Everybody out! – review of the board game “Exit: Quest – Abandoned House” (no spoilers)
I understand that I have dragged out this review for a long time, but such are my current realities that I have no time to write
about everything I want and need. Recently I have been trying to make quick reviews of “Gagov” new products, and the rest is already as it turns out =)
Over the past year (or even two), quest games have gained popularity in the tabletop world. To be honest, it seems to me that board games do not associate very well with quests, because they are quite different genres, but nevertheless, some desktop authors have managed to combine these two different concepts together. You can remember about Time Stories, and Unlock, and Exit, and many other games.
In early spring, I got acquainted with the first game of the Exit series, the impressions turned out to be ambiguous, and I will tell you about all this in this review..
A small box contains a deck of cards, 1 decoder disc and 2 brochures (rules and a playbook).
The quality of the components seems to be good. I didn’t find anything to complain about. The only caveat is that the deck of cards was sorted in reverse. I had to go through all the cards. And another 15 minutes was spent on the meeting – you still need to go through the cards or not =) Is this a jamb or so?
Still, it turned out that the jamb.
Let’s take a break from the rules.
I am one of those dinosaurs who still write brief summaries of the rules in their reviews so that the reader has some idea of what needs to be done in the game. But here we have a special case in which I have to bypass the rules, because they are not in Exit in the usual sense. The rule book only explains how to look for clues correctly and how to check codes with a decoder.
You and your friends were traveling by car, but suddenly, in an unfamiliar abandoned place, the engine stalls in the car. The network in the phone cannot be caught, the tow truck cannot be called, and even more likely it will rain. You notice an abandoned house nearby with a boarded-up door and decide to wait out the bad weather there, staying overnight.
In the morning a surprise awaited you – the front door was locked with a lock with a code, the windows were boarded up with bars, a book and a strange round disc lay on the table. There is a suspicion that you can get out of the house only by finding secret codes with which you can open the door..
That’s it, now you just have to cover yourself with cards with decoders and start solving riddles. All cards in the game are divided into 3 types – riddles, answers and help. The first (starting) card with a riddle is set by the rules, and only then everything will start to unwind by itself, like a ball of thread.
Riddles in Exit accumulate the direction of thinking, and the player needs to find the right way according to the given clue. I will try to avoid spoilers, so I will not tell you what exactly is to be solved in the game. Any card with a task asks to find a code corresponding to a certain symbol. Guessing what the code is, and turning the decoder correctly, the players will know which answer card they need to look at in order to find out if the correct code has been found. If the code was correct, the players are given the following hint.
If the code was entered incorrectly, then you need to return to the search for the answer..
The authors of the game quite interestingly figured out how to beat the situation with the wrong code. Players receive a large pile of cards in their hands, but only a few of them are a stepping stone to advancement in the story. You can inadvertently see which card is correct if you inaccurately knock down a deck of these cards, so you need to turn the cards over carefully.
It seems to me that you need to tune in to the Exit game in a special way. In general, I bought it to play with my friend, who has a slight interest in board games. But in the end I played not with her, but with a friend working in the IT sphere (and it’s very good that I played with him, and not with a friend). It seemed to me that it would be interesting for an IT specialist to go through quests, and we can even do it quickly. Exit ‘and I expected something in the spirit of classic computer quests – to look for passwords accidentally dropped by someone, look for ciphers in verses, sort out items for compatibility, solve logical series, etc.
We chose a pub as a meeting place with a friend. It’s evening time, there are a lot of people, loud music, beer, pizza. Of course, this was probably our mistake, which spoiled my (and my friend’s) impressions a little..
As it should be, we sorted the cards and timed the time, so that later we could compare ourselves with those who have already played this board. And for some reason, we were wildly stupid about half of the game. It seems that we have already guessed what numbers need to be entered, we turn the decoder, but when we check the code for correctness, we fail the check. We are still thinking, thinking hard, it seems that we did everything right.
We take a hint – yes, we already know about it. We take the second clue – yes, and we know that too. After 20 minutes, we decide not to fool our heads and look at the third clue for the most suckers – yes, we guessed all this before ourselves.
As a result, it turned out that the friend entered the numbers not from top to bottom, but from bottom to top, which, it seems, was not said in the rules.
As a result, we spat for a while and just went through tasks with pizza, dark beer and rock and roll, enjoying the contemplation of riddles.
I have zero experience with trendy quest rooms, and this probably greatly influenced what I wanted and what I got from the game. Exit is a desktop analogue of a questroom. You are in a closed room from which you want to get out.
Scattered in the corners are secret cabinets and boxes that you need to open after finding the desired code. There is only one picture with a room in the rules, and it is very small. It is difficult to look for symbols in a dark picture in a noisy hall with a dim light, which are not particularly visible even in normal light. Often we found the code, and then we looked for a long time in the picture for an item with a symbol that needs to be opened using the code.
And this made it difficult to pass the game quickly.
And only somewhere after half of the riddles solved, when we understood the general principle of the game, everything went like clockwork and we began to enjoy Exit. At the same time, the head was still swollen from the gameplay, so this passage did not seem to us an easy walk.
It turned out that Exit is a set of puzzles and charades. They are weakly related to each other. Much of what is in this board game, I have seen before in various children’s entertainment magazines, such as Funny Pictures. Probably, now you can also buy such magazines where you need to look for differences, rearrange the letters in words and move along the line in order to come to the right point. The main thing to remember is that you should always end up with a three-digit number.
Even if instead of numbers you have letters.
We passed the game closer to midnight. We spent an indecent amount of time, but on the other hand, we did not seek to compete in time, so we just had a good time in the pub. We used the tips (which we can’t boast about). True, only about one or two of them were really useful to us.
The rest gave us the information that we already knew (we just messed with the correctness of entering the code or confused the wardrobe and the bedside table).
I agreed with a friend in the opinion that we did not expect the riddles to be just like that. Exit is not relaxing, but annoying. Fortunately, it was a pleasant spring night outside, so all the workload quickly disappeared from my head as soon as we left the establishment. To my question, how do you like the game, my friend said that the game is not bad, but if I had taken the Game of Thrones card game with me, the evening would have been more fun =)
My impressions remained at the OK level. I cannot say that I fell in love with the game. I expected to get a light, pleasant evening, and as a result, sometimes I got a little pissed off due to the fact that the code was found correct, and the solution did not work. And the riddles themselves are for the most part just a set of puzzles and charades. The design of the game is very grayish.
I was hoping there would be something beautiful. Hoped for cool art, interesting components.
Exit is not exactly a board game in the usual sense. This is an attempt to transfer the questroom to the table. It seems to me that people who are familiar with questrooms will have more interest in this game.
The game should go easier for them than for me.
In general, the idea and implementation turned out to be good. It seems to me that the main advantage of the game is its cost. In Belarus, the game costs 20 rubles. Yes, the game is one-off, but several people can throw it on it, and no one will feel cheated. However, I do not recommend playing Exit in a large crowd.
Optimally 2-3 people. The disadvantages of a large number of players are as follows:
answers will be found faster (what one did not understand, the other will understand); players constantly grab components from each other in order to study them in detail. The more people, the longer it takes to wait in line to see the picture..
Another disadvantage of the game is that it is disposable. But if you consider that this is an analogue of a questroom, for which they pay not very little money, and in total you have only one hour to complete, then the board game is a super budgetary option.
I also can’t say that the game has an atmosphere. I didn’t feel locked in a room. Unless it was necessary to start the time report, and after the end of the hour, set fire to the game and sprinkle ashes on his head. It would be epic =)
If someone is afraid that the riddles in the game are too complicated and the game may not be completed, then I dare to assure that the game is 100% passable due to the hint system. If you can’t solve the riddle at all, you can see the answer. But this is the lot of weaklings, of course =) It seems to me that peeping for clues kills getting a buzz from the game.
This is the point, in order to guess for yourself which numbers were encrypted in the riddle..
Even before I met the Abandoned House, I bought the next part of Exit ‘a – the Secret Laboratory. I still haven’t played it, because I don’t know yet with whom to do it (so that it wouldn’t be the same as with a friend, who eventually said that it would be better to spread something simpler =)) From time to time I think that I can even play it alone, try to go solo, how I go through all the computer quests. If I don’t find a suitable company, and there’s nothing to do at home, I’ll go through the Laboratory on my own.
In the meantime, I decided not to buy new issues. If Laba rolls, I’ll buy Pharaoh too.
In general, Exit is an interesting project. Not a bad desktop version of questrooms for very, very little money. However, I can’t say that I really liked going through Exit.
Was expecting something more.