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  • Board Game Reviews
  • Thinking outside the “Escape Room in a Box”- Exit: The Enchanted Forest Board Game Review

Thinking outside the “Escape Room in a Box”- Exit: The Enchanted Forest Board Game Review

W Updated December 02, 2020
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
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Thinking outside the “Escape Room in a Box”- Exit: The Enchanted Forest Board Game Review

Game Information

Publisher
Players
1 - 4
There Will Be Games

This is a spoiler-free review. I won't be discussing any of the specific puzzles or their solutions within this review.

From a game mechanic and execution viewpoint, The Enchanted Forest uses everything in the box in unique and exceptional ways. It really captures the excitement and challenge of what an Exit/Escape Room should be. It alternately makes you feel brilliant and stupid and does so in equal measure. The $14.95 MSRP is more than worth it, especially if you divide that among four players who get to experience the thrills of solving it. We finished our experience in just over 100 minutes...and that is not counting at least that many minutes we have spent talking about and examining our efforts since then.

The game states it supports one to four players but the real answer is: The number of players you can comfortably sit in front of the components/puzzles. Our game was four players with myself sitting in a position where I was viewing everything upside-down. Which, honestly, was probably an advantage for us since I was looking at all the puzzles from the proverbial “Different Angle.” Nothing in the game restricts it to having more than four actual players, since you are all working together to reach a solution and it is not as if you are assigned roles or characters to play.

The Enchanted Forest provides plenty of chances to overthink and underthink. The initial puzzle we completely over-thought, breezing past the actual solution in the first few minutes only to double back and say “Oh, it can't be that easy, could it?” Maybe that was just us knocking the rust off of our brains to get into the proper mindset.

Exit: the enchanted forest board game

This is a destructible game, taking it's clue from Legacy Games where you alter or destroy portions of the game but, in this case, you are doing it in order to solve it. Anyone who has spent time playing these type of escape room games probably know they usually get passed around or traded once they have been played once. But Exit has more than leaned into cleansing, folding and manipulating every aspect of the game. Maybe it is a “backdoor”way to eliminate second-hand copies from being passed around but the execution of the destructible bits and the freedom of writing on and cutting pieces is brilliant, so I don't fault this progression/destruction in the least.

The Enchanted Forest is rated two out of five stars for difficulty. One thing that this means is that it is laid out in a linear fashion. You start at the beginning of the clue book and work your way through and almost every puzzle has it's own page. If one of the challenges you are looking for is finding the path and not simply following it, the higher difficulty Exit games might have more appeal to you.

Exit uses what I call (probably inaccurately) a Double Blind solution system. When attempting to solve a puzzle, you are told to draw a card. Sometimes the card is a simply “X” which means the solution was incorrect or it may direct you to draw a second card appropriate to the puzzle you are solving. This effectively eliminates any accidental spoilers from any incorrect guesses.

If you have never tried an Escape Room game, The enchanted forest is a great jumping on point. If you haven't played one recently, it is worth snatching up just to experience the great strides that have been made in the genre.

A review copy of this release was provided by the publisher.

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Thinking outside the “Escape Room in a Box”- Exit: The Enchanted Forest Board Game Review

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Rating 
 
4.5
Exit: The Enchanted Forest
If you have never tried an Escape Room game, The enchanted forest is a great jumping on point. If you haven't played one recently, it is worth snatching up just to experience the great strides that have been made in the genre.
Wade Monnig  (He/Him)
Staff Board Game Reviewer

In west Saint Louis born and raised
Playing video games is where I spent most of my days
Strafing, Dashing, Adventuring and Looting
Writing reviews between all the Shooting
When a couple of guys reminded me what was so good
About playing games with cardboard and Wood,
Collecting Victory Points and those Miniatures with Flair
It’s not as easy as you think to rhyme with Bel Air.

Wade is the former editor in chief for Silicon Magazine and former senior editor for Gamearefun.com. He currently enjoys his games in the non-video variety, where the odds of a 14 year old questioning the legitimacy of your bloodline is drastically reduced.

“I’ll stop playing as Black when they invent a darker color.”

Articles by Wade

Wade Monnig
Staff Board Game Reviewer

Articles by Wade

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WadeMonnig's Avatar
WadeMonnig replied the topic: #316817 03 Dec 2020 10:52
Has anyone played the newest wave of these? I'm amazed at the strides that have been made. You can pick them up for about $10.00 each at the discount online places. I think these will be my new planned game night obsession. ⁸
hotseatgames's Avatar
hotseatgames replied the topic: #316818 03 Dec 2020 10:59
I've never played one of these, but the low price has me thinking that I will, soon. Thanks for the review!
Disgustipater's Avatar
Disgustipater replied the topic: #316820 03 Dec 2020 11:30
I’ve played a couple of the Unlock! boxes but I definitely want to try one of these.
barrowdown's Avatar
barrowdown replied the topic: #316821 03 Dec 2020 11:58
I've played all of the Unlock! games (except for the last two Star Wars missions) and they greatly improved through the middle, but have fallen off to focusing on gimmicky use of the the app. The first Star Wars mission was painfully easy and even bolded the relevant text on each card. Unless the other two are a big improvement, it will probably be the worst in the series for us (BGG has it with the lowest rating by far).

For Exit, I just picked up Enchanted Forest and Cemetery of the Knight, but have played all of the other ones. The quality started to drop off, with the notable exception of Catacombs of Horror, though the last couple were an improvement. I hope Enchanted Forest and Cemetery of the Knight continue the recent improvement.

The first few waves of each series had us strongly preferring Exit due to the much stronger puzzle design, but then they started to become more stable while Unlock! was doing some interesting things with puzzles and the app to play with expectations.
WadeMonnig's Avatar
WadeMonnig replied the topic: #316864 05 Dec 2020 14:26
So far, the Exit games have only used the app as a timer and to read you the instructions.
Disgustipater's Avatar
Disgustipater replied the topic: #316871 06 Dec 2020 00:54
I bought and played this tonight with 4 players. We took about 2 hours with 3 clue cards (6/10 star finish rating). We enjoyed it. I thought the final puzzle was stretching it a bit for what was required, but I guess now I know what to look out for in the future. If the two star difficulty tripped us up this much, I imagine the higher level ones are impossible for our feeble brains.

Thanks for the review.
WadeMonnig's Avatar
WadeMonnig replied the topic: #316874 06 Dec 2020 09:21

Disgustipater wrote: I bought and played this tonight with 4 players. We took about 2 hours with 3 clue cards (6/10 star finish rating). We enjoyed it. I thought the final puzzle was stretching it a bit for what was required, but I guess now I know what to look out for in the future. If the two star difficulty tripped us up this much, I imagine the higher level ones are impossible for our feeble brains.

Thanks for the review.

So, did the final puzzle require you to pull a clue card? We loved the final puzzle because it was so outside the box but, at the same time, felt so "right." We were working out way there, just to the point of frustration when it finally clicked and I can still see everyone glancing around the table with joy when it finally clicked. We jumped into (review incoming soon) The Cemetery of the Knight, which is rated 3 out of 5 for difficulty but, IMHO, the difficulty jump is only in that it doesn't follow a direct linear path from start to finish and hits you with that "outside the box" moment much sooner.
Our final score for The Enchanted Forest was 5 out of 10 stars with it taking 116 minutes (and 48 seconds) and 4 help cards pulled, so we are right there with you with our "feeble brains." I'm glad you enjoyed it!
Disgustipater's Avatar
Disgustipater replied the topic: #316875 06 Dec 2020 10:41

WadeMonnig wrote: So, did the final puzzle require you to pull a clue card?

Yeah. And I didn't mean to sound like we didn't like it; we did.

Warning: Spoiler!

We also stumbled on the first puzzle and needed a clue card. Sometimes it helps to get a feel for what kind of stuff you'll be asked to do before the process clicks.

WadeMonnig wrote: Our final score for The Enchanted Forest was 5 out of 10 stars with it taking 116 minutes (and 48 seconds) and 4 help cards pulled, so we are right there with you with our "feeble brains." I'm glad you enjoyed it!

That's basically what we had. Your time and clues falls under 6 stars (<=120 minutes and 3-5 Clues)