Thames & Kosmos Exit: The Secret Lab Game
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- Escape Room game for the home
- 1 to 6 players; 1 to 2 hour playing time
- Includes materials for single use
- This game can be played only once, because you markup, fold, and tear the game materials.
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CHOKING HAZARD -- Small parts. Not for children under 3 yrs.
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As volunteers for a medical research study, you report to a lab as instructed. But no one is there except for you! Vapor rises from a test tube and you start feeling dizzy. When you wake up again, the door is locked, and you discover a notebook and a strange disk .
Legal DisclaimerEXIT: The Game - The Secret Lab 1-6 players, ages 12+, 60-120 minutes By Thames & Kosmos
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|Are Batteries Required||No||Yes||No||No||Yes||No|
|Item Dimensions||1.7 x 5.1 x 7.1 in||10.62 x 10.62 x 4.52 in||2 x 7.88 x 10.25 in||—||7.87 x 3 x 10.5 in||3 x 10 x 7.5 in|
|Item Weight||—||4 lbs||—||1.8 lbs||—||—|
Top customer reviews
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This review does NOT contain spoilers of any kind!
After having played the Spin Master "Escape the Room" games (with the chrono decoder) I have been looking for more escape room board games. I then played the Thinkfun escape room games ("Escape from Stargazers Manor" and "Secret of Dr. Gravely's Retreat"). From playing those 2 series of games I was a little weary of a card based escape room game but this worked really well! My play group found the Thinkfun games a little too easy (finishing between 30 and 40 minutes) but this game seemed to provide the right challenge. This game seems to be more riddle based like the Spin Master games as opposed to story based like the Thinkfun games. I like both formats but I prefer the riddles/puzzles.
Whats in the box:
So the game comes with a rule book (top left), a game book (top middle), riddle cards (middle left), answer cards (bottom left), hint cards (bottom right), "suspicious objects" (middle), and an answer wheel (middle right and solo picture).
There is a little story in the rules that summarizes how you got trapped and then it tells you to start a timer (i used my phone). Once you start the timer all you are given is the game book. In the game book there are various riddles that make no sense yet and a few pictures of the room. You will see a picture of a riddle card and you pull it out of the deck. You solve the riddle which can involve counting certain things in the room or finding something, or a word search (very similar to the puzzles/riddles in the other escape room board game s I have played). You then enter the answer you get into the answer wheel it will give you a number and you pull out the corresponding answer card. The answer card will give you a message saying it is wrong or a card that tells you the next riddle cards you find. There are a total of 10 riddles but like 25 riddle cards (some riddles take multiple cards and parts to solve and you will use more and more of the game book along the way). This process repeats until you solve the last riddle and get an answer card that says you escaped. There are 30 hint cards (3 per puzzle) which you can use anytime you want and they are all marked with the shapes associated with the puzzles.
Besides the original story from the rule book the only other story part is when you finish the game the last answer card give a little epilogue.
Overall a great experience and I just ordered the other 2 games because this was so enjoyable.
Update: Played the other 2 and they work the same way, and they are just as fun.
First off, the Cabin one used numbers on the wheel, which made decoding a lot less of a hassle. We could just tell the person in charge of the coder wheel "5, 3, 1" Pharaoh's Tomb has heiroglyphs on the wheel. So imagine telling a friend "Bird, lady, eye" WHICH BIRD, TOM? THE SITTING ONE OR THE FLYING ONE? I dunno, actually, it sort of looks like a beetle?
I also thought the puzzle answers weren't as intuitive. Don't want to give any spoilers, but the puzzles aren't just step 1 find the puzzle card, step 2 solve it. There were multiple steps/clues for each puzzle (compared to Cabin) and we ended up spending a lot of time trying to solve a puzzle in which we didn't have all the pieces.
I ordered a copy of the Egypt themed "Exit" escape room game "The Pharaoh's Tomb". My daughter wasn't super excited for it so it was just my two boys, my wife and I. We sat down, not knowing exactly what to expect, and opened the box. I'll work to avoid spoilers while also letting you know what's in there and what we experienced.
The contents of the box are simple...basically you get a bunch of cards, a decoder disk, two "strange items" (paper strips with hieroglyphs), an instruction book and a diary/notebook from a previous explorer. (It's not a spoiler but I enjoyed the nods to pop culture in that the notebook was from "Dr. Ford" and there are some hidden images that remind you of a certain whip toting, snake hating adventurer)
The instructions outline how to play the game and then give an introductory story to get you started. You are part of a tour group touring the Egyptian Pyramids. You've been separated from your group and find your way into an impressive burial chamber. Through some accident you triggered a trap of some kind that rolled a massive stone door closed. You spy the notebook of Dr. Ford, an explorer who was searching the pyramid earlier and has discovered some clues that he hopes may lead to escape and/or greater treasure. Using his clues (and your imagination that the images from his notebook and the deck of cards represent an ancient pyramid in which you are now trapped) you must try to escape or be entombed wth the ancient pharaohs. You start a timer (not included) and work your way to escape, hoping not only to escape but to achieve a good score to brag about your exploits.
Even though we obviously weren't trapped in a pyramid (which is good since my wife is a bit claustrophobic which can cause anxiety in small escape rooms) the art, storytelling and puzzles helped draw us in and feel like we were part of an actual adventure.
The first couple of puzzles were tricky but were good to help us get a feel for the way the game was meant to be played and what we were expected to do. Or so we thought...as we continued working through the puzzles and opening up new passageways we found ourselves stumped. Fortunately this game system includes a series of "help" cards that can be used to nudge you in the right direction (for a score penalty of course). We used one hint early on to just help keep the group from getting frustrated too early. Then we used additional hints later on when we felt like there was nothing else to do...and boy were we surprised at the results. I won't spoil anything but I will applaud the creativity and the way this game really makes you try to think differently. Thematically it required a little imagination but once applied it really worked and I really enjoyed the tricky bits.
It took us 88 minutes to escape and we used 6 help cards which scored us 4 stars (out of 10). Probably not a great score but definitely a great experience and I look forward to trying out the other Exit games (as well as other escape room home games).
The one problem I have with the game is that it really is a "play once" game. I know that I personally probably couldn't/shouldn't play it again (because I now know all the puzzles) but I would have loved to have an Escape Room game day and let family and friends try this one out while perhaps I played a different one. Due to some of the things you have to do to the game pieces it really can't be replayed (unless you plan ahead of time to not cut up pieces but instead make photocopies/etc...it would be tricky even then for some of the puzzles). Really I can't fault the company too much. Making it repayable means people would play once and then pass it to a friend rather than having to buy a new copy for the friend. And really the price of the game is reasonable when you consider it is the same (or less) than the price for one person to attend a "brick and mortar" escape room.
9 out of 10 stars