Our good friend Jett over at In Third Person sent us a fun game called Exit The Game: The Sinister Mansion. There are quite a few of these games and while we’ve seen them around our local stores, we never picked it up with the intention of going back to it later. Now we finally had a chance to try the game out.
We played it when we went away with another friend for the weekend, and I was delegated to reading the directions and setting stuff up. Considering most of the supplies, as few as they were, were supposed to be a secret until you have reached that point in the game, there wasn’t much to do other than arrange the riddle and hint cards into their respective piles. The answer to each riddle gave you a three-digit code which, when put into the disk decoder, pointed you in the direction of the next riddle. In order to escape the mansion, we needed to solve all of the riddles and move through the rooms.
If Kris didn’t set it up, we wouldn’t have played. I would have accidentally spoiled it for myself by looking at something I shouldn’t have or I’d be too confused about it all and give up before the game even started. When we were presented with the first riddle, all three of us were confused and stared at each other – I think secretly hoping the others understood the question.
After a few minutes, we did eventually start to get it, even if we had a difficult time figuring out the answer. All of the riddles’ answers were presented to us, but some of them had unorthodox methods of solving, such as ripping up some other cards and going back to previous riddles to help us figure out the answers. It was definitely a challenge, but I enjoyed trying to figure out everything. Yet, I think it would have been more fun if there was more set-up, if you will, to the game. We were comfortably sitting on the couch around the coffee table with all the supplies surrounding us, but for an “escape room,” it seemed odd just sitting there.
I was under the impression that we would need to find materials around our house to, you know, escape the room. While that wasn’t the case, it was still a fun, interactive game. The riddles, while they had hints, didn’t come with directions on how to solve them (obviously) but that’s a reason I wouldn’t be able to play myself. I’d use up every hint and still lose. But one fun part about playing with others was that we all interpreted the riddles differently sometimes. It helped us all think outside the box and view the riddles from a different angle.
I believed that the person reading the directions would help set up stuff around the house as well. Still, it was a fun activity and it’s good to know that, between Rachel, our friend, and me, we’d be able to escape a creepy mansion, with a few hints here and there, of course. Even with all three of us, though, we did miss a couple of supplies that the game provided. For example, a riddle needed a clock face and we tried to sketch one out on paper to find the answer. Much later, we realized that there was a ready clock face provided to us on the back of the decoder circle.
Oh, right. I forgot about the clock. In the house we were in, the only non-digital clock that had a face was hanging high above the wall. Otherwise we would have taken it down and used that as a prop. We somehow got the right answer though. See? Thinking outside the box!
Speaking of thinking outside the box, my favorite instance of that was our friend totally skipping a couple of steps during the last riddle to actually escape the manor. We were supposed to use a paper door and peephole to find a code, but she kind of just ignored the code, found the number we were looking for, and we were free! The ranking of how well your group does is based on how long it takes you to escape the manor — we took a little over an hour and a half — as well as how many hint cards you had used. I can’t remember what exactly our rank was, but it was average, I believe. It was a fun thing to do, but due to ruining some of the supplies in the process and, of course, figuring out the riddles, it’s a game you can only play once. Still, give these games a try if you have the opportunity!