Exit: The Game – Nightfall Manor (with Jigsaws) [Hivemind Review]

Nightfall Manor is a tabletop escape game created by Exit: The Game.

A solution wheel covered in blood, and a cardboard cutout of a backpack, resting atop an assembled jigsaw puzzle.


Style of Play: tabletop escape game with jigsaw puzzle component

Who is it For?

  • Story seekers
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Any experience level

Required Equipment: scissors, pen & paper

A mobile device is not required, but can be used for background sound effects.

Recommended Team Size: 1-4

Play Time: 1.5-3 hours

Price: about $25

Booking: purchase and play at your leisure


Your friend Gaston is missing after setting off to explore the local spooky castle. To find Gaston, you must explore a path to and through the manor, constructing different scenes as jigsaw puzzles and revealing clues and riddles. For each riddle, you enter a 3-digit code into a decoder wheel. If the code is correct, you gain access to a new pamphlet and/ or jigsaw puzzle that provides additional narration and instructions for the next riddle.

A collection of worn-looking game pamphlets resting atop 2 different assembled jigsaw puzzles.

Theresa W’s Reaction

Nightfall Manor is one of the more solid, well executed games in the Exit: The Game series. It stands up well along with the other installments that include jigsaw puzzles. The designers have added subtle clues throughout the narrative passages to lessen the logic leaps that plagued some of their past installments. The jigsaws themselves were fun to solve, and the way the puzzle pieces were used in gameplay is both clever and innovative. The game got stronger as the puzzles progressed, with a rewarding end sequence based on decisions you make along the way. If you’re looking to try one of the Exit: The Game jigsaws, Nightfall Manor is a great choice!

Sarah Mendez’s Reaction

Nightfall Manor was a solid game that highlighted some of the positive things about the Exit: The Game jigsaw format, but without delving into innovative new realms. Having played The Sacred Temple and The Deserted Lighthouse, I found this game to have the clearest and prettiest jigsaws so far, which made them fun to do without taking too much time. This created a fair balance between jigsawing and clue-based puzzling, with only one of the four jigsaws feeling like it didn’t have enough follow-up puzzling to justify its creation. Meanwhile, the clue-based puzzles often used the jigsaws in familiar ways from the previous games. If I hadn’t played the previous jigsaw installments, I would have had fun discovering these mechanics. As it was, I knew the kinds of manipulations to expect, so parts of the game felt like going through motions. Also, the final puzzle was offputting, as it anticlimactically took us out of the world more than the rest of the game. Finally, the game had a mysterious thru-line that was both admirable and frustrating. It was unclear how we were expected to approach this task: guesswork based on outside knowledge, in-game clues, or random wackiness. I have mixed feelings about how this played out and affected our final “score,” but I still appreciated the attempt to give coherence to the game in this way.

I think this was generally well sign-posted for newer players of these jigsaw hybrids, so as a 2/5 difficulty Exit: The Game installment, it achieves its goals. The Deserted Lighthouse is still my favorite of the three I’ve played, but this one comes in second.

Kate Wastl’s Reaction

In another much-appreciated jigsaw puzzle edition, Exit: The Game provides a well-rounded experience with Nightfall Manor. In a continuation of the previous jigsaw puzzle editions that Exit: The Game has produced, the artwork is aesthetically-fitting and plays off of the printed game materials very well. The element that I most enjoyed while playing Nightfall Manor was the variable ending, dependent on player decisions. One mid-to-late puzzle in particular felt a bit forced; if a puzzle requires a series of instructions that complex, perhaps the entire puzzle should be reevaluated. Nightfall Manor would be best enjoyed by enthusiasts who enjoy jigsaw puzzles, not necessarily jigsaw puzzlers who want to try this genre for the first time.

Cindi S’ Reaction

Nightfall Manor sent us on a quest to find Gaston, who’d gone in search of the lord of the mysterious manor, and had since gone missing. This was the third game in Exit: The Game catalog that used jigsaw puzzles as a key part of gameplay. Compared to the earlier games, the artwork in Nightfall Manor’s jigsaw puzzles was superior, with easy to see, detailed clues and the surprising twists that we’ve come to expect from Exit: The Game. The story was engaging and had us make choices early on that directly impacted the exciting ending. The hint system was easy to use to get either a subtle nudge or complete solution; we had to use it for one puzzle, which was confusing to figure out, but resulted in a pretty cool solution. Four different background audios rounded out the experience and added to the ambience, usually non-existent in tabletop games. It always amazes me how many different ways Thames & Kosmos can use the same components and still come up with fresh ideas, most of which you never see coming. This is one of the stronger installments from Exit: The Game, a definite must play for fans of the series.

Disclosure: Exit: The Game provided the Hivemind reviewers with a complimentary play.

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