Exit: The Game – The Haunted Roller Coaster [Hivemind Review]

The Haunted Roller Coaster is a tabletop escape game created by Exit: The Game.

Exit The Game Haunted Roller Coaster box art depicting a specter on tracks.

Format

Style of Play: tabletop escape game

Required Equipment: scissors, pen & paper

No digital components needed! Unplug and play.

Recommended Team Size: 2-3

Play Time: 1-2 hours

Price: about $15

Booking: purchase and play at your leisure

Description

This game used the standard format for novice Exit: The Game installments. You have access to a puzzle book, clue cards, various “strange items,” and a decoder wheel for entering the solutions to puzzles. In the novice games like this one, the puzzle book walks you through one puzzle at a time. As in all Exit: The Game installments, you must embrace destroying various parts of the game to solve some of the puzzles.

Exit The Game Haunted Roller Coaster box and assorted components.

Sarah Mendez’s Reaction

As a longstanding roller coaster fan, my overriding hope for this game was that it would finally be The Amusement Park Game that actually does justice to the theme. Alas, it was not; the story was roller-coaster-adjacent at best. There is a roller coaster, and it does contribute to a couple of puzzles, but then the story becomes indistinguishable from traversing a haunted house. So, don’t play this just because you like roller coasters.

That said, this had a surprisingly good onramping experience for players new to the series. More than some of the other novice Exit: The Game installments, this game does a decent job directing your attention to gameplay elements that are easy to overlook, and the hints walk you through how to think about the puzzles. I enjoyed the variety of puzzles even though they were easy, and I found them logical enough to share with my kids. As with many Exit: The Game installments, however, one of the later puzzles is rather unstable and overly vulnerable to imprecise execution, disrupting the momentum of the game somewhat. I also am not a fan of cutting intricate shapes out of the playing cards because that alone definitely halts the game. I wish these pieces were provided as “strange items” instead.

New to Exit: The Game? This game is fine! It represents aspects of the series reasonably well and helps you discover them. You’ll learn how the series works, do some fun puzzles, and decide whether some common frustrations are deal breakers for you.

Fan of Exit: The Game? This would be most fun to play with newer players. Otherwise, it didn’t have much novel to offer me as someone experienced with the series.

Cindi S’ Reaction

What could be more fun than being stuck on an amusement park ride with ghosts and goblins giving you the creeps? The Haunted Roller Coaster gets your attention right away with an engaging story and well-designed puzzles. Exit: The Game installments in general are highly creative and this one is no exception. The variety of the puzzles was impressive; some used logic, some were tactile, and there was more than one surprise to be discovered. While I would say this game is kid-friendly, the puzzles were still challenging and I needed a hint once or twice. This game is a standout among the Exit: The Game installments I’ve played.

Kate Wastl’s Reaction

The Haunted Roller Coaster was a great blend of a number of different types of game mechanics, the lion’s share of which were easy to follow and fun to work through. We found ourselves laughing as we played through the pages of the gamebook, with the art being particularly engaging and lending itself to the key aha moments in the game. This game is probably best played with two players; there is one very logic-heavy puzzle that is a bit long for bystanding players if you’re playing with more than two people. The same logic puzzle would have still worked if there was a bit less content to sort through. Overall, the hidden game mechanics are what makes this game so enjoyable and I would certainly recommend it.

Theresa W’s Reaction

The Haunted Roller Coaster was an awesomely cute low-level boxed game with adorable monsters and fun, tangible puzzles. Exit: The Game continued to absolutely amuse me with the many, many ways they were able to twist the typical rules of puzzle games and catch us unexpectedly. This game would be great to introduce anyone into the series, as the level of difficulty was low and the on-ramping was quite steady. The theme was way more cute than creepy, so don’t let the box art spook you! A small number of puzzles had us scratching our heads, but the majority were straightforward and charming. I really appreciate the after-game rewards Exit: The Game has been adding into their games, as they give a nice little activity to do post-game.

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

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The Other Tales – Gatekeeper [Hivemind Review]

Gatekeeper is a print-and-play game created by The Other Tales in Hawthorne, NJ.

Printed components for Gatekeeper

Format

Style of Play:

  • Play on demand
  • Print-and-play

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection, printer, pen & paper, and scissors

You only need the computer to download the PDF.

Recommended Team Size: 1-3

Play Time: There is no time limit. Plan on 60-75 minutes including set up.

Price: $29.99

Booking: purchase and play at your leisure

Description

This game is a 24-page PDF that is divided into several “chapters.” Each chapter consists of several pages, each displaying either a room in a mysterious mansion or an object that you found. To move on to the next chapter, you must unlock a door in the mansion by combining information from the pages to solve puzzles. Once you’ve solved all the puzzles in a chapter, you “unlock” the door and proceed.

Note that there is an instruction that tells you which pages you don’t necessarily need to print if you want to save paper.

Hivemind Review Scale

Trapped Puzzle Rooms – The Spielburger Box Set [Hivemind Review]

The Spielburger Box Set is a tabletop escape game created by Trapped Puzzle Rooms in Saint Paul, MN.

An assortment of parody DVD boxes beside a bowl of popcorn including, "The Boonies" "Indiana Bones," and "Mandibles."

Format

Style of Play:

  • tabletop escape game
  • play on demand
  • includes video elements
  • light puzzle hunt

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection (or mobile device), pen and paper, scissors, tape

Recommended Team Size: 1-4

Play Time: 3-6 hours

Price: $45.95

Booking: purchase, wait for the game to ship to you, and play at your leisure

Description

This game is a set of puzzles based on punny knock-offs of Steven Spielberg movies. Each of the 5 chapters (movies) has two paper puzzles whose answers you validate via a website. You will go back and forth between the puzzles in the box and the website. You can play the 5 game chapters in any order. There is a short series of meta-puzzles at the end.

Hivemind Review Scale

Exit: The Game – The Enchanted Forest [Hivemind Review]

The Enchanted Forest is a tabletop escape game created by Exit: The Game.

Exit The Game - The Enchanted Forest box art depicts a living tree reaching out for a frog prince.

Format

Style of Play: tabletop escape game

Required Equipment: scissors, pen & paper

No digital components needed! Unplug and play.

Recommended Team Size: 2-3

Play Time: 1-2 hours

Price: about $15

Booking: purchase and play at your leisure

Description

This game used the standard format for novice Exit: The Game installments. You have access to a puzzle book, clue cards, various “strange items,” and a decoder wheel for entering the solutions to puzzles. In the novice games like this one, the puzzle book walks you through one puzzle at a time. As in all Exit: The Game installments, you must embrace destroying various parts of the game to solve some of the puzzles.

Assorted box elements include a deck of cards, an image that looks like it's from a fairy tale, a decoder wheel, a glowing red maple leaf, and a card with the box art labeled, "Once upon a time..."
Continue reading “Exit: The Game – The Enchanted Forest [Hivemind Review]”

Clue HQ – The Warp Core Part 3 [Hivemind Review]

The Warp Core Part 3 is a point-and-click game in Telescape, created by Clue HQ in the UK.

The Warp Core title screen.

Format

Style of Play:

  • Adaptation of an in-person game (can be played IRL)
  • Play on demand
  • Web-based inventory system
  • Point-and-click
  • Video-based experience

Required Equipment: computer with internet connection

Recommended Team Size: 2-4

Play Time: 60 minutes

Price: £15 per team

Booking: purchase and play at your leisure

Description

This is an avatar-less Telescape game that provides 360-degree room views with hotspots that reveal more detail. You complete puzzles by clicking on interactive elements to enter information. You also collect and use inventory items, but you don’t have to actively manage them. They appear on the screen when they are useful.

The space you view in Telescape looks like a game you could play in person, but the online puzzles seemed to be altered or completely different from any possible real-life version.

The time machine's interior as viewed through Telescape.

Hivemind Review Scale