Tuesday 9 July 2024

boardgaming in photos: more Exit games

Around the end of last year I bought four different games in the Exit series at one go. I'm not actually a super big fan of the series, or of puzzle games in general. However my family enjoys games in the series. When my wife Michelle suggested that we get some to play as a family, of course I agreed enthusiastically. I have played quite a few Exit games before. I didn't buy every single game, but I consider myself a veteran. However it had been a while, so I decided to get one easier game among the four to ease us back into playing. Thus this one The Enchanted Forest. Difficulty level is 2 of 5. This one is interesting because it uses many fairy tale elements. 

A typical Exit game is essentially a series of 10 riddles. Many are quite creative. You play in a cooperative manner trying to solve all the riddles in as short a time as possible. In case you get stuck, you can read hints provided. If you still can't solve the riddle, you can look at the solution so that you can move on to the next riddle. This is really a puzzle and not a game. I guess it depends on what you define as a game. 

One common element in Exit games is that round device at the bottom right. Every game has something like this. It is not a riddle. It is a mechanism to help you check whether your answers for the riddles are correct. The solution to every riddle is a three digit number. Every riddle has a shape associated with it. For example, if you want to check whether the answer for the triangle riddle is 375, you need to line up the triangle, 3, 7 and 5 on the round device, then check the number visible through the little window. This sounds a little complicated, but once you play with it, you'll quickly grasp how it works. Anyway, it's not a riddle in itself. It's just a mechanism to facilitate playing the game. 

The other components in the photo are all unique to this particular Exit game. Every Exit game has quite a few unique components needed for its riddles. 

The Enchanted Forest is indeed rather easy. It is too easy for my tastes. Some riddles felt more like following a procedure to calculate the answer. They were clear as daylight. There was nothing to be puzzled about. Thankfully there were some harder riddles. Eventually we had to use some clues too. If you are an experienced Exit player, I'd suggest you skip this one. If you are new, this is a good one to start with. 

It was easy, but we didn't score the full 10 stars. We used the free mobile app for timekeeping, score calculation and background sound effects. 

The Deserted Lighthouse is a little different from other Exit games I have played. It contains jigsaw puzzles. Yeah, there are puzzles in this puzzle. The box is larger. Difficulty level is 4 of 5, so this is a bit more challenging. 

These are the game components. One difference compared to other Exit games is it doesn't come with a deck of cards. Normally the cards are used for checking answers and for reading hints. In The Deserted Lighthouse these aspects are done in a different way. You still have the round device. When you use that to check your answer, you will get a sequence of shapes. If you can find that sequence on one of the booklets, it means your answer is correct. Else, you go back to the drawing board. As for the hints, they are written at the back of the rulebook. You can look them up there if you need help. The slight disadvantage is you need to resist the temptation to read other hints on the same page. Not a big issue though. 

The Deserted Lighthouse is quite tough. It really tests your problem solving ability and creativity. Unfortunately for me, it was also tough in the sense that I didn't fully enjoy the experience. We played in the evening, and as the game went on, we felt tired. When we encountered some of the more difficult riddles, we gave up easily because we didn't have patience to think harder or longer. We went for the hints, and sometimes the answers. Had we played during daytime, it might have been more enjoyable. Another problem I had was related to the colours and the text. I found some colours on the drawings hard to tell apart, and some writing hard to read. Better lighting or playing at daytime might have been better. 

It took us two and a half hours. No wonder we felt drained. I must say the riddles here are creative and interesting. If you like a challenge, this will satisfy that need. Just be prepared if you have poor eyesight, the game will be hard in an additional way. Have your reading glasses ready. Maybe even a magnifying glass. 

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