The Vaccine Chase is an online game played through a chatbot created by Enibot, based in Israel.

In-game animation of people in a medical lab.

Format

Style of Play:

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

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection

Recommended Team Size: 1-2

Play Time: ~30 minutes

Price: $20 per ticket (per game on a single computer with up to 6 players)

Booking: purchase and play at your leisure

Description

Playing through a chatbot, we had to solve puzzles to usher a research scientist from their lab to the CDC to deliver a COVID-19 vaccine formula.

Note that although the subject matter is sensitive to many people at this time – the game pulls in real-time COVID-19 data and puzzle answers are dynamic – it also treats the material respectfully.

Chat and animation based UI for Enibot.

Hivemind Review Scale

Mystery City – The Monuments Mission [Hivemind Review]

The Monuments Mission is a point-and-click-style game created by Mystery City Games in Amsterdam.

The Monuments Mission logo from Mystery City includes an assortment of documents and keys.

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 and paper

Recommended Team Size: 1-3

Play Time: no timer, but play time is about 1-2 hours

Price: €18 per group

Booking: purchase and play at your leisure

Description

In this game, you follow the story of the Monuments Men as they complete various missions to retrieve artwork that was stolen by the Nazis in World War II. Each mission slowly unfolds through alternating story and puzzle sections. The puzzles involve light point-and-click interactions with maps, photographs, and other objects. Overall, there are six missions (plus training), and each mission contains around 5 puzzles.

It was unclear how best to collaborate remotely to play this game. Some of our reviewers opted to play together over Google meet with each player running their own version of the game simultaneously.

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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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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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Sherlocked – The Vault Online [Hivemind Review]

The Vault Online is a real-life escape room livestreamed and played through an avatar, created by Sherlocked in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Room Escape Artist reviewed the real-life version of this game in May of 2017 and awarded it a 2017 Golden Lock Award. This is a review of the online adaptation.

View of a masked person through a webcam.

Format

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

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection, mobile device

At least one teammate has to call a European number and use WhatsApp.

Recommended Team Size: 2-5

Play Time: 90 minutes

Price: €149 per team

Booking: book online for a specific time slot

Description

The Vault Online is an adaptation of the real-life game The Vault. It has been substantially changed to fit the online format. In this avatar-led version, the host livestreams the game through Whereby (video conferencing similar to Zoom). You direct the avatar within the set, and also perform some ARG-like solving on the internet, accessing social media and emails, and sending texts.

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