Review: EXIT: The Game – The Mysterious Museum
Designer: Inka Brand, Markus Brand, Sandra Dochtermann, Ralph Querfurth
Artist: Silvia Christoph, Michaela Kienle, Michael Menzel
Category: Puzzle, Cooperative Play
Price: $12.39 Amazon.com
The EXIT series consists of one-shot escape room games played out on a table. With a good mix of frustration and “eureka” moments, they provide memorable experiences with unexpected twists. Over the next few weeks, I will be covering three of these games.
Escape room games are hit-or-miss for me, but certainly more are hits than misses. The EXIT series, which we have covered before (here, here, and here) has a very distinct style: puzzle-y, sometimes super meta challenges, set in a wide range of classic movie-esque locales, with pieces that players will write on, cut up, or otherwise deface in the name of fun.
I will be covering three of these games in a sort of mini-series of brief reviews, starting with EXIT: The Mysterious Museum. As is the case with any game in this genre, it’s tricky to write an effective review while staying completely, totally, 100% spoiler-free. Of course I will try to keep spoilers to a bare minimum, but consider this your formal warning: if you want absolutely no foreknowledge of this game, stop reading now.
Right off the bat, I was excited for The Mysterious Museum, because in my actual, real-life job, I am a museum curator. (Think “National Treasure” or “Night at the Museum,” except Nicolas Cage isn’t there and the artifacts don’t come to life at night.) In this game, players find themselves trapped in a museum, and must use their wits to navigate its exhibit spaces, find clues, and figure out how to escape.
Compared to some of the other EXIT titles, The Mysterious Museum is quite linear. Rather than giving players access to the entire scenario book at once and just saying, “Ready, go!” this one moves page by page—players may not advance to the next area until they have solved the puzzles in the current area. This makes its overall experience a bit more straightforward. Instead of each person working individually on her own, disjointed puzzle, everyone can put their heads together and collectively focus on the single challenge at hand.
To that end, the puzzles are mostly enjoyable. A few of them frustrated us when we played, but most were memorable and clever. Without giving specifics, The Mysterious Museum features one of the series’ signature meta-puzzles, as well as a couple of others that make interesting use of the physical components. In a very nice touch, the game even offers the players take-home rewards at the end to commemorate their adventure. Unnecessary? Yes. But cool? Totally.
The museum theme doesn’t come through very strongly, but I suspect this won’t matter to most players. Again, given that it is my profession, I probably got more hyped up on the theme than the average player would. (And let me be clear, I enjoyed the game, even if the theme was light).
This is a good entry in the EXIT series. Of the ones I have played, I think my favorite is still The Abandoned Cabin, but The Mysterious Museum is a close contender; it is definitely an awesome way to spend an evening. If you like the EXIT series, you will definitely want to check this one out.
A review copy was provided by KOSMOS.
The Bottom Line
This is an enjoyable EXIT game. The theme is a bit scattered, but the experience is fun and memorable.