Exit: The Secret Lab

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

Exit: The Secret Lab

  • Played January 2019

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

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The Secret Lab is another one of Thames & Kosmos/Exit The Game’s long line of take-home escape games. Exit The Game has a really cool blend of board game and escape game mechanics. You’re provided with a booklet with maps and visual clues, a numbered deck for deck-sploring fun, and a solution wheel for solving puzzles. The solution mechanic is something that fans of take-home games have probably seen before: just rotate the concentric wheels to combine the correct chemicals to finalize your solutions. A solution wheel has its pros and cons: since the players know all the solutions must fit within a certain format, it automatically primes them to search out specific patterns the entire game. It’s kind of like playing an escape room where all the doors and cabinets are the same type of lock. That being said, the physical interaction of playing with a real component to input solutions absolutely beats out games that require inputting codes into a smartphone app. After all, half the fun of escape rooms lies in the tactile experience!

Another thing of note: The Secret Lab is not a replayable experience (unless your group is VERY dedicated to preserving the game) since some of the components get altered in the process. Since the game is non-replayable, the quality of the components themselves are nothing to write home about, but they get the job done, so what more could we ask for?

The art of The Secret Lab is polished and thematic, and the accompanying soundtrack sets the mood well, although there were many times we just couldn’t shake the feeling we weren’t really in an “actual science lab” so to speak. Having seen many “you’re trapped in a lab!” themed scenarios, both in take-home games and physical escape rooms, the plot of The Secret Lab could’ve been improved to make it more memorable or at least more realistic.

Either way, the puzzles of The Secret Lab were quite clever and delivered a great variety of fun and challenge. A nice touch was the thematic inclusion of using chemicals as codes and solutions to puzzles. The puzzles were all fairly creative, fun, and inclusive enough for our group of three players to all feel engaged for most of the time. The entirety of the components was used to the fullest extent, which is always good to see. For experienced escape gamers, we wouldn’t recommend any more than three players for this game.

Final Verdict:


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