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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Leenook – L’Équation [Hivemind Review]

L’Équation is a point-and-click adaptation of an in-person game. The original game was created by Sauve Qui Peut, in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, Canada. It was translated into a digital format by Leenook.

Leenook interface with built-in video chat and 360 photo of an office.

Format

Style of Play:

  • Adaptation of an in-person game (can be played IRL)
  • Point-and-click

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection

This interface was very particular about browser window aspect ratio. We recommend a large screen, if possible.

Recommended Team Size: 2-4

Play Time: 60 minutes

Price: $23 CAD per player

Booking: book online for a specific time

Description

This was a faithful point-and-click adaptation of the real-life escape room L’Équation at Sauve Qui Peut. We navigated 360-degree photos of the gamespace. When we clicked on things in the environment either a photo, video, or locking mechanism displayed.

There was a live host to provide support. Every player had their own version of the game, so every person needed to open every lock in order to progress together. There were built-in pause screens that told faster players to wait for their teammates.

Illustration of a locker lock.

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Trapped Puzzle Rooms – Spirit Train [Hivemind Review]

Spirit Train is an audio game created by Trapped Puzzle Rooms in St. Paul, MN.

Illustration of a cartoon train with arms on a track. A bird flies overhead.

Format

Style of Play:

  • Online native experience (can NOT be played IRL)
  • Audio game

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection.

You’ll need Discord. The desktop app works best.

Recommended Team Size: 3-4

Play Time: 2 hours

Price: $28

Booking: book online for a specific time slot

Description

Spirit Train is an audio game, run in Discord. The gamemaster describes the scene, characters, and objects in the story. You tell them what you would like to do or examine, or to whom you’d like to speak, and they tell you what happens after you take that action. It’s a bit like a role-playing game, but with more puzzles.

In addition to the audio narration of the story and puzzles, artwork is displayed in a text channel.

The host improvises with players and whatever ideas they come up with.

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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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Les Enfants Terribles – Sherlock Holmes: An Online Adventure – The Case of the Hung Parliament [Hivemind Review]

Sherlock Holmes: An Online Adventure – The Case of the Hung Parliament is a digital theatrical game, designed for digital play, created by Les Enfants Terribles in London, England.

A beautiful old desk covered in documents, artifacts, and a pipe.
Image via Les Enfants Terribles

Format

Style of Play: digital theatrical game, designed for digital play, combining point-and-click adventure game, audio-visual experience, and Zoom

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection

Multiple screens were helpful during this experience. We also recommend the use of google drive to coordinate intelligence among team members.

Recommended Team Size: 4-6

Play Time: 80 minutes

Price: £15 per person / £90 for a private group of up 6 people

Booking: book online for a specific time slot

Description

We were hosted live by Watson over Zoom, then let loose in a series 360-degree photos of crime scenes. We had to discover clues, interpret their meaning, and determine the suspect, their methods, and their motivations. This was not an escape game. Also, web searching and outside knowledge are encouraged.

Sherlock Holmes smoking his pipe.
Image via Les Enfants Terribles

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