Real Escape Games by SCRAP – Escape from the Lockdown: The Strange Village [Hivemind Review]

Escape from the Lockdown: The Strange Village is a digital puzzle game created specifically for online play by Real Escape Games by SCRAP, based in Japan.

To learn more about SCRAP, the first escape room company, check out our interview with them from earlier this week.

A 3x3 video call tile with 9 different characters and a narrator off to the side. The image is captioned, "the village has a few measures in place."

Format

Style of Play: audio-visual experience with puzzle hunt-style puzzles

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection, a pen and paper is also recommended

Recommended Team Size: 2-3

Play Time: unlimited playtime; our reviewers took 1.5 – 3 hours

Price: $27 per ticket

Booking: purchase and play at your leisure

Description

The game consists of “daily” briefing videos where players learn about the game’s characters and their actions. Keeping track of who did what is part of the game play. In between the video segments are short rounds of puzzle book-style puzzles. Everything adds to the information needed to solve the narrative metapuzzle.

Note that the game takes some time because it includes about 45+ minutes of video footage.

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Codebreakers – #MISSING [Hivemind Review]

#MISSING is a light puzzle hunt created by Codebreakers in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Image on Facebook of a woman from behind, a grid of numbers tattooed between her shoulder blades.

Format

Style of Play: light puzzle hunt

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection and a mobile device

Facebook and Instagram are required. You will also need to call an international number (+44); our reviewers used WhatsApp.

Recommended Team Size: 1-3

Play Time: There is no time limit, but probably about 60 – 90 minutes.

Price: NZ$ 20.00 per team

Booking: purchase the game and play at your leisure

Description

This is a puzzle hunt-style game that requires you to interact with multimedia clues (email, Facebook, audio clips, video, etc.) to find clues about a missing woman.

You can play alone or you can set up a Zoom or similar videoconference to play with friends using a screen share. If you screen share, we suggest each player also plays along on their own screen.

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MindTrap Escape Room – Excalibur [Hivemind Review]

Excalibur is a real-life escape room livestreamed and played through an avatar, created by MindTrap Escape Room in California.

Game interface shows clickable buttons to travel between locations, an image of Excalibur in a stone, and a selectable scroll.

Format

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

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection

Recommended Team Size: 3-4

Play Time: 60 minutes

Price: ranging from $80.00 per team of 2 to $200.00 per team of 10

Booking: book online for a specific time slot

Description

This is a standard in-character avatar livestream game, where players see information and puzzles via the video and instruct the avatar in how to solve them. As players, we were helping “Sir Cries-a-lot” find the Excalibur sword. He was quite clumsy so he needed us to help him out.

A caged door with glowing lights beyond it.

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The Box – The Diamond Heist [Hivemind Review]

The Diamond Heist is a real-life escape room livestreamed and played through an avatar, created by The Box in Metz, France.

A mobile website with a photo of someon breaking into a building. Under the image is a prompt for a password.

Format

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

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection, recommended to have a second screen or second device

Recommended Team Size: 2-5

Play Time: 75 minutes

Price: from 20€ per person

Booking: Book online for a specific time slot. This game is available in both French and English, but you may need to email them about English booking availability.

Description

The Diamond Heist is a standard remote avatar-based game that uses Google Drive to share image closeups. You are connected with Bob, your avatar, and you have to help him break into a shop and steal “the blue lion” aka a large diamond.

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Cluetivity – The Pegasus Project [Hivemind Review]

The Pegasus Project is a point-and-click adventure game created by Cluetivity and presented to us by Escape SF in San Francisco, CA.

Video of a PPE-covered person over a bodybag.

Format

Style of Play: point-and-click adventure game

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection

This game cannot be played on a mobile device.

Recommended Team Size: 1-4

Play Time: Listed as 90-120 minutes to complete, but there’s no time limit. Our team of reviewers solved much more quickly.

Price: This game is sold by more than a dozen different companies and their pricing varies enormously. From Escape SF, it costs $39 per team.

Booking: purchase the game and play at your leisure

Description

Using a website interface with some “hacking tools,” videos, and various 3D views, we explored and solved puzzles. The challenges largely revolved around finding information within the game.

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