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.

Mojec Hyper Industries – Dracula’s New Friends [Hivemind Review]

Dracula’s New Friends is a live-hosted point-and-click game created by Mojec Hyper Industries.

Illustration of a grand study with large statues and an animal pelt rug.

Format

Style of Play:

  • Online native experience (can NOT be played IRL)
  • Point-and-click within Telescape
  • Interactive NPCs

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection

Recommended Team Size: 2-4

Play Time: 65 minutes

Price: $25 per person

Booking: book online for a specific time slot

Description

Dracula’s New Friends combines point-and-click gameplay (run within the Telescape game engine) and live interaction with characters through Zoom. There are numerous puzzles and activities that allow you to advance from location to location in a version of the classic vampire story.

Host character with an illustrated live background of a chair.

Enibot – Mission: Mars [Hivemind Review]

Mission: Mars is an online game played through a chatbot created by Enibot, based in Israel.

A news report about traveling to Mars beside a text chat with a bot.

Format

Style of Play:

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

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection

Note that you need a strong internet connection to load this game. Also, be sure to follow the guidelines for an incognito Chrome browser.

If your game is unable to load at any stage, it will automatically save and reload where you left off, which we greatly appreciated.

Recommended Team Size: 1-3

Play Time: 45-80 minutes, less for experienced puzzlers

Price: $30 per team

Booking: purchase and play at your leisure

Description

Using a text “chat” interface on the side of a webpage, the game sent us through a series of puzzles revolving around becoming an astronaut and going to Mars. We entered answers into the interface and received images of puzzles to solve next. Some of the puzzles were very point-and-click; others were purely visual.

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.

Hivemind Review Scale

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.

Hivemind Review Scale