The Exit series of games from Kosmos (designed by Inka & Marcus Brand) know how to integrate a theme into an escape room in a box. From piloting an out of control plane, travelling across middle earth, or escaping from a haunted mansion every game in the series feels unique and directly linked to the story. I was very excited when I opened Exit: The Enchanted Forest as I love a good Fairy Tale and the box cover alone promised a talking tree and a frog prince. But did the game make me happy ever after or leave a nasty taste in the mouth like a rotten apple presented by an old witch…read on to find out. (By the way this is obviously a spoiler free review)
If You Go Down To The Woods Today
Very quick introduction to the Exit series. These are a cheap one time play through escape room in a box. You will be solving riddles, destroying cards, using a decoder, reading stories, drawing on the box and the contents all with the aim of solving ten puzzles and completing the story. They normally last anywhere between 45 minutes and 2 hours depending on the difficulty you choose and how you find the puzzles. The box says you can play with one to four players and I would agree that four should be about the maximum player count. Any more players would mean several people have nothing to do and would struggle to see the cards and pictures from across the table.
The Enchanted Forest falls into the Novice two star level of difficulty and should not really pose a problem for many players. As with all the exit games each puzzle does include two hints and (in the worst case scenario) a solution should you really struggle, however just the first hint is normally enough to push you in the right direction.
Heigh Ho Heigh Ho, It's Off To Work We Go
This game is definitely not one of the Exit games that can be replayed at a later date. You will have cut up, ripped, drawn on and generally modified almost all of the components by the games end. This doesn’t deter me from playing these games as the price point is low and almost all (if not all) of the contents are recyclable.
The story starts with you taking a walk and you cross a bridge to look in some woods, however no sooner than you step off the bridge it disappears and the woods don’t look as enticing as they did previously. You then meet a series of characters from various fairy tales who all require your help until eventually you escape from the woods and find a way back over to safe ground.
The story never feels menacing and could easily be read to younger players without fear of causing nightmares. All of the characters you meet are easily recognisable and are drawn very well. As always with the Exit series the puzzles feel well linked with the story and enhance it rather than get in the way.
The puzzles are on the easier side of all of the Exit games I have played and there are a few similar mechanisms used that I have seen before, however there were also a few interesting surprises and ‘oh that’s cool’ moments.
I have played through quite a few of the Exit games including last years brilliant advent calendar and it still took me 1 hour 15 minutes to finish this game. At no point did I become frustrated or bored with the puzzles and the story certainly moved at a good pace.
Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo
For players experienced in the Exit series you might want to leave this one as it is on the easy side and some of the puzzles do have a familiar feeling. However I would recommend Exit: The Enchanted Forest for people new to the series or if you would like to introduce the concept to younger players (with parental guidance of course). The story will certainly keep everyone engaged and the puzzles are fairly simple although may require a bit of head scratching at times.
I had fun playing through the puzzles and once again I marvel at Inka & Marcus Brand’s ingenuity at creating these games whilst linking the puzzles to the story so well.