Society of Curiosities – Mysterious Map Heist [Hivemind Review]

Note: At the time we played, this was a free experience and the reviews reflect that perception. Since the introductory period ended on September 1, this experience is now $12, and with it you get a $12 credit towards a regular Society of Curiosities purchase.

Mysterious Map Heist is a light puzzle hunt created by Society of Curiosities. This is a teaser promoting their shipped experiences. We look forward to reviewing that soon.


Style of Play: light puzzle hunt

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection, mobile device

Recommended Team Size: 1-3

Play Time: There is no time limit. The website says 30-90 minutes and it took us about 50 minutes at a relaxed pace.

Price: free!

Booking: click to register and play


You will use the internet and text messages to correspond with the grandmaster of a secret society to uncover clues that will lead you to recovering a hidden map. It’s a light online puzzle hunt. So be prepared to Google stuff and decipher text.

The game is billed as being playable by 1-4 players, but there is no single interface to do so. I set up a Zoom meeting so we could play together. We also had to use a mobile device to communicate with the “society.” I ended up doing that and sharing the links with the teammates. It was clunky. There is supposedly a text message mechanism you can use to communicate with your teammates, but it wasn’t clear how to get it started and we didn’t use it.

Drawins, maps, paintings, and a wax sealing stamp.

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Colorado Gold Rush Puzzle Challenge [Hivemind Review]

Colorado Gold Rush Puzzle Challenge is a free light puzzle hunt game created by a group of escape room companies in and around Denver, CO.

Illustration of a cryptex over the entrance to a mine.


Style of Play: light puzzle hunt

Required Equipment: computer with an internet connection

Recommended Team Size: 1-3

Play Time: no time limit, expect to spend about 90 minutes

Price: free

Booking: go to the website and start playing

You must complete Colorado Gold Rush Puzzle Challenge by August 31st to win the prize: exclusive discounts at participating escape room companies.


Each of 10 escape room companies created a puzzle around the Colorado Gold Rush theme. Solving each puzzle yielded a word or phrase. Once you had all 10 solutions, you entered them into a final submission.

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Great Gotham Challenge – CTRL/ALT/DECODE Chapter 2 [Hivemind Review]

CTRL/ALT/DECODE Chapter 2 is a puzzle hunt game created by Great Gotham Challenge in New York City. This review covers only Chapter 2, which took place in July 2020. (Chapter 1 took place in May 2020.)

A person in a cyber-punk scene whereing neon goggles, obscuring his identity.


Style of Play: puzzle hunt

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection

Recommended Team Size: 4

Play Time: 3 hours

Price: $40 for a team of 4 players

Booking: This event has concluded, but you can subscribe to the Great Gotham Challenge to learn about future events.


CTRL/ALT/DECODE Chapter 2 began and ended in a group Zoom call. Then teams used a specific Great Gotham Challenge website – and the rest of the internet – to solve the puzzles laid out before them, working on one puzzle at a time. Once a team solved a puzzle, they input the answer into the online app and if correct, automatically received the next clue.

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Eric Berlin – The Social Distancing Puzzles [Hivemind Review]

The Social Distancing Puzzles is a print-and-play word puzzle game played collaboratively with a partner, created by Eric Berlin.

A puzzle grid of interconnected hexagons each made up from 6 triangles.


Style of Play: print-and-play word puzzle game played collaboratively with a partner

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

The documents are meant to be printed and split between two players.

Recommended Team Size: designed to by played by 2 players

Play Time: anywhere from 3-10 hours

Price: a donation to Feeding America

Booking: Make a donation to Feeding America. Take a screenshot of your receipt. Upload your receipt, then enter your e-mail address. You’ll soon receive an e-mail with links to the puzzles.


This is a series of ten independent word puzzles with an eleventh metapuzzle that relies on the answers of the previous ten. The puzzle collection is designed for two players (or two teams.) Each player receives the same instructions per puzzle but a different set of information. You must communicate with your partner to share the necessary information.

If English is not your native language, these puzzles will be incredibly challenging, and at times tedious, especially when phonetics and pronunciation are relevant.

A puzzle grid of hexagons, many of them numbered.

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Bewilderingly – Escape the Grid [Hivemind Review]

Escape the Grid is a set of crossword puzzles with individual metapuzzles and a final metapuzzle created by Bewilderingly.

A crossword grid. Some squares have unusual circles in them.


Style of Play: 10-crossword puzzle suite, each with a metapuzzle leading to the next crossword puzzle

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection and either a printer, pen, and paper, or digital crossword software

These are PDFs designed for print solving, but you can also solve on screen. There is a .puz file included for use in digital crossword software. Across Lite worked well.

Recommended Team Size: 1-2

Play Time: There is no game clock. It took anywhere from 3-6 hours total to solve everything.

Price: pay what you want

Booking: buy and play at your leisure


Although this is called Escape the Grid, it is not an escape room; it is a series of crossword puzzles, presented with light storytelling and gating that is influenced by escape rooms. Players will solve a crossword puzzle, and then use that solved crossword to solve a metapuzzle that extracts the 4-letter word that will unlock the next crossword puzzle. There are 10 total crosswords with metapuzzles. These all culminate in a final metapuzzle.

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