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Exit: The Game Review

Quick Look:

Designer: Inka Brand, Markus Brand
Artists: Silivia Christoph, Franz Vohwinkel
Publisher: Kosmos
Year Published: 2016
No. of Players: 1-4
Ages: 12+
Playing Time: 45-90 minutes

Find more info on:
BoardGameGeek.com - The Secret Lab
BoardGameGeek.com - The Abandoned Cabin
BoardGameGeek.com - The Pharaoh's Tomb


Rules and Setup:
The rules of the game involve figuring out clues and riddles that are all answered with either three numbers or three colors (each game uses unique things that relate more to their theme). Using the decoder wheel will give you a secret number; then, check in the answer deck for that card number. When flipped, it will either say the code is incorrect, or it will have another question about what you're trying to open, with pictures of each possible thing you're trying to open. After finding the number on that card, search the answer deck again for that number. That card will then tell you if you got it right and opened up that lock, or if it was wrong and you need to go back to the riddle. You will do this for each clue/riddle until you get to the last one, where you will break out of whatever scenario you got yourself into.

Setup is done by simply unwrapping the cards and sorting them into their separate decks. There are three different decks of cards; one will help with hints so you don’t just give up, one will give answers to let you know if you can move on and get more clues or not, and the third one includes the clues that you will use eventually throughout play and be told to use when you find the right answer card. You will also have a booklet that gives some clues to start out with. You might keep referencing this book throughout the game, depending on whether you need more clues over time to help solve the riddle. 

Theme and Mechanics:
Each box of Exit has a different theme: the abandoned cabin, the pharaoh’s tomb, and the secret lab. The theme is developed in each game by the type of clues given, the pictures included, and the reasons why you're trying to escape or exit the room. The mechanics work surprisingly well in that you only get to move on when you actually know the answer to the riddle. During play, I never unlocked a riddle mistakenly, and on more than one occasion I had two of three numbers correct and still got the wrong answer card. I’m not sure how they worked this out so well, but it reminds me of math class back in school. The teacher would know all the possible ways you could mess up the equation, and they would put those answers on the multiple choice alongside the right answer. These game developers know their stuff and know of possible clues or other things you might have used to get the wrong answers, and they only made it possible to move on knowing all the correct answers.

Artwork and Components:
There isn’t a ton of artwork, but the art that is there helps keep the theme during play. The designers do a very good job of using everything they can to help you find clues to solve the riddles, and sometimes when you think you know how the clues are crafted, they'll surprise you with something you didn’t even realize would be part of the game. The art is occasionally so detailed that you might have to look on the card to find small details, and you might even have to rearrange the components or cards into a certain shape to fully crack the riddle.

The components are mostly the cards and booklet. The game says you can do things to the cards (such as tear or cut them) to help get your clues and riddles correct, but I found that most people won't want to do that to the cards. With enough brainpower, you can figure out the clues without destroying the components, but for those people who have a hard time visualizing things, they might actually need to cut, fold, or destroy cards or components to get the clue or riddle correct.

The Good:
I have never been to an escape room in real life, but to me, this seems like a less expensive way to do the same basic thing. You get enough puzzles and brain candy to work through that it becomes a fun adventure trying to figure them out. The game will surprise you with the clues and how you have to crack the code.  

The Bad:
Some might think the game is more work than play, as it is more of a mental challenge than most other games. The first game I played was with my father-in-law, who doesn’t usually play many games. He had a hard time contributing and ended up sitting there without wanting to pitch in to crack some of the clues. This might be the same for others. It's a game that can be easily quarterbacked due to the fact that sometimes there is only one riddle at a time. Perhaps most importantly, after playing the game once, you likely won't play the game again because you'll already know all the answers. 

Final Thoughts:
This game tickled an area in my brain that no other game has done before. For myself, the game was a blast from start to finish, even when we were getting frustrated trying to figure out the riddles. However, other players I played with didn't find it as exciting and were not as engaged as I was. The game packs a big punch for its size. If you ever wanted to do a real life escape room, I would recommend trying Exit first, as they exercise the brain and give you some idea of what type of riddles you might be faced with.

Players Who Like:
I would recommend this game to anyone interested in doing an escape room in the future, as well as those who have done some and enjoy them. This game is for people who like puzzles and riddles, and it would be a fun game for a small group (4-5) to play together. Also, I would recommend this game to any solo players who think they might be able to "exit" on their own.

I am giving Exit: The Game 7 out of 10 super meeples.

7 10

Check out EXIT: The Game on:


About the Author:
Brody Sheard played board games with his large family growing up. He continues his love of games by teaching his family, local gaming guild, and friends about new and exciting games. Brody believes that board gaming keeps your mind healthy while also having fun interacting with others.
Exit: The Game Review Exit: The Game Review Reviewed by Brody on October 31, 2017 Rating: 5

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