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This is a spoiler free review, all components shown are items you will see in the box on opening and these are also shown on the back of the box!
EXIT: The Catacombs of Horror is the newest escape room game from the EXIT series, but it brings something new to the table! If you are not familiar with the EXIT series, they are individual adventures in a box, with various themes. One game might have you escaping from a creepy cabin in the woods while another could take place on the Orient Express. What sets the EXIT series apart from other escape room games, amongst other things, is the use of a decoder disk. You will find clues, giving you codes to enter into the decoder which in turn will instruct you to look at a card, which will let you know if your hunch was correct by giving you further clues, or lead to a dead end if you were wrong!
Where The Catacombs of Horror differs from the rest of the series, is that it is a two part adventure! You can play both parts back to back for an extra long game or take a break and return to the game at a later time, it’s entirely up to you! Each part takes around an hour, but the timer doesn’t end the game as in some escape room games, so it can take a little longer.
|Player Count||1 – 4 players|
|Play Time||80 – 160 mins|
|Difficulty Rating||4.5 / 5|
Disclaimer: This game was provided by the publisher, but my reviews are always 100% honest and all photos and opinions are my own!
GAME PLAY 7/10
The Catacombs of Horror as you might imagine is set in the Catacombs of Paris where dark and mysterious things are happening. Your friend, an archaeologist, has gone missing in it’s depths and it is down to you to unearth the mysteries of the Catacombs to find him!
With it’s dark horror theme, this adventure is rated for 16+ while many of the previous adventures are suitable for 12+. The difficulty rating given to the game by Kosmos is 4.5 out of 5 making it the most advanced game in the series so far! I would say this rating is fair, although I have not played ALL the Exit games, this one did feel a bit more complex, sometime to it’s own detriment though.
Thematically it works great, and there were some really fun and clever puzzles that give you a real feeling of satisfaction when you do finally crack them. The adventure builds up to a final puzzle, the ‘boss’ puzzle if you will. Unfortunately we were slightly let down by this puzzle as it felt a bit clunky and flawed in its execution. It was maybe just a step too far for my liking in trying to be innovative with the components and there was just too much room for error.
We played the whole two part adventure in one sitting which didn’t feel too long and I really enjoyed most of the adventure, it just ended on a slightly sour note for us.
AESTHETICS & COMPONENTS 9/10
A previously mentioned the theme is horror and the dark art and style definitely fits this theme well. The story is also immersive and suitably creepy!
The EXIT series stands out for being more than just a deck of cards, with their decoder discs and tactile puzzles. Catacombs of Horror is no different and has in my opinion upped the game with some creative components adding to the experience, but I won’t go into details for fear of spoiling them for you!
RULES & TEACHING 8/10
There really aren’t many rules to learn or teach in EXIT games and Catacombs of Horror follows the same basic principles as the rest of the series, so if you are already familiar with previous games, you’ll be able to dive straight in. For those new to EXIT games I would maybe suggest starting with a different adventure as this one is more advanced.
As with all the EXIT games, this one cannot be replayed. You will draw on, cut and fold components in a way that you cannot undo! Catacombs of Horror also has a higher price point than the rest of the series at around £20 compared to the usual £13 so this lack of replayability could be an issue for some, but you do effectively get two games in one as it’s a two part game. If you compare it to the cost of an actual escape room though, it’s a pretty reasonable price!
OVERALL SCORE 28/40 = 7
… you already enjoy the EXIT series
… you’re an old hand with puzzles and escape rooms and are looking for an expert level adventure