Encrypted Escape Room West Reading – Biker’s Revenge [Review]

Ride to live, live to ride

Location:  West Reading, PA

Date Played: August 14, 2021

Team Size: 2-10; we recommend 3-5

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $29.50 per player

Ticketing: Private

Accessibility Consideration: There are steps leading down to the venue.

Emergency Exit Rating: [A] Push To Exit

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Biker’s Revenge was exactly what I didn’t know I needed from an escape room built to look like a dive bar. Each and every item, from floor to ceiling, was well thought through, and many were used as unexpected puzzle elements.

The amount of tiny details jam-packed in the space kept us on our toes, enhancing the immersion and bringing the room to life. All of these features amplified the narrative, making our team truly feel like we were undercover police investigating the local biker gang. Almost every interaction was thematic, tangible, and just plain fun, with the exception of one input that was overly precise and lacked leeway.

The vast array of games at Encrypted Escape Room West Reading came as a pleasant surprise, with each experience feeling unique in both set and puzzle design. While this was their oldest game at this location, Biker’s Revenge did not feel dated in the slightest, and offered a unique take on this theme.

I’d go back and get a drink at this pub any day (but probably bring my own glass, considering the amount of hands that have touched the ones behind the bar).

The bar top and seats in an old dive bar.

Who is this for?

  • Puzzle lovers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Fans of hard rock and dive bars
  • Any experience level
Continue reading “Encrypted Escape Room West Reading – Biker’s Revenge [Review]”

Mad Experiments: Escape Room [Hivemind Review]

Mad Experiments: Escape Room is a puzzle video game.

Format

Style of Play:

  • Online native experience (can NOT be played IRL)
  • Play on demand
  • Video game

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection

Your computer needs to be sufficiently powerful to handle a moderately graphics-intensive video game.

Recommended Team Size: 2-4

Play Time: 60 minutes for each chapter

Price: $14.99 per player for all 3 chapters

Booking: purchase and play at your leisure

Description

Mad Experiments: Escape Room is a first-person puzzle video game set in three chapters, each with a unique theme.

Note, if you get motion sick playing first-person games, this game will make you motion sick.

Hivemind Review Scale

Exit: The Game – The Gate Between Worlds [Hivemind Review]

The Gate Between Worlds is a tabletop escape game created by Exit: The Game.

Exit The Game: The Gate Between Worlds box art has an orange portal set in a circular stone with symbols along the inner edge.

Format

Style of Play: tabletop escape game

Required Equipment: scissors, pen & paper

A phone is not required but there is an app with a timer and background sounds.

Recommended Team Size: 1-4

Play Time: 1-2 hours

Price: about $15

Booking: purchase and play at your leisure

Description

Venturing through the “Gate Between Worlds,” you travel throughout the universe in this game in an attempt to puzzle yourself home. This game delivers information through a series of “world” pamphlets that you progress through by entering solutions into the “gate between worlds’ (i.e. the standard Exit: The Game decoder wheel.) You also manipulate several “strange objects” throughout the course of the game. As in all Exit: The Game installments, you must embrace destroying various parts of the game to solve some of the puzzles.

Assorted items from Exit's Gate Between Worlds features an unusual decoder wheel.

Kate Wastl’s Reaction

If someone asked which Exit: The Game installment to start with, I would not hesitate to say The Gate Between Worlds. It introduced posters into the player experience, which provided a quick and easy way to expand the game space as we explored seven different worlds via a “mysterious circular gate.” The game was a great representation of the wide variety of puzzle mechanics that Exit: The Game installments typically employ, all of which were fair and did not require large logical leaps to complete. I would feel comfortable recommending The Gate Between Worlds to both beginners and enthusiasts alike; 2-4 people would be the ideal number of players.

Sarah Mendez’s Reaction

This was a standard mid-level Exit: The Game installment whose most noteworthy features were its fun thematic variations on its game pieces. Instead of a riddle book, we had a series of pamphlet-like “worlds” to unlock, and the decoder disk served as the titular “gate between worlds.” This framework provided a basic narrative coherence to the experience even though voyaging through the disparate worlds yielded a mishmash of thematically incongruous puzzles. From a story perspective, the most logical puzzles stemmed from the voyage itself rather than any of the destinations.

Individual puzzles ranged from one significant frustration early in the game to some pleasantly multi-step ahas near the end, with most puzzles being solid and approachable. From a cluing perspective, this level 3 installment provided a decent bridge to more difficult levels as it guided players to think through connections that spanned multiple pieces of information. The game also leaned more heavily on “strange objects” than other typical Exit: The Game tricks, and the latter seemed more explicitly clued than in some easier installments. This enhanced the game’s value as an onramp to the series, but inherently left less to discover on your own.

New to Exit: The Game? This game was approachable enough to play as a newcomer to the series. Its few but significant frustrations wouldn’t be avoided with experience. However, the fun parts were a fair representation of the series.

Fan of Exit: The Game? This game’s unique thematic skinning added interesting flavor, but its gameplay was fairly average for the series and felt a little less “Exit-y” than usual. It was fun but not a standout to me.

Cindi S’ Reaction

The Gate Between Worlds continues the story from The Cemetery of the Knight, where you discovered a map to a mystical gate. In this adventure, you actually find the gate and set out to discover its secrets! My experience with Exit: The Game installments is that they always manage to do the unexpected, and this game is no exception. I was surprised to find only one Riddle Card instead of the usual stack, and no puzzle booklet at all. Instead, you explore individual worlds depicted on separate posters, which gives the game a little more structure and momentum than the typical Exit: The Game installment. I liked the variety of puzzles, some easy and some more involved (although there were two that were a bit of a stretch.) It’s a good thing you can only play this game once, because I completely ruined a game component by being a bit overzealous trying to get to the solution of one very unusual puzzle! The Gate Between Worlds exemplifies how the Exit: The Game formula is really about breaking away from the formula in compelling and satisfying ways. I don’t know if this story will continue in a future installment, but I do know the next one I play will, like always, be something I didn’t expect.

Theresa W’s Reaction

The Gate Between Worlds was one of the best installments in the Exit: The Game series yet. The varied game mechanics, use of objects in unexpected ways, and creative puzzle executions made this game shine. This is the first Exit: The Game installment where my group did not need any hints, not because it was easy but because it lacked the typical 1-2 logic leaps the other installments usually contain. We really loved the small aha moments in every puzzle, with each solve leading to an equally satisfying reveal. If you’re going to pick up one of the most recent Exit: The Game installments, this one’s awesome!

Disclosure: Exit: The Game provided the Hivemind reviewers with a complimentary play.

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Agent November – Mind Heist [Hivemind Review]

Mind Heist is an avatar-led, livestreamed escape room, created by Agent November in the United Kingdom.

First person view, a pair of hands holding two security badges in front of a locked box with a timer on it.

Format

Style of Play:

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

Required Equipment: Computer with internet connection, pen and paper

Recommended Team Size: 2-5

Play Time: 60 minutes

Price: £14 per person

Booking: book online for a specific time slot

Description

Mind Heist was a standard avatar-led escape room. Player decisions affected the story and the difficulty of the puzzles. It was a choose-your-own-adventure-style virtual escape room.

Hivemind Review Scale

River City Escape Room – Manhattan [Review]

Grandma’s pie never tasted so good

Location:  Richmond, VA

Date Played: July 10, 2021

Team Size: 2-7; we recommend 3-4

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $25 per player, with a minimum of $75

Ticketing: Private

Accessibility Consideration: There are many physically demanding portions of this game including crawling and climbing. Only one player has to crawl, but all players have to climb.

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction


River City Escape Room created such a beautifully intricate experience based around the Manhattan Project, taking immersion to another level. The set was breathtaking from the moment we stepped into our grandmother’s house to the moment we escaped, further driving the thematic story elements. The narrative was woven through every detail of the story, including the recipes our grandmother had left, the nuclear survival manuals, and the time-period specific set pieces.

While the puzzle elements could have been slightly more robust, the overall gameplay was implemented from the floor to the ceiling. Our team struggled a bit with late-game sequence breaking, yet we were swiftly ushered back in the right direction by our gamemaster.

Foreshadowing played an important role in the game, reflecting small details and past events during the experience. This game was unique, no doubt about it. River City Escape Room’s designer put their heart into this game, and it truly shows. The attention to detail was immaculate in every little nook and cranny, and we loved each moment of the discovery.  

A 2 story set with an old kitchen.

Who is this for?

  • Adventure seekers
  • Story seekers
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Best for players with at least some experience
Continue reading “River City Escape Room – Manhattan [Review]”