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Annemarie Post
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Last night, me and my friends entered the lab to participate in a medical study. Unfortunately, we were locked in, but with teamwork and perseverance, we made our way out again. Here's my take on the experience.


'EXIT: the game' is a game series from KOSMOS trying to capture the feeling of a real-life escape room. Next to 'the secret lab', there are currently 'the abandoned cabin' and 'the pharaoh's tomb'. It is labeled for 1-6 players to play in 45-90 minutes.

In the game, you are trying to solve puzzles as a team, in order to break several codes to escape the lab. You make use of 'puzzle-cards', 'solution-cards' and 'help-cards'. You start with just a booklet and a decoding device, and from there the game starts. Your goal is to find codes for each of 10 symbols. For each symbol, you enter the code in the decoding device and it tells you at which 'solution-card' to look. This card then tells you if your solution is wrong or right.
You can use help-cards, there are 3 for each symbol. The first hint tells you which components you need in order to solve the puzzle, the second hint gives you some more information about how to find the solution and the third is the solution for the puzzle. However, using these hints will detract from your final score, which is also determined by the time you needed to solve all puzzles. The game ends when you've solved the 10 puzzles and escaped the laboratory.

We had a lot of fun playing EXIT: the game, and I will highlight some things that may help you decide whether you want to get this game or not.

Positives

The game really captures the feeling of being stuck in a room and having nothing but your surroundings to help you escape. We all were very satisfied when we managed to do so.

The mechanic of the game (the decoding device) works really well.

The difficulty of the puzzles varies, some are a bit more challenging than others. But in my experience, they are all doable.

Negative

Sometimes there weren't enough puzzles out at the same time for all of us to enjoy. This might be a problem of our player number, we played with 6. I can imagine that playing it with 4 people will work much better. I would also like it if some codes required a number of puzzles to get to them. This was not the case, all codes were solved with one puzzle.

Other remarks

Language dependency: though most of the puzzles are fairly abstract, the accompanying text is sometimes very important. I am Dutch and have a very basic understanding of German and we managed to play it with some help from Google Translate. However, we missed one very important thing in one of the puzzles due to Google Translate not being accurate. I don't think the game will be playable just with Google Translate, if you don't speak German. But luckily, the English version is due in Spring 2017.

Help cards: we weren't sure if you are obliged to use the 'help-cards' for each symbol in order. In one case, we didn't need hint 1 at all, but the rules didn't say whether you were allowed to go straight to hint 2. In any case, we would in future games houserule that you can.

One play only: due to the nature of the game, you can only play it once. After you've played it, you obviously know the solution and can't play it yourself anymore. But you also won't be able to give it to someone else so that they can play it.

Scoring: the scoring of the game is dependent on the time it took you and the number of hints you needed. We didn't care at all about the number of stars we earned (6/10), but it's a nice that you can see how well you did. In a way, it is good that they don't set a timer of e.g. 1 hour and if you fail to escape before that time you lose. This way everyone can in the end enjoy the satisfaction of having escaped the lab. On the other hand, it would add to the general 'escape-room' feeling if there was such a timer, and you felt a bit more pressure during the game.

Overall

We liked it a lot and will certainly be playing the other 2 games from Kosmos. If you are looking for a different experience from other games and like escape rooms, this is for you.
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Wolfram Troeder
Germany
Bruchkoebel
Hessen
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Anny48 wrote:
...

Due to the nature of the game, you can only play it once. After you've played it, you obviously know the solution and can't play it yourself anymore. But you also won't be able to give it to someone else so that they can play it.

...


This! Sunk it for me forever!
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Kevin B. Smith
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Morro Bay
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Wolfram wrote:
Anny48 wrote:
But you also won't be able to give it to someone else so that they can play it.

This! Sunk it for me forever!

This surprised me. Without getting too specific, you're saying that in order to play the game, you must destructively alter it in some way? You can't just re-seal the envelopes? If so, that's very disappointing.
 
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Annemarie Post
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peakhope wrote:
Wolfram wrote:
Anny48 wrote:
But you also won't be able to give it to someone else so that they can play it.

This! Sunk it for me forever!

This surprised me. Without getting too specific, you're saying that in order to play the game, you must destructively alter it in some way? You can't just re-seal the envelopes? If so, that's very disappointing.


The rulebook advises to keep scissors close by. Also, we wrote on some cards.

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Thomas Aigner
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I've played this yesterday solo and realy liked it

You realy don't have to destroy anything in this box and keep everything nice and clean for someone else to enjoy ;-) Just use a pencil and a sheet of paper to write on and you're fine.
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Matthias Mahr
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Anny48 wrote:
Help cards: we weren't sure if you are obliged to use the 'help-cards' for each symbol in order. In one case, we didn't need hint 1 at all, but the rules didn't say whether you were allowed to go straight to hint 2. In any case, we would in future games houserule that you can.
See end of page 6 and first paragraph page 7 in the rule book (at least, there it is with "The Abandoned Cabin", I played) right before the scoring spread sheet: you don't have to take any clue cards, you read, but did not provide you with anything new, into account to decrease your score.
 
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Annemarie Post
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Susumu wrote:
Anny48 wrote:
Help cards: we weren't sure if you are obliged to use the 'help-cards' for each symbol in order. In one case, we didn't need hint 1 at all, but the rules didn't say whether you were allowed to go straight to hint 2. In any case, we would in future games houserule that you can.
See end of page 6 and first paragraph page 7 in the rule book (at least, there it is with "The Abandoned Cabin", I played) right before the scoring spread sheet: you don't have to take any clue cards, you read, but did not provide you with anything new, into account to decrease your score.


Thanks for that clarification! It's very well possible that I missed something that specific in the rulebook, since I was reading it out loud to friends in Dutch/English while translating the German text
 
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