Escape Hunt – Alice in Puzzleland [Hivemind Review]

Alice in Puzzleland is an avatar-led, livestream adaptation of an in-person game created by Escape Hunt in the UK.

Silhouette of Alice in a card suit dress. Image labeled, "We're all mad here."

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: 2-4

Play Time: 60 minutes

Price: £80 – £120 per team, depending on team size

Booking: book online for a specific time slot

Description

The avatar is our hands and eyes through Zoom, as usual. There is a Google Doc serving as an inventory, where we see more detailed images of certain objects we find.

A vibrant and cartoonish blue house.

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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.

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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.

Hivemind Review Scale