Unfortunately, this will be another post void of any photos aside from the shot of some box covers. Don't get too mad, I'm doing it for you! Honest! Photos of components, game play, or anything else would only serve as spoilers, and trust me - you don't want that!
Today I want to talk about Escape Room themed games. Specifically, I will be discussing Exit: The Game because I've played all those that currently exist (and they're friggin' awesome). These are games that my friends and I are huge fans of for a lot of reasons, so this will be done as a list of general things I want to say about them.
I hope that I can cleverly persuade you to love them as well! (And let's be honest, I do have a way with words.) So without further ado, heeeereee we go!
1. They are one-time-play games
I figured I'd start off with the most negative thing about these (even though it's barely a negative). Yes, for whatever price you pay (these types of games range from about $20 to $30 usually) you only get to play each one once because *spoiler alert* you figure out all the puzzles the first time (duh, or you wouldn't escape) and you may even have to destroy some things in the process too. Basically, it's impossible to replay, unlike T.I.M.E. Stories, which I've shown you can get around sometimes.
Because of this, these games are very much like a real escape room. You wouldn't go back to an escape room you did because it'd end up only taking you like 10 minutes since you know all the answers already - and where's the fun in that? (or maybe you would just to have the best time,I don't know you...but honestly, that's quite a d*ck move if you ask me). By only really being able to play once, they give you that intense rush that can truly make a game memorable.
2. Beating the Clock
So, in a normal escape room, you've got about 45 to 60 minutes to get out. If you don't, the moderator comes in, tells you to stop, and usually gives you the low-down on what puzzles or clues you missed that would have helped you out. That changes a little in these games (again, speaking specifically about Exit: The Game, can't say for sure for other similar games). In Exit you're simply timing your group. So if it takes 5 hours, that's what it takes! No one's going to stop you from finishing except for yourself. The three games my group and I played each took a little under an hour and a half, and we had tons of fun the whole while! I really like that you aren't forced to stop the game before finishing, and that there's still a self-timing element so that you can record how long it took you and try to improve in a different scenario.
3. Theme-ing Done Right
The 3 Exit: The Game games that played were titled and themed: The Abandoned Cabin, The Secret Lab, and The Pharaoh's Tomb. Now, as most of you probably know, in an actual escape room, the room is set up to fit the theme. So it would look like the inside of a lab or tomb, et cetera. Obviously, with a board game, you don't have all the fun props and accessories that a fully functioning escape room has. And that's okay! The few puzzle pieces that come in the box, as well as the backstory connected to your task of escape, are plenty to completely enthrall you in the world/scenario you are meant to be in. The games really keep you in the moment and you'll truly believe that you can't do anything else until you solve the final puzzle.
4. Challenging but not Painful
I don't want to dip into any game spoilers, so I'll end with this point here. The games are meant to be challenging. No one wants to go to an escape room for 5 minutes, find the key under the mat, and leave. The puzzles are meant to make you think out of the box, and sometimes it really stretches your limits. Luckily, the game also provides you with clue cars that you can use if you get really stuck. While it's meant to be somewhat difficult, no one is trying to make you hate the game, so they're there to help! Overall, it's a significant challenge for the casual gamer, but still packs a punch for more avid board gaming fans too!
So there you have it! All you can know about Exit: The Game without any spoilers. Trust me, these games are definitely worth a shot if you've been to and enjoy escape rooms. All the puzzling fun in the comfort of your own home! If you enjoy these, like I did, there are also a series of Unlock games as well as Escape Room The Game and Escape the Room, all of which I will be trying out next!
If you love a good puzzle, here's where to start!