Exit: The Game – House of Riddles [Hivemind Review]

House of Riddles is a tabletop escape game created by Exit: The Game.

The assorted items from House of Riddles laid on the floor.

Format

Style of Play: tabletop escape game

Required Equipment: scissors, pen & paper

A mobile device isn’t strictly necessary, but there is an optional companion app.

Recommended Team Size: 1-3

Play Time: about 60 minutes

Price: ~$15

Description

This game uses the standard format for novice Exit: The Game games. You have access to a puzzle book, clue cards, various “strange items”, and a decoder wheel for entering the solutions to puzzles. In the novice games like this one, the puzzle book walks you through one puzzle at a time. As in all Exit games, you must embrace destroying various parts of the game to solve some of the puzzles.

Room Escape Artist has reviewed many games in the Exit: The Game series. Our first review in the series explains the core mechanics and structure of play in greater detail.

Tammy McLeod’s Reaction

Like all Exit: The Game games, the quality of the game materials is high, but compared to their other offerings, this box falls on the easy side. The puzzle flow is completely linear, and is straightforward enough to be fun for newbie puzzlers. The process puzzles should also be interesting for younger kids. Experienced escape room players will likely not be challenged much by this game, which the publisher rates at a 2/5 difficulty level and I agree.

Cara Mandel’s Reaction

I generally enjoy each of the games I’ve played from Exit: The Game and The House of Riddles was no exception. The gameplay followed the traditional format with three decks of cards supplying clues, answers, and hints if needed. There were also some mysterious items included that were fun to play with when the time came. A few of the puzzles had us questioning ourselves enough to check the hint system to make sure we were on the right track. Thankfully, with a little nudge of confirmation, we were able to complete each one. Overall, it was a fun, family-friendly game with a delightful little payoff for each player at the end.

House of Riddles box with a detective ID card filled out with the name Cara

Sarah Mendez’s Reaction

This game offers a decent array of novice puzzles, but doesn’t do justice to the traits that make the Exit: The Game series special. The story is simultaneously verbose and uninspiring: if you want to meet some real-life “detectives,” you must solve their riddles! The linear presentation of the puzzles (typical of the easiest games in the series) puts the burden of enjoyment on the individual puzzles. Here, they range from amusingly physical to easily malfunctional, with most being solid but forgettable. This left me annoyed at the frustrations without anything novel or delightful to counterbalance this feeling.

New to Exit: The Game? You might enjoy some of the puzzles, and you’ll get a straightforward introduction to how these games work. However, don’t judge the whole series based on this installment…it gets better!

Fan of Exit: The Game? You can probably skip this one unless you truly like playing these games just because they’re by Exit: The Game (which, admittedly, I do). Especially if you enjoy the harder games in the series, you’ll finish this quickly and forget it soon after.

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