I played the first episode of Clue Kingdom with 3 friends and we thought it was a good digital/virtual game. To each their own, but we really appreciated that it allowed us to take our time without shutting down at the 1 hour point. This is also not a 360 point and click game, and more of a linear story where we all work on the same puzzle until it is solved, then advance to the next one. Also a plus, in my book.
The positives were the stunning artwork and immersive narratives with music. This game is next level in beauty of the illustrations, and unique in that it included cinematic music during the narrative parts. There was also a soundtrack that we could download and play along with. We downloaded it, but audio can be a pain sharing over Meet, so we didn't use it.
There were some small negatives. There are few, if any, interactive pieces to the puzzles. They are mostly static images or animations that you solve in your head or on paper to enter in the code to progress. We weren't bothered by it, but some might be. Also, there were grammar and punctuation errors in the narrative parts. Probably not a problem for most, but we chose one of us to read each narrative section for the rest, and errors made it difficult to read aloud with the right inflection and tone. The final negative is that all the puzzles seemed cut from the same cloth - figure out the correct order of a series of images or symbols.
We liked it enough to try out Chapter 2, and are looking forward to it, but are also hoping there is a greater variety in the puzzles in that one.
We played the Mars Shuttle Mission last weekend and really enjoyed it. It is quite different from a lot of the online games, because it doesn't have the 360º point and click. It's very 2D, but what's nice about it is that not every puzzle is a logic puzzle. There are a variety of documents that have clues that become relevant later in the game, so it feels like you are being a detective and solving a mystery, rather than locked in a room and you have 1 hour to escape.
Having all the different types of clues prompted us to work together more as a team than we have in other virtual escape games. It's not timed, so we were able to really dig into each puzzle, and take our time examining the evidence. A lot of fun! Highly recommended if your focus is on team interaction and solving difficult puzzles together.
The unique thing about this game was that one player was the inspector, and the rest of us were the crime lab people, and we didn't see the same things as the inspector. So that is cool, because it forces us to communicate. However, the puzzles didn't really foster the right kind of teamwork - they were almost all what we call "barrier games", where one person describes something to someone else who can't see it. This fosters a lot of talking back and forth, but the puzzles were so easy, we didn't really need to work together to solve them. It was basically a competition among the lab people to shout out the correct answer first to the inspector. There were two good puzzles that needing thinking to solve, but the rest of the game didn't provide enough of a challenge. Also, a couple of the puzzles didn't work right until you reset them. That wasn't really a problem though. Respect for trying to force more interaction among players, but the concept could be improved some.
My group and I have played around 10 purely digital escape games, and this one was somewhere in the middle, enjoyment-wise. The use of a real abbey is very cool, but the puzzles weren't great. Several of them just involved placing an item in a space, and if you weren't perfectly centered, it wouldn't go in, leaving us to think we were doing it wrong. We ended up using a lot of time wandering the many rooms to solve things we had already solved or hadn't solved for the wrong reasons.