Puzzling Hunts – Sleighlink II: Santa’s Secret Mission [Hivemind Review]

Sleighlink II: Santa’s Secret Mission is a light puzzle hunt created by Puzzling Hunts in Boston, MA.

Comic of Santa landing backwards on a roof. A reindeer is saying, "He's trying a sleighlink II landing."

Format

Style of Play: light puzzle hunt

Required Equipment: ClueKeeper app installed on a mobile device

Recommended Team Size: 1-4

Play Time: No time limit; the game recommends 2-3 hours, but our reviewers finished much more quickly

Price: $18 per team

Booking: purchase through ClueKeeper and play at your leisure

Description

This is a linear puzzle hunt delivered via the ClueKeeper app. It comes with a companion PDF that contains several common codes. To solve the puzzles, you often must refer to this PDF or to the internet for more information. When one team member solves a puzzle, all players receive the solution information.

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Edaqa’s Room – Carnival [Hivemind Review]

Carnival is a point-and-click adventure game created by Edaqa’s Room.

An illustration of a ticket booth at a carnival. Rides are in the background.

Format

Style of Play: point-and-click adventure game

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection

Recommended Team Size: 1-4

Play Time: 1 hour (but you have up to 15 days to play)

Price: $12.50 per team

Booking: Upon purchase you gain immediate access to the game in the browser and can play at your leisure.

Description

This is a point-and-click game with synchronous inputs. All players individually navigate through different screens and interact with objects. If one player solves a puzzle, all players are notified, and the puzzle is no longer available to others.

An intro to the carnival challenging the player to determine if a legend is true.

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Logic Locks – The Amsterdam Catacombs Online [Hivemind Review]

The Amsterdam Catacombs Online is a real-life escape room livestreamed and played through an avatar, created by Logic Locks in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Room Escape Artist has a review of The Amsterdam Catacombs in its original format from June 2018. It won a 2018 Golden Lock Award.

This is a review of the digital adaptation of the same game.

Exterior of the Posthoorn church at Haarlemmerstraat.

Format

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

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection

Recommended Team Size: 2-5

Play Time: 90 minutes

Price: €140 per team ($165)

Booking: book online for a specific time slot

Description

You’re helping out a journalist who has read a lot about the catacombs beneath this one church. He wants to see it for himself, but locked doors hinder him. You help him out via stream, but then you figure out the demonic secrets of those catacombs.

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Exit: The Game – House of Riddles [Hivemind Review]

House of Riddles is a tabletop escape game created by Exit: The Game.

The assorted items from House of Riddles laid on the floor.

Format

Style of Play: tabletop escape game

Required Equipment: scissors, pen & paper

A mobile device isn’t strictly necessary, but there is an optional companion app.

Recommended Team Size: 1-3

Play Time: about 60 minutes

Price: ~$15

Description

This game uses the standard format for novice Exit: The Game games. You have access to a puzzle book, clue cards, various “strange items”, and a decoder wheel for entering the solutions to puzzles. In the novice games like this one, the puzzle book walks you through one puzzle at a time. As in all Exit games, you must embrace destroying various parts of the game to solve some of the puzzles.

Room Escape Artist has reviewed many games in the Exit: The Game series. Our first review in the series explains the core mechanics and structure of play in greater detail.

Gaggle Studios – Return of the Mayan Curse [Hivemind Review]

Return of the Mayan Curse is a collaborative, multiplayer point-and-click adventure game created by Gaggle Studios.

Mayan temple exterior, a tall set of stone stairs approaching a temple entrance.

Format

Style of Play: point-and-click with multiplayer support and integrated video conferencing

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection (mandatory), webcam (optional), microphone (mandatory), headphones (highly recommended)

Also, a mouse is recommended over a trackpad.

The game requires you to download a client. It’s relatively small and the website lists the minimum computer specifications.

Recommended Team Size: 2-4

Play Time: The game clock is 60 minutes, but the game key gives you a 120-minute connection to play.

Price: $29.99 for up to 4 players

Booking: Purchase a game key, download and install the software, and play at your leisure.

Description

Collaborate with up to 3 other teammates – each on their own device – to click around the rooms and solve puzzles; communication is a must.

Audio and video streams funnel through the game, so you can see and hear your remote teammates within the game itself. Every player watches synchronized cutscenes, and then explores independently and interacts with the items they find. When one player solves a puzzle or takes an item, everyone else’s view changes accordingly, keeping everyone in sync.

Collapsed floor inside the temple.

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