EXIT is actually a series of games (ten at time of writing) but each one functions in a similar way, if a different theme: in a variety of cinematic or novelistic settings (Sinister Mansion, Mysterious Museum etc) the players have to work together to find a way out.
Because of the nature of the game we can’t include pictures here – each EXIT can only be played once, and you mustn’t know anything about the game at the start – don’t even look at the components until you have read the (short) rulebook!
After that, you embark on a series of logical, lateral, and visual puzzles, where solving one triggers the next, and in each instance you edge closer to saving your skins from whatever dark demise the game has for you. These puzzles function mainly through the cards, which set you a riddle you use clues on other cards (or some other game elements) to solve. Fear not, however – each riddle also has some Help cards to prompt you through it if you get stuck.
There’s no real ‘losing’ here, but the game does suggest you time how long it takes you to finish all of the riddles and provides a rating system for the results. Aside from that, you finish the final riddle and break for freedom!
The fact each EXIT game can only be played once is a shame, but that’s the nature of this particular beast: they are at least not too expensive and as we’ve suggested in Again Again, can actually be played while keeping the game intact for someone else to enjoy after you. At least that was what we found with The Abandoned Cabin; the only one I’ve played so far – but a very enjoyable experience it was: the puzzle element does mean it’s not ideal for younger children, but my boys stayed the whole two+ hours it took us to reach the end (and yeah, we had to use a lot of Help cards!). These one-shot puzzle games (UNLOCK! being similar) aren’t ones I tend to seek out, but I do find them very enjoyable – a different social experience from competitive gaming.
None - players work together.
None! - unless of course you're all utterly stumped. But that's what the Help cards are there for.
Plenty. There are lots of head-scratching moments to be had, so really EXIT is a game(s) for people who enjoy that cognitive challenge.
There is no Again Again - once you've played each EXIT, you know it. However - despite the game's suggestion you fold and cut up components to help you, we found it is possible to avoid this (judicious use of tracing paper helps a lot!) and keep the game intact - you can't play it again but at least you can pass it on to someone else!