The Atlas Mystery: A VR Puzzle Game [Hivemind Review]

The Atlas Mystery: A VR Puzzle Game is a narrative-driven VR game with escape room-like mechanics.

An imposing, neon-lit building named The Atlas Theater rendered in VR.

Format

Style of Play:

  • Play on demand (i.e. purchase and play any time)
  • VR

Who is it For?

  • Adventure seekers
  • Story seekers
  • Puzzle lovers
  • VR Enthusiasts

Required Equipment: computer with an internet connection, VR Headset that supports either the Oculus or Steam platform

Recommended Team Size: 1

Play Time: 2+ hours for most players

Price: $14.99 on Steam

Booking: purchase and play at your leisure

Description

This is a narrative-driven single player VR mystery game with puzzle and escape room elements. It is available through Quest or Steam VR.

Holding up a Cinema World Magazine in a room with intricate wallpaper. Rendered in VR.
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RECON Boston’s Guide to Boda Borg (August 2022)

As RECON approaches, the team is getting excited to show attendees what amazing things the greater Boston Area has to offer, including Boda Borg. While not a typical escape room experience, there are some important things to note before you go.

Boda Borg's logo beside some of the militaristic props from their game Platoon.
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60 to Escape – Mystery Manor [Review]

G-g-g-GHOST!

Location: Gurnee, IL

Date Played: March 13, 2022

Team Size: 2-8; we recommend 2-4

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $30 per player

Ticketing: Private

Accessibility Consideration: One player must be able to crawl

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

60 to Escape’s Mystery Manor was a goofy and spooky take on the haunted mansion theme, full of character and whimsy. With a clear yet easy puzzle flow and parallel paths to victory, this experience was on the easier end of 60 to Escape’s offerings. The build quality was on the same level as their other experiences, including fantastical lighting and audio cues. Atmospherically, 60 to Escape nailed the immersion of the space in every corner.

Compared to their other experiences at both locations, Mystery Manor’s ending was missing some of the charm we’ve come to love from 60 to Escape’s games.

An old, rundown victorian manor with an assortment of pictures, and items laying on and around a desk.

Mystery Manor is a fantastic game for newer players. It will be a great introduction to the wonderful world of escape rooms. If you’re choosing between 60 to Escape’s games, we recommend Hidden Temple for more experienced groups. However, if you have time in your day, Mystery Manor would be a delightful add on.

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Passcode Escape – The Secret Lab [Review]

SCIENCE!

Location: Quincy, MA

Date Played: April 1, 2022

Team Size: 2-10; we recommend 2-4

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $30 per player

Ticketing: Private

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Passcode Escape’s Secret Lab was a traditional escape room with solid game flow, clear puzzle cluing, and well-integrated tech interactions.

At it’s best, Secret Lab had a neat mid-game reveal that gave us a glimpse into the rest of the experience. Passcode Escape also cleverly utilized real lab equipment to bring immersive moments to our puzzle journey. Our gamemaster was a joy to interact with.

A science lab with steel tables, scientific equipment, a periodic table, and a Fallout Shelter sign on the wall.

Throughout the game, the puzzles were fair and clear to our team, and the inputs were clearly labeled (good lock mapping). That being said, the gameplay felt a bit dated, with simple puzzles and a lackluster set.

The Secret Lab is one of Passcode Escape’s earliest games, and we’re excited to see what they design in the future.

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Escape Factor – The Treehouse Raid at Fort Knocks [Review]

Unbeleafably intreeguing

Location: Forest Park, IL

Date Played: March 13, 2022

Team Size: 2-6; we recommend 2-4

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $139 for three players, plus $30 for each additional player

Ticketing: Private

Accessibility Consideration: Some slight crawling/ crouching is required for at least one player

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

When I was a kid, I dreamed of building my ultimate treehouse. My friends and I would lug around random junk we found in town, and save it for our master plans. The Treehouse Raid at Fort Knocks transported me to my childhood; it was filled with objects and puzzles that seriously felt designed by my 12-year-old self. By no means is this game specifically for children, but the wonder, imagination, and joy this room filled me with was a lovely change from the serious and thrilling escape rooms we typically find ourselves in.

Considering how small the floorplan of The Treehouse Raid at Fort Knocks was, Escape Factor was able to jam-pack a ton of puzzles and content from floor to ceiling. The further we progressed, the more we found ourselves discovering layers of the space we hadn’t realized were there the whole time.

A wooden treehouse made from materials cobbled together including a bike, license plates, road signs, and hub caps.

The game’s difficulty came less with individual puzzles, and more in figuring out what in the space was used for each puzzle. Discerning which objects and locks went together was more time consuming than we expected, but felt satisfying once we made the connections.

Escape Factor is a fantastic location to check out if you’re interested in fun, original themes, and clever solves. While you’re here, be sure not to miss the Bonus Fun Time Gameshow as well!

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