Improbable Escapes – The Hot Chocolate Incident [Hivemind Review]

The Hot Chocolate Incident is a digital avatar-led escape game, designed for livestream play, created by Improbable Escapes in Kingston, ON.

Santa sitting beside a Christmas tree reading.

Format

Style of Play: digital avatar-led escape game, designed for livestream play

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

Recommended Team Size: 2-5

Play Time: 60 minutes

Price: $25 CAD per player, plus tax.

Booking: book online for a specific time slot

Description

The Hot Chocolate Incident is an avatar-led game hosted in Zoom with a separate website interface for maps, close-up photos, and helpful diagrams. The avatar interacts with a physical space, but the game was designed specifically for online play.

You’ve been recruited to help Jingles the Elf (your in-room avatar) help save Christmas by remotely solving puzzles in Santa’s Workshop.

The control console fo Santa's sleigh.

Hivemind Review Scale

Wild Hare Escapes – The Comedy of Terrors [Hivemind Review]

The Comedy of Terrors is a point-and-click adventure game created by Wild Hare Escapes.

Illustration of a theature audience going mad, a ghostly presence telling them, they are doomed.

Format

Style of Play: point-and-click hosted experience, not synced across player devices

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection

Recommended Team Size: 2-4

Play Time: 75 minutes

Price: $25 per player

Booking: book online for a specific time slot

Description

Using Zoom to communicate with your teammates and the gamemaster, The Comedy of Terrors functions similarly to a point-and-click adventure game made for any video gaming platform. You collect items that are automatically added to your inventory, and click and drag each item to another item in the space to use it. The interface is not synced across devices, so each teammate can simultaneously play locally, or one teammate can screenshare over Zoom for others to watch.

Illustration of the Lincoln Theatre, "The Comedy of Terrors" is showing.

Hivemind Review Scale

Trapped Puzzle Rooms – Heist Heist Baby [Hivemind Review]

Heist Heist Baby is an audio escape game created by Trapped Puzzle Rooms in St. Paul, MN.

Heist Heist Baby logo featuring casino chips.

Format

Style of Play: audio escape game

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection

You’ll need to sign up for a free Discord account if you don’t already have one.

Recommended Team Size: 4-6

Play Time: about an hour

Price: $15 per person, with a 3 ticket minimum

Booking: book for a specific time slot

Description

This is an audio game played over Discord. It is played via voice chat, and uses pictures sent by the game host. Each user had their own stream of pictures to use – open, enlarge, go back to – independent of the rest of the team.

Illustrated image of a casino floor.

Hivemind Review Scale

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.

Format

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

Description

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.

Hivemind Review Scale

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.

Format

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.

Description

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.

Hivemind Review Scale