Exit: The Abandoned Cabin

6.7 Overall
Component Quality
Puzzle Design
Game Experience
Users (0 votes) 0

Exit: The Abandoned Cabin

  • Played December 2018

  • 1-2 hours
  • 1-4 players
  • MSRP $14.95
  • ages 12+

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Recently we’ve had the pleasure of playing through several of the games in the Exit The Game series. Like those in the Unlock! series, these are a set of games that are intended to mimic escape-room-style puzzles and stories, but can be played in the comfort of your home. The Abandoned Cabin is marketed as one of the easier games in the series with a difficulty level of 2½ out of 5.

The components consist of three decks of cards, an instruction booklet, a game booklet, an answer decoder disc, and three cardboard pieces which you will need at some point. In terms of quality, the cardboard pieces are a little thin and flimsy as are the booklets, but really they’re fine for their intended purpose. Unlike the Unlock! series, the Exit The Game series are designed as one-time-use; you will fold, cut, and draw on the cards and booklet as you play through, so the components just need to last for the 60 or so minutes it will take you to play the game which they will do just fine. The art is detailed and looks good and the overall presentation looks quite professional.

The game comes with a companion app which you can download for free on your smartphone. This app provides a timer and some atmospheric background music. The story is very bare bones and doesn’t really progress as you play through the game, and in an even bigger sin the puzzles often feel disconnected from the story and setting (although there is a bit of an attempt made to tie them together in the intro). Immersion is always difficult with a game that you play at home; you’re just not going to be able to replicate the experience that you get in a physical escape room, but we do felt they could have made a bit more of an effort with a slightly more original story, a few more twists and turns along the way, and more of an effort to tie the puzzles to the setting.

As for the puzzles, our team thought they were decent but nothing overly spectacular. The way they are implemented is fairly well-done, however; the game comes with three decks of cards consisting of riddle cards, answer cards, and hint cards. You draw riddle cards as directed as you progress through the game which give you new puzzles to solve. Once you think you have the solution to a puzzle, you enter it into the answer decoder disc which then gives you a card to draw from the answer deck. This then directs you to another answer card which tells you whether or not you’re correct. The nice thing about this system is that it doesn’t penalize you for wrong guesses; if you didn’t get it right, there’s no penalty, you just go back to the puzzle and try to figure out where you went wrong. If you get stuck, the hint deck is there to help; it will provide first a vague hint, then a more specific hint, and then finally the solution for every puzzle in the game. Overall quite an elegant system. The difficulty level never gets too high, and we enjoyed that there were multi-stage puzzles that took multiple steps to solve. The puzzles aren’t strictly linear but we found on our playthrough that we were only ever focussing on one puzzle at a time so we would recommend you play with a smaller group of no more than 2-3 people so that no one gets left out.

Overall we would recommend this game for a smaller group who are looking for a 1-2 hour game with easy to intermediate puzzles. The helpful hint cards mean you will never get completely stuck and the free companion app provides an atmospheric soundtrack. Once you’ve finished the game, the app will even give you a score (out of 10) depending on how long you took and the number of hint cards you used. If you like puzzle games, give this one a shot!

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