24 puzzling days ’til Christmas
Location: At home
Date Played: November, 2022
Team size: 1+; we recommend 1-2
Duration: Average 10 minutes per day for 24 days
Price: about $49.95
When I first heard that Exit: The Game was coming out with a new Advent calendar this holiday season, I immediately called my local gaming store to find out the release date. Having played their Mystery of the Ice Cave last year, I knew to expect fun, think-outside-of-the-box puzzles with those special aha moments found in their standalone games. An Exit: The Game puzzle each day for 24 days until Christmas? Yes, please!
Lifting the lid of the rather large box-shaped calendar, I noticed the detailed artwork depicting a snow-covered village under a large, glowing moon. 24 sealed doors, each with a lock icon and 3 mysterious symbols covered the lower half of the scene. I couldn’t wait to find out what puzzles lay behind those doors. I also couldn’t help but check out the rest of the box, wondering what, if anything, might be part of a puzzle!
Solving Exit: The Game-style puzzles takes creative thinking and looking beyond the obvious. The puzzles ranged from simple to tricky. We solved most within 10 minutes, including the time to read each day’s story page. The simple mechanic of discovering which door to open next worked really well and ensured we didn’t open the wrong one by mistake. We also enjoyed a few unexpected references to well-known holiday movies and real-life people. Though there were a few puzzles that were confusing or overly complicated, and one that referenced information more common in the UK, most were delightful and fun to solve.
The Hunt for the Golden Book is a fun, family-friendly experience, appropriate for kids 10 and older. Fans of the Exit: The Game series will find a lot to like as well. It’s those unexpected discoveries and seeing puzzle components in a completely new way that keep me coming back for more.
Who is this for?
- Puzzle lovers
- Fans of Exit: The Game installments
- Any experience level
- Players who WANT to be a part of every puzzle!
- Fun, think-outside-the-box puzzles
- Get your puzzle fix in about 10 min per day
- Countdown to Christmas!
Santa’s Golden Book, containing names, addresses and Christmas wishes, had mysteriously disappeared. We’d been asked to search through a seemingly deserted village to find the book and save Christmas!
The game consisted of a calendar box with 24 sealed doors, a story book, a help book, and a translator tool.
Each day, we turned to the appropriate page in the story book and read the section; it described the scene we were about to see and told us to open the next door on the box (which we’d determined from the prior day’s puzzle). While most Advent calendars have candy behind every door, this one had puzzles.
Once we’d solved the puzzle and discovered the 3-digit code, we entered the code in the translator. The resulting symbols provided directions to find the next day’s door.
Exit Game’s The Hunt for The Golden Book Advent Calendar was a unique play-at-home escape activity with a moderate level of difficulty.
Core gameplay consisted of reading the story, searching, making connections, and puzzling.
➕ With the Advent Calendar, Exit: The Game reimagined their standard game mechanics to fit them into a new mold. The decoder tool became the mechanic to find the next day’s door. It was easy to use and effectively ensured we did not open the wrong door by mistake. Plus the look and feel of Exit: The Game tabletop games was nicely captured through familiar components such as riddle cards and an instruction booklet.
➕/➖ The story worked well, connecting the 24 doors together narratively and keeping us focused on our objective. However, it became somewhat repetitive as we progressed, with no major story developments until the very end.
❓The story pages described our journey each day as we searched for the Golden Book, and included detailed descriptions of what we would find behind that day’s door. I found this counterintuitive; we generally opened the door first, and then read the description so we could see what was being described.
➕ Puzzles came in a wide range of difficulty, from very simple to layered and complex. It’s impressive to find such unique and creative puzzles given the limited space and components.
➖ One puzzle had a riddle card that was somewhat misleading. We spent time trying to manipulate, yet not damage, a section of the game in our search for the correct answer.
➕ We both agreed our favorite puzzle was a pure Exit: The Game-style aha moment, using several things we’d previously overlooked that suddenly came together in an inventive, unexpected way.
❓At about $50, the price point was higher than traditional Exit: The Game installments or other Advent calendars. However, I felt it was worth it. This was a quality product assembled individually by hand; it provided a daily puzzling experience that was fun and added up to almost 4 hours of gameplay over 24 days. The value decision depends on what you’re looking to get out of an Advent calendar.
Tips For Players
- Space Requirements: You will need room on a table for the fairly large calendar box and the puzzle components and cards you will find behind the doors. Don’t throw anything away; you never know when you might need it!
- Required Gear: Scissors, pencil, internet connection (for one puzzle)
Buy your copy of EXIT Game’s The Hunt for The Golden Book and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.
Disclosure: Exit: The Game provided a complimentary copy for review.
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