The Mysterious Time Machine
Location: at home
Date Played: February 19, 2020
Team size: 1-4; we recommend 2-3
Duration: 1-2 hours
Price: about $10
Publisher: Thames & Kosmos
Exit: The Game’s The Mysterious Museum was one of our favorites of the series… and it completely caught us off guard. The name and packaging looked painfully drab and unappealing, so much so that it sat on our shelf collecting dust for about a year. It turned out that this boxed escape game was actually a clever time travel story.
The Mysterious Museum was one of the easiest tabletop escape games that we’ve played, but don’t read that as a criticism. There is an underappreciated joy that comes from playing a beginner-friendly tabletop puzzle game; things just click and flow.
The puzzle style was more about observation and connection than deeper solving. If you are an experienced puzzler, especially one familiar with the Exit: The Game series, your playthrough will likely go by quickly. We may have breezed through this game in under 30 minutes, but we weren’t bothered by that because we found that time so enjoyable.
Who is this for?
- Puzzle lovers
- Tabletop puzzlers
- Any experience level
- This was one of the smoothest Exit: The Game experiences we’ve played
- Some clever puzzles that we enjoyed as experienced players, but are straightforward enough for beginners
- Fantastic low-key Easter eggs for Exit: The Game fans
On a field trip to the Florence Natural History Museum, we had accidentally fiddled with an artifact and found ourselves traveling through time!
Our first review of Exit: The Game dove deep into their core mechanics. You can visit that review for more structural details.
Exit: The Game’s The Mysterious Museum was a standard play-at-home escape game with an easy level of difficulty.
Core gameplay revolved around searching, observing, and making connections.
➕ With The Mysterious Museum, Exit: The Game put an interesting twist on the escape “room” format. We moved through the same room repeatedly, in different time periods. We liked this change in format.
➕ We enjoyed the art direction and illustrations in The Mysterious Museum.
➖ Although we enjoyed the uses of destructibles in this escape game, we think the gameplay would have been cleaner if those destructible puzzles were presented in reverse order, with the destruction as the means to the solve first, and as the crux of the solve second.
➖ One puzzle didn’t speak to us clearly enough. It was a little out there.
➕ We enjoyed Exit: The Game’s twist on “mysterious object” for this game.
➕ Exit: The Game has continued to find ways to innovate while relying on the same core game mechanics. While not unexpected, this game’s innovation was an especially bright spot in our playthrough.
➕ At the conclusion of The Mysterious Museum, Exit: The Game included some amusing little keepsakes. We enjoyed the prizes and an Easter egg.
➖ Looking back at the hint cards after we’d finished, the stage 1 hinting seemed a bit heavy-handed.
Tips For Players
- Space Requirements: a small table
- Required Gear: scissors
Buy your copy of Exit: The Game’s The Mysterious Museum, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.
Disclosure: Exit: The Game provided a sample for review.