Lost in a Jigsaw: The Diagonal Maze Puzzle [Review]

Tell me Sarah, what do you think of my labyrinth?  

Location:  at home

Date Played:  May 2021

Team size: we recommend 1-4

Duration: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Price: about $25

Publisher:  Buffalo

REA Reaction

Lost in a Jigsaw: The Diagonal Maze Puzzle was a challenging twist on a traditional jigsaw puzzle. It had “I Spy” elements that reminded me of The Magic Puzzle Company, though it seemed to have been produced much earlier (1997!). Given that every piece fit with any other, this puzzle was challenging, and demands your absolute focus.

Once you’ve completed the challenge of assembling the puzzle, it is up to you to escape from the maze you find yourself trapped in the center of.

If you’re a skilled jigsaw puzzler looking for a difficult jigsaw puzzle that doesn’t take up too much space, I recommend Lost in a Jigsaw: The Diagonal Maze Puzzle. Solving it made me want to solve this puzzle’s sequel.

Closeup of Trapped in a Jigsaw assembled, it looks like a fantastical garden maze.

Who is this for?

  • Jigsaw puzzle lovers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Players with at least some experience

Why play?

  • Incredible attention to detail
  • It’s more than just a jigsaw
A pile of jigsaw puzzle pieces almost all of them have them same cuts.
Continue reading “Lost in a Jigsaw: The Diagonal Maze Puzzle [Review]”

BibRave – Run to Escape: Mission Mt. Olympus [Hivemind Review]

Update July 7, 2021: Note that since this review published BibRave released a less expensive mini version of this experience. See the comments.

Run to Escape: Mission Mt. Olympus is a digital experience that mixes running with puzzles.

Homepage for Run to Escape: Mt. Olympus by Runkeeper. An assortment of illustrated god-characters are scattered about.

Format

Style of Play:

  • Play on demand
  • Audio game

Required Equipment: mobile device with the RunKeeper app, running shoes

Headphones are technically optional, but highly recommended.

Recommended Team Size: 1

Play Time: No timer on each race – run or walk at your own pace. Total of 27 miles across all the races.

Price: $75 per player

Booking: purchase and play at your leisure

Description

You’re tasked with helping Atalanta prove to the Olympian gods and goddesses that she deserves to be on Mt. Olympus. To do so, you accept the challenge of 6 gods/ goddesses and complete a series of races.

This is a single-player audio game intended to take place over the course of several different runs and post-workout follow ups.

After signing up for each race in Runkeeper, you lace up your sneakers and prepare for your cardio workout. During each run, a god will talk to you through your headphones, providing some story, entertainment, and clues for the puzzle you’ll be able to solve once you finish the race and make it back to your computer. These puzzles are of easy-to-medium difficulty. The solution to the puzzle is the access code to the next race. When all races are over, solve the metapuzzle to get into the afterparty where you have access to discounts and giveaways.

Page reads, "Get to know the gods." 8 illustrations of modern interpretations of the Gods of Olympus are illustrated.

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BH Escape – The Mystery of Santos Dumont [Hivemind Review]

The Mystery of Santos Dumont is an avatar-led adaptation of a real-life escape game played over livestream, created by BH Escape in Santo Antônio, Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

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: 2-4

Play Time: 60 minutes

Price: ~$50 per team

Booking: book online for a specific time slot

Description

This is a standard avatar-led experience plus a companion website for verifying codes (that the avatar still needs to unlock physically), viewing information, and tracking unopened locks.

Avatar view of an escape room with antique furniture. A large locked chest is in frame.

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Scott Weiss’s Virtual Escape Rooms – Book Smart [Hivemind Review]

Book Smart is an audio escape game created by Scott Weiss.

Wired, over-ear headphones laying on a surface.

Format

Style of Play:

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

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection, pen & paper

Recommended Team Size: 3-5

Play Time: 2 hours

Price: Pay-what-you-want with a recommended $15 per player (as payment to the creator or donation to a charity)

Booking: fill out the form to book at a specific time

Description

This is an audio room with accompanying Google drive links. The host provides a map of the space, and then describes areas as you request them. Most of the game is solving puzzles provided as Google documents, with some puzzle interactions handled by asking the host questions or describing your actions.

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Murder Mystery Dinner Party – Mystery, Incorporated! [Hivemind Review]

Mystery, Incorporated! is a Scooby-Doo-themed murder mystery game played in Zoom, created by Murder Mystery Dinner Party.

Player post-game, everyone is dressed like Scooby characters.

Format

Style of Play:

  • Online native experience (can NOT be played IRL)
  • Interactive NPCs
  • Immersive theater

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection, pen & paper

It helps to print out the inventory sheet that’s emailed to you before the game.

Recommended Team Size: 6 players

We recommend you bring your own group to this one, rather than joining a public booking.

Play Time: 90-120 minutes

Price: We cannot find this information published anywhere. We recommend contacting the company for pricing.

Booking: book online for a specific time slot OR purchase and play at your leisure

Description

The game worked by getting everyone in a Zoom call, taking pictures in costume with imaginary props, giving a light description of why we were all gathered here, and intermittently breaking out into Zoom breakout rooms in order to “solve the mystery.”

When we were invited into the breakout rooms, it was only with our “team,” either the Gang or the Cronies. You got together with your team several times in order to “investigate the murder” aka look at a 60-second “video” (best as I can tell this was an image with candle flickers) and try to note the items that you saw in the image that were also on your tracking sheet.

During these breakout sessions, you’d ask the breakout room host questions about the image and you’d receive a short description of the space related to that item. Repeat until you’d asked to assess all of the evidence you’d found and determined who you’d accuse as the murderer.

The investigations in the breakout rooms formed the basis of the information that we needed to solve the mystery. If we didn’t get all the information, there was no way to go back.

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