A Holiday Advent-ure
Location: at home
Date Played: November, 2023
Team size: 1+; we recommend 1-2
Duration: Average 10 minutes per day for 24 days
Price: about $49.99
If you’ve never played an Advent calendar from Exit: The Game, you are really missing out. Having played The Hunt for The Golden Book and The Mystery of the Ice Cave in previous years, I was ready to start counting down to Christmas way before December 1. Sure, you won’t find chocolate behind any of the sealed doors, but you will find clever, unique, Exit: The Game-style puzzles that can be solved in 5-10 minutes per day.
Similar in style and structure to the previous calendars, The Silent Storm offered a whimsical Christmas narrative and 24 thematic puzzles that often required out-of-the-box thinking to solve. While some were straightforward and simple, a few were less obvious and had us reaching for a hint in the help book. Though there were a couple of puzzles with solutions that were kind of awkward or a bit of a stretch to get to the intended answer, puzzling was strong overall.
The story of our journey through Santa’s workshop during a natural disaster provided reasons for the puzzles; it was engaging and less repetitive than prior Advent calendars. The nifty decoder table allowed us to easily confirm our solution and locate the next day’s door. For such a simple tool, it worked really well. Fanciful artwork and miniature Riddle Cards gave a nod to the tabletop series, as was the part where everything we saw was – or could be – in play. Yes, everything!
There are many different varieties of Advent calendars out there, all of which will help you count the days until Christmas. But if you love the Exit: The Game series, or just want a daily dose of inventive puzzles and a jolly Christmas story, you can’t go wrong with Exit: The Game’s The Silent Storm, which I consider the best of the 3. For what this game is trying to be, they really nailed it. I bet you won’t even miss the chocolate.
Who is this for?
- Puzzle lovers
- Fans of the Exit: The Game tabletop games
- Any experience level
- Clever, bite-size puzzles
- To save Christmas, of course!
It’s been one of those days! Both an earthquake AND a blizzard have wreaked havoc on Santa’s workshop, made a huge mess everywhere, and locked all the doors! As Santa’s security officers, we needed to keep everyone calm and go room by room, assessing the damage and unlocking the doors so Christmas deliveries could remain on schedule.
The game consisted of a calendar box with 24 sealed doors, a story book, a help book, and a decoder 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, and confirmation that our solution was correct.
Exit: Advent Calendar’s The Silent Storm 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.
➕ The puzzles were connected by an engaging story in which we were the main character. Instead of simply opening a door or solving a standalone puzzle, we were involved in a quest through Santa’s workshop to save Christmas, and the puzzles were integral to the story. Reading a small selection every day not only enhanced the puzzling, but enabled more than one player to participate.
❓The story pages included detailed descriptions of what we would find behind each day’s door. We were then instructed to open the door and solve the puzzle inside. This was awkward, as the anticipation of wanting to see what was behind the door was distracting and we often missed story details. We decided that opening the door first, setting aside the contents, and then reading the story as we studied the scene worked much better.
➕ The puzzles were the highlight: creative, inventive, so-obvious-it-can’t-be-that-easy, so-tricky-I-need-a nudge, layered, hidden-in-plain-sight, unexpected… basically exactly what you’d expect in an Exit: The Game experience.
➖ We worked on one puzzle early on for about 15 minutes, passing the box back and forth between us, studying the riddle cards and scene behind the door. We were convinced we were just missing something obvious. It turned out we were; our box was missing a significant piece of the puzzle. Note that the help book explained that the calendars are assembled by hand and offered a contact in case of any issues.
➕ The decoder tool was easy to use and worked well to help us verify our solution and find the next day’s door.
❓ Like most Exit: The Game boxed games, the calendar was one-time use, as we were led to cut, tear, fold, and otherwise destroy things. It was unavoidable.
Tips For Players
- All 3 of the Exit: The Game Advent calendars are standalone experiences; they do not need to be played in a specific order, and are not year-specific.
- 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!
- We found a magnifying glass and a light source (phone or flashlight) to be helpful for viewing the detailed scenes behind the doors, as they are are small, dark, and otherwise hard to see.
- Required Gear: Scissors, pencil
Buy your copy of EXIT: Advent Calendar’s The Silent Storm, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.
Disclosure: Exit: The Game provided a complimentary game.