A Shiny Life For Me!

a personal review blog by Bianca

Exit – The Catacombs Of Horror

The Catacombs Of Horror
31 October 2020
3.0 out of 5.0 stars

On Halloween 2020 I tried out my first escape room in a box, Kosmos Exit game The Catacombs Of Horror. Maybe an expert level box game wasn’t the best to start with, but having played over 80 real life and a bunch of online escape rooms, I felt confident to try it.

The Catacombs Of Horror set in the famous catacombs under Paris, which I have visited in the past. However, personal knowledge of the area is of course not necessary for the game. There is is a short introduction at the beginning, and the game mechanics explained very well. This box game has two parts, so you could take a break after part one and play the second part at a later time, though myself and my friend opted to play both parts in one evening.

All Exit games have the same basic game mechanics, where you have a code disc with three wheel that are used to exchange a code for a card number, a stack of answer cards, a stack of riddle cards, and several stacks of help cards sorted by symbol. Depending on the game, the box might also include other “strange items” used to solve riddles. This game includes some string, three stone skulls, a tealight, and a few other things. The game tells you when to take and use these items.

The Catacombs Of Horror plays really well and has an engaging storyline. There is a huge variety of puzzles to solves and the items make it fun and interesting to play. I did find the puzzle that utilises the tealight to be very fiddly and confusing, and prone to user error. All other puzzles were logical, at times a bit tricky, but fun to figure out. We didn’t use many help cards and felt like there was a good flow to the game. Some of the “strange items” seemed to be a bit superfluous for a one-and-done kind of game, as you have to cut, scribble, and use many things in the box to solve the riddles and thus can only play every Exit game once.

Overall, I wish I’d started with a novice box to learn the game mechanics and strategies before jumping into an expert level Exit game. But I still had lots of fun solving it. Due to the candle riddle and a few small hick ups here and there, I’d say it’s a solid 3 out of 5 stars.

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