District 3 Escape Rooms – Haunted [Hivemind Review]

Haunted is an avatar-led, livestreamed adaptation of an in-person game created by District 3 Escape Rooms in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.

A person entering into a strangely shaped room with high ceilings.

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: 3-5

Play Time: 60 minutes

Price: $19 CAD per person (accounting for the current discount)

Booking: book online for a specific time slot

Description

Players control the game host avatar through Zoom, and have access to a Telescape inventory website site for a 360-degree view of the space and a better view of puzzles.

Hivemind Review Scale

Improbable Escapes – Neverland: Heist on the High Seas [Hivemind Review]

Neverland: Heist on the High Seas is a livestreamed adaptation of an in-person escape room, by Improbable Escapes in Kingston, ON.

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: 3-4

Play Time: 60 minutes

Price: $28.25 CAD per player

Booking: book online for a specific time slot

Description

This an avatar-led escape game with a kid-friendly theme and puzzles.

There is an inventory website where you see photos of the room and puzzles. Occasionally you type a password into the website to reveal more photos. Other than that, the livestream is through Zoom, as usual.

In-game: Interior of a pirate ship. A large chest sits in the middle.

Hivemind Review Scale

Leenook – L’Équation [Hivemind Review]

L’Équation is a point-and-click adaptation of an in-person game. The original game was created by Sauve Qui Peut, in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, Canada. It was translated into a digital format by Leenook.

Leenook interface with built-in video chat and 360 photo of an office.

Format

Style of Play:

  • Adaptation of an in-person game (can be played IRL)
  • Point-and-click

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection

This interface was very particular about browser window aspect ratio. We recommend a large screen, if possible.

Recommended Team Size: 2-4

Play Time: 60 minutes

Price: $23 CAD per player

Booking: book online for a specific time

Description

This was a faithful point-and-click adaptation of the real-life escape room L’Équation at Sauve Qui Peut. We navigated 360-degree photos of the gamespace. When we clicked on things in the environment either a photo, video, or locking mechanism displayed.

There was a live host to provide support. Every player had their own version of the game, so every person needed to open every lock in order to progress together. There were built-in pause screens that told faster players to wait for their teammates.

Illustration of a locker lock.

Hivemind Review Scale

SCRAP – Escape from the Science Lab of Shifting Rules [Hivemind Review]

Escape from the Science Lab of Shifting Rules is an avatar-led game, played in Zoom, and created specifically for digital play by SCRAP in Japan.

Promo art shows a chaotic lab with a shark and the words, "Alter the rules and save the world!"Alter

Format

Style of Play:

  • Online native experience (can NOT be played IRL)
  • Avatar controlled by the players

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection

Recommended Team Size: 2-6

Play Time: 60 minutes

Price: about $192 per team of up to 6 players

Booking: book online for a specific time slot

Description

Escape from the Science Lab of Shifting Rules is an avatar-led game that uses wordplay and critical thinking to move the story along.

Standard avatar interaction. Non-standard physics interaction. Players control a machine that changes reality and – as a fortuitous side effect – helps them solve puzzles.

This game is played entirely in Zoom with no additional interface. It was specifically designed as a remote game and can not be played in real life.

Escape from the Science Lab of Shifting Rules is also available in Japanese, but we played the English version of this game. You need a strong grasp of English to succeed.

Hivemind Review Scale

cluequest – Print + Cut + Escape: Mechanics of the Heart [Hivemind Review]

Print + Cut + Escape: Mechanics of the Heart is a print-and-play escape game created by cluequest in London, England.

Video of a robot.

Format

Style of Play:

  • Online native experience (can NOT be played IRL)
  • Play on demand
  • Print-and-play

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

Make sure to follow the instructions regarding printing.

Recommended Team Size: 2-3

Play Time: about 90 minutes (less for highly experienced teams)

Price: £15 for the print-and-play version

Booking: purchase and play at your leisure

Description

The newest member in our team against evil in the world is robot “MM7”. In order to fully function he needs to understand how emotions work. It is up to us to help MM7 decipher the complex and puzzling ways of love.

The bulk of the game is a 19-page pdf to print out and cut up before the game clock begins. Once ready, access the web client to start the timer and story. Puzzles are solved using the papers, and answers are inputted into the website.

There’s also a feature that lets you hide little personal messages throughout the game.

Printed game materials, scissors, and a pen sitting on a laptop.

Hivemind Review Scale