Exit: The Game – The Cemetery of the Knight [Hivemind Review]

The Cemetery of the Knight is a tabletop escape game created by Exit: The Game.

Exit The Game The Cemetary of the Knigh cover art depicts a cemetery at dawn with many ravens

Format

Style of Play: tabletop escape game

Required Equipment: scissors, pen & paper

A phone is not required but there is an app with a timer and background sounds.

Recommended Team Size: 1-4

Play Time: 1-2 hours

Price: about $15

Booking: purchase and play at your leisure

Description

You have a once-in-87-years opportunity to retrieve a treasure from the tomb of Sir Reginald Wreston, if only you can follow the clues throughout the cemetery to find it. This game uses the standard game pieces for Exit: The Game installments: a riddle book (in this case, Sir Wreston’s journal), clue cards, various “strange items,” and a decoder wheel for entering the solutions to puzzles. Because this is a medium-difficulty installment in the series, you have access to clues from multiple puzzles at the same time, so you must determine for yourself which clues go together. As in all Exit: The Game installments, you must embrace destroying various parts of the game to solve some of the puzzles.

Cemetery of the Night box contents includes a deck of cards, a journal, a transparency, and a solution wheel.

Sarah Mendez’s Reaction

This is a fun game to bridge people from the novice Exit: The Game installments to the less linear, more difficult ones. The story in this game is driven via the answer cards rather than by sequentially turning pages in the riddle book. As such, the riddle book is a random collection of clues for you to connect with the appropriate part of the story, adding an extra level of deduction to the gameplay. I personally enjoy the ambiguity and connection opportunities of having many clues available to me at once, but it certainly makes the story more difficult to track.

As with any Exit: The Game installment, this game uses its pieces in unexpected ways, much more often than in installments with difficulty levels 1 and 2. As an experienced fan, I found most of these mechanics to be delightful in the way they defied expectations. However, knowledge of typical Exit: the Game mechanics is necessary to figure out these twists, which may frustrate newcomers to the series. Also, some of the more straightforward puzzles suffered from multiple interpretations of the clues, giving us the misleading sense that we were doing things correctly when we were not.

New to Exit: The Game? Don’t start here. Even if you’re an experienced puzzler outside of the series, this game assumes that you can reason about the game’s mechanics themselves. This is much more reasonable and satisfying if you’re already familiar with those mechanics rather than learning them for the first time.

Fan of Exit: The Game? This installment has an unusually large number of new surprises, reserving its low points for its less ambitious puzzles. So, if you enjoy these games for their novel mechanics more than for a perfect puzzle set, check this one out.

Kate Wastl’s Reaction

Plainly stated, if you are thinking about diving into the Exit: The Games series, The Cemetery of the Knight is not where I would suggest beginning. Suitable for players who have already completed multiple Exit: The Games installments, be prepared for at least two puzzles that require significant leaps in logic to solve. Alternatively, one puzzle in particular was incredibly clever in the utilization of game materials, and was a standout in the Exit: The Games series as a whole. Be mindful that the thematic dark and monotone artwork for this game made it difficult to differentiate scenery and puzzle artwork; bright lighting is strongly suggested.

Cindi S’ Reaction

In The Cemetery of the Knight, you set out on a quest to find a legendary artifact of a knight, but unfortunately you have to explore a creepy cemetery to do it! The game does an excellent job of weaving a mysterious tale in and around the puzzles, and you can almost smell the dust in the air as you search for the artifact. This was one of the better stories in the Exit: The Game series. The puzzles were unusual and tricky, and the final puzzle was really fun to discover. There was only one that did not work for me, perhaps something was lost in translation? I also found some of the clues to be hard to see, given the dark artwork throughout. Overall, it was a fun experience that had me engaged from beginning to end.

Theresa W’s Reaction

The Cemetery of the Knight was a pretty standard addition to the Exit: The Game series, with an unfortunate lack of great aha moments that I’ve encountered in their other games. Exit: The Game included one of our favorite moments among the series, along with a few of our lowest points. This iteration (and all iterations of the Exit: The Game series) could benefit greatly by including a portion of the instruction book that lists the gameplay mechanics that are different for seasoned players, as our team assumed we couldn’t progress in the booklet without being told, stalling our puzzling for a while. Once we figured out that we could use the booklet, we enjoyed many of the puzzles, yet they were unmemorable. If you’re in the mood to play an installment from Exit: The Game, I’d recommend reading the rule book before diving into this one!

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

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There are lots of ways to support Room Escape Artist, like buying from Amazon or Etsy after clicking into the links included in this post or backing us on Patreon.

The money that we make from these helps us to grow the site and continue to add more value to the community that we love so much.

Omescape – Detective Mimo [Hivemind Review]

Detective Mimo is a point-and-click mobile app game created by Omescape.

Detective Mimo cover art depicts an anthropomorphized cat police officer standing beside a desk.

Format

Style of Play:

  • Online native experience (can NOT be played IRL)
  • Play on-demand (i.e. purchase and play any time)
  • Point-and-click

Required Equipment: Mobile device

Recommended Team Size: 1

Play Time: This is an untimed game. Expect about 2-4 hours of play time.

Price: $2.99

Booking: purchase and play at your leisure

Description

Detective Mimo is a single-player, point-and-click game available on iOS (iphone or ipad) and Android.

You must guide Detective Mimo to do cat-detective-y things in pursuit of the mysterious Cat Rogue. As in typical point-and-click games, you interact with characters and objects to gather information and progress through the game.

A cap police officer looking at her reflection in her computer monitor.

Hivemind Review Scale

YouEscape – A Twist of Time [Hivemind Review]

A Twist of Time is the 13th game in a collection of avatar-led games created by YouEscape in Athens, Greece.

A blue table with a few locked boxes, a 75 minute timer, strange art with labels, and an odd transparent box.

Format

Style of Play:

  • Online native experience (can NOT be played IRL)
  • Avatar controlled by the players
  • Light puzzle hunt

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection, pen and paper

Expect to have multiple tabs open, plus Zoom, and to be switching back and forth between everything. Multiple screens would also be helpful.

Recommended Team Size: 2-4

Play Time: 70 minutes

Price: $30/month for a YouEscape Patreon membership which includes 1 game per month

Booking: book online for a specific time slot

Description

Once connected to Zoom, players get a brief introduction from the gamemaster. Then they are given a link to a Google Drive folder as well as a camera feed of boxes to unlock and props to interact with. The game begins by examining the contents of the folder, solving the puzzles within (sometimes by using outside internet resources), and following the puzzle path from there.

Editor’s note: YouEscape recommends players start with their easier games and progress through the games in order. Here are our reviews of some of their earlier games. I elected for REA to jump to a later game to see more of the series. Some of the writers contributing to this piece had more experience with YouEscape than others.

Hivemind Review Scale

Virtual Escaping – Detention [Hivemind Review]

Detention is a collaborative point-and-click escape game created by Virtual Escaping.

3D rendering of an old, rundown office in a school.

Format

Style of Play:

  • Online native experience (can NOT be played IRL)
  • Play on demand
  • Point-and-click

Required Equipment: computer with an internet connection

Recommended Team Size: 1-3

Play Time: 60-90 minutes

Price: $40

Booking: purchase and play at your leisure

Description

Detention is a point-and-click game with built-in video chat, allowing for team members to collaborate via a browser-based system. Players solve puzzles by searching, using inventory items, and opening locks.

You can choose to play without a timer or challenge the clock. You also have the option of playing an easy or expert level game.

Hivemind Review Scale

Exit: The Game – The Deserted Lighthouse (with Jigsaws) [Hivemind Review]

The Deserted Lighthouse is a tabletop escape game created by Exit: The Game.

Exit Deserted Lighthouse box art depicts an illuminated lighthouse in the middle of rough seas at night.

Format

Style of Play: tabletop escape game with jigsaw puzzle component

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: 2-3 hours

Price: about $25

Booking: purchase and play at your leisure

Description

You are on a mission to repair a mysteriously darkened lighthouse before a ship crashes into the shoreline. To reach the lamp and save the day, you must complete a series of jigsaw puzzles that represent different parts of the lighthouse and also provide clues and other tools to help you solve riddles along the way. 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.

4 individual bags of jigsaw puzzle pieces.

Sarah Mendez’s Reaction

Even more than The Sacred Temple, this game makes creative and multifaceted use of the jigsaw format, a bold step that yields both frustrations and rewards as it ramps up the difficulty level. Although some of my complaints from The Sacred Temple persist in this game (murky jigsaw art, awkward jigsaw collaboration), I found the pacing between jigsawing and solving to be much more balanced here because the clue-based puzzles were significantly heftier, requiring more connections and outside-the-box thinking. I particularly enjoyed combining clues across multiple jigsaw puzzles; it made the game feel simultaneously less linear and more coherent, like the different areas of the lighthouse were part of the same whole. On the other hand, I found some puzzles to be a bit too risky to enjoy (e.g. we might be doing a lot of unpleasant erasing if something went awry). Other times I was frustrated due to ambiguous cluing that lacked adequate opportunities for redirection, which sadly marred the most ambitious puzzle, among others. Fortunately, the hint system is solid.

Despite these extremes, overall I enjoyed this game. I don’t consider myself to be a jigsaw enthusiast, so it’s important to me for the jigsaw puzzles to justify themselves in other ways. Here, I felt like the creative and unexpected ways that the clue-based puzzles leveraged the jigsaw format satisfied this criterion. That, combined with the general complexity of the puzzles, resulted in more time deducing than jigsawing, which is the right balance for me. Nonetheless, the frustrations were distracting, so I’m still hoping for a more seamless experience in future versions of this format.

Assorted game components including a sea map, a solution wheel, and instructions.

Cindi S’ Reaction

The lighthouse is dark, the keeper is missing, and there’s a ship sailing through the storm that will crash into the rocks – unless you can figure out how to get inside and restore the broken lamp in time! The Deserted Lighthouse is the second game in the Exit: The Game series to include jigsaw puzzles as part of the experience, and compared to The Sacred Temple, this one was much more enjoyable. The story was minimal, and I’m not exactly sure I understood part of the ending, but it’s the puzzles that stood out and made this game fun. There were a number of really unique and surprising manipulations of game materials to lead you to solutions. One multi-layered puzzle was so cool I had to call people over to show them! As with The Sacred Temple, the addition of jigsaw puzzles increases the length of the game – each puzzle took me about 15 minutes, and that adds up when there are four jigsaws in the box – but it also adds new opportunities for unusual and satisfying tactile puzzles. I hope the series continues to innovate, experiment, and light the path forward for other tabletop escape game designers.

Kate Wastl’s Reaction

Of the many Exit: The Game installations played so far in this series of reviews, The Deserted Lighthouse was a favorite. Assuming that the players’ jigsaw puzzle skills are up to par (of which mine assuredly are not), the gameplay within The Deserted Lighthouse is fair and worth the work required for the reveals. There were several pops of satisfying realizations and fair discoveries that are tied together with beautiful artwork. In this edition, the puzzles embedded into completed jigsaws were much more legible than in The Sacred Temple, and had minimal logical leaps. This game would be good for groups of three players (four at most), and would be a reasonable challenge for those new to the Exit: The Game series.

Theresa W’s Reaction

I quite love what Exit: The Game is doing with the jigsaw puzzle series, and The Deserted Lighthouse is no exception. As your team rushes to turn back on the lighthouse to save a ship from hitting shore, puzzles are blocking your path! By using your wits and your (clearly) superior jigsaw skills, you’ll be able to get the ship back safely. The puzzles aren’t too difficult at only 88 pieces, but the lack of color definition makes them a bit tedious. With some more contrast, these puzzles could really be fun for all audiences, and not just folks comfortable with jigsaws. The puzzles were standard for the Exit: The Game series, but used the jigsaws to amplify what could have been less exciting in the traditional card and booklet format. If you’re comfortable solving jigsaws, or okay spreading this across multiple plays, I definitely recommend checking this out (and picking up The Sacred Temple while you’re at it!).

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

Support Room Escape Artist’s Mission

There are lots of ways to support Room Escape Artist, like buying from Amazon or Etsy after clicking into the links included in this post or backing us on Patreon.

The money that we make from these helps us to grow the site and continue to add more value to the community that we love so much.