What Is An EXIT Game?
The Cursed Labyrinth is one of the most recent entries into the exit series as of 2021. For any of you who have not yet come across an exit game, they're an escape room in a box. You get an assortment of strange objects and riddle cards to unravel as you try to beat the clock to victory. I say beat the clock, but there is no real-time limit. After the game is complete, there is a bit that asks you how long and how many clue cards you used to give you a ranking. This just adds another layer for the more competitive people, i.e. myself, but for those of you that just want to take your time and enjoy the experience, that's fine too.
This is one of those games that is ideal as a gift, it is fun and quirky and also fantastic for a dinner party as well.
Are The Games Expensive?
The other thing to keep in mind with these EXIT games, is that they are all single-use, as solving some of the clues will require you to destroy parts of the game, but the price of each game is the price of one person going to an escape room, so for a group, it's a bargain and just as good as any escape room you may have been to. There are a variety of degrees of difficulty from beginner up to expert, this game is a beginner one, but don't let it lure you into a false sense of security, even the easy games like this one have a good degree of difficulty to them.
The puzzles can be frustrating, the second to last in The Cursed Labyrinth made use of one of the dreaded clue cards to assist us. This game is a kind of sequel to a previous game, The Forbidden Castle, but don't worry you don't actually need to play this one 1st, as it's just a loose tie into the one-page narrative before the start of the game. They sometimes do this with the exit games but there are no real links and are all stand alone. I have played all the exit games so If you like this one, I can also recommend my top for each difficulty, easy - The Haunted Roller Coaster, medium - Theft on the Mississippi and hard - Catacombs Of Horror.
The plot to this one is you have been on a tour of the Forbidden Castle (there's that tie in) and before getting back on the bus, your tour guide suggests you have a look around the stone Labyrinth. After touching a gargoyle (gargoyle is what the book says, but as we all know a gargoyle is only a gargoyle if it has water coming from its mouth, anything else is a grotesque, but I digress) you are then told that the labyrinth is cursed and you must solve the puzzles to escape.
How Does It Work?
You start by reading the instructions (I know that sounds a bit stupid, but the introduction is in the instructions and it sets the scene, also if this is your first time playing it makes sense to read the instructions.) you then start the game with a disc with numbers and symbols on and a booklet that leads you through the cursed labyrinth.
To play you solve the clue on the riddle cards to get a 3 digit number, you then enter the number into the disc under the corresponding symbol and check the answer card of the number that comes up, if it's right you get a picture of a lode of doors that sends you to another answer card that will give you the next part of the story and tell you what you're allowed to use for the next clue, if your wrong you get a card with a big x on it saying your wrong, in which case you need to rethink your answer and try again.
Don't worry if you get stuck there are help cards if you start to shout at the cards “it doesn't make any sense!” to each riddle there's a help card 1 that gives you basic information like “to solve this you need riddle cards c and d and there are scissor marks, maybe that means something” then help card 2 gives you more information and if it still really makes no sense the last card has the solution that tells you how to do it and gives you the right numbers to put in the disc and find the answer card. Also, it might be useful to know that sometimes you literally need to think outside the box, or perhaps, inside the box as there are answers EVERYWHERE!
How Enjoyable Is The Game?
Personally, I found The Cursed Labyrinth really fun, it was engaging from beginning to end, the puzzles in this one had a gradual increase in difficulty, with the last couple of puzzles almost reaching a medium puzzle, this was a nice steady progression, as with some of the other exit games the difficulty is not always a steady progression, you can sometimes have a difficult one, followed by an extremely easy one. The puzzles in this particular one were great because they made you think, but when you got the answer you felt incredibly clever, and that you've really accomplished something. The puzzles have lots of individual components in this one which is something I personally like.