I’ve written about the Exit games before; as well as a general overview of how they work, I’ve also covered a few of the individual games in the range.

The Exit games are Escape Room-esque experiences that you can only play once (as you’ll likely write on, fold and cut up the included components and sometimes even the box). As such, they rely on players knowing as little as possible before going in. This makes it extremely difficult to talk about each one without heading into spoiler territory, but it’s safe to say that anyone looking to pick up this first licensed title in the series is going to have more than a passing familiarity with The Lord of the Rings saga.

Which is both blessing and curse; that familiarity means that players are treated to a very fast journey through the story, which is great – but also, it does feel as if the game struggles at times to make its puzzles fit with the story. It does also feel as if it’s playing it safe at times too; it’s a lot less inventive in the puzzle implementation as other games in the series.

There’s also a maddening puzzle which had terribly obtuse clues and just had my group completely stumped. Usually if that happens, we can progress by using the clue cards – and if we ever have to resort to using the solution card (which really is a last resort and we still feel wrong doing it), normally we facepalm and lament overlooking something obvious in the clues or the puzzle. On this occasion, we still felt as if the answer was a bit dubious given the way the puzzle is presented, which always leaves a sour taste in the mouth.

Still, the game is as tactile and interactive in terms of puzzle solutions and components as other titles in the series. It’s always satisfying when you do figure something out, especially when the answer is completely out of (or around, or on, as is sometimes the case with Exit) the box. And just because the group I played with struggled with one of the puzzles, other groups may grasp it immediately or at least a lot faster, where they may struggle with the ones we breezed through.

Playing an Exit game is incredibly reliant on different players being able to think outside the box in different ways – and perhaps bringing lots of different skills or ideas to the table; sometimes it’s very easy for everyone to overlook a solution or way forward.

It’s a good place for fans of The Lord of the Rings to get a taster of the series if they’ve previously been on the fence about Exit or home escape room experiences in general – but for players new to the series or those even looking for a fun time with the Exit games, my go to recommendation remains The Haunted Rollercoaster.

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