David Kwong’s Enigmas [Hivemind Review]

Enigmas is a puzzle hunt produced by David Kwong, Dave Shukan & Chris Chelko.

The ace of spaces from David Kwong's Enigmas deck.

Format

Style of Play:

  • Play on demand
  • Puzzle hunt
  • Print-and-play

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection

Recommended Team Size: 1-4

Play Time: There’s no game clock. Expect upwards of 30 hours play time.

Price: $18

Booking: purchase and play at your leisure

Description

This deck of cards has embedded puzzles that lead you to an online web portal, where you can download a pdf of a much longer puzzle hunt.

The puzzle hunt consists of 8 self-contained puzzles and 1 metapuzzle. Each puzzle comes with a brief enigmatic explanation of what to do with a provided set of clues, diagrams, and/ or pictures. The explanation isn’t complete on its own, though; you must either analyze the information and deduce the full set of instructions yourself or consult the extensive set of hints. Indeed, you are encouraged to use hints liberally. Each puzzle yields a word or phrase that you enter into the website for verification.

The elegant blue and grey box art for David Kwong's Enigmas deck.

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The Chernobyl Septology [Hivemind Review]

The Chernobyl Septology is a light online puzzle hunt created by Wild Child in Israel.

This review is based on chapters 1-3 of this 7-part series, released episodically from March 24 – May 5, 2021.

A photo in Google Street view of the ruins of Chernobyl.

Format

Style of Play:

  • Online native experience (can NOT be played IRL)
  • Play on demand
  • Light puzzle hunt

Required Equipment: computer with an internet connection

Make sure your computer can load the 360-degree images. Also, it’ll be helpful if you set up an online drawing collaboration tool that all team members can draw on.

Recommended Team Size: 2-4

Play Time: about 60-90 minutes per chapter (for each of the first 3 chapters)

Price: $30 per team (up to 5 connections) for all 7 chapters. This discounted price is available through April 2021. Starting in May 2021, the price is $60 per team.

Booking: purchase and play at your leisure

Description

Players log into the website and assemble their team. You can then select a mission from the chapter you want to solve, and you’re taken to an image of the puzzle to solve, along with a Google Earth link that you need to research to find the puzzle solution. Most solutions are a single English word.

Chapter 1 title card: Core Galore

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clueQuest – Print + Cut + Escape: Operation E.G.G. [Hivemind Review]

Print + Cut + Escape: Operation E.G.G. is a print-and-play escape game created by clueQuest in London, England.

Incredibly adorable puppy with a paper puzzle piece in her mouth.
Ginger The Goblin Pup is all in on chewable puzzles

Format

Style of Play:

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

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection, printer, scissors, pen, and paper

Recommended Team Size: 2-4

Play Time: ~90 minutes

Price: £15

Booking: purchase and play at your leisure

Description

First you download and print a PDF. Then you play along with a step-by-step web-based interface. The online interface accompanies the printed and cut pieces, and both work in tandem to advance the story.

Assorted printed puzzle components.

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Mystery Mansion Regina – Seen [Hivemind Review]

Seen is a livestreamed adaptation of an in-person game created by Mystery Mansion Regina in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.

In game, a person against a wall casting shadow puppets over zoom.

Format

Style of Play:

  • Adaptation of an in-person game (can be played IRL)
  • Avatar controlled by the players
  • Web-based inventory system
  • Interactive NPC + aspects of immersive theater

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection

Recommended Team Size: 3-6

Play Time: 75 minutes

Price: $25 CA per person

Booking: book online for a specific time slot

Description

This is an avatar-led game with interactive Telescape inventory system. It is a livestreamed version of a real escape room, modified to be a raunchy parody of the format.

You are dropped into the scenario about as diegetically as you can be with an online game.

Not family-friendly! Make sure your entire team is ok with adult language. It will also help if at least one of your teammates is outgoing and willing to interact with an improv actor.

Even though it is a play on the Saw movies, it was not scary at all.

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Improbable Escapes – Neverland: Heist on the High Seas [Hivemind Review]

Neverland: Heist on the High Seas is a livestreamed adaptation of an in-person escape room, by Improbable Escapes in Kingston, ON.

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: 3-4

Play Time: 60 minutes

Price: $28.25 CAD per player

Booking: book online for a specific time slot

Description

This an avatar-led escape game with a kid-friendly theme and puzzles.

There is an inventory website where you see photos of the room and puzzles. Occasionally you type a password into the website to reveal more photos. Other than that, the livestream is through Zoom, as usual.

In-game: Interior of a pirate ship. A large chest sits in the middle.

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