Wandering, lost, through the dark forest, we came across an eerie, silent house. We need a place to stay – we spend the night. But when we awaken the door is locked – we are trapped in the abandoned cabin!
“The Abandoned Cabin”
Kosmos, Exit: The Game series
How We Played
29 June 2017
52 minutes 18 seconds
I’ve spoken about the experience of the Exit escape room board game series before in my review of The Secret Lab. The Abandoned Cabin is much the same, including a series of cards that you reveal gradually through solving puzzles and a booklet that provides an overview of the space you must escape from. The Abandoned Cabin feels a touch more abstract than The Secret Lab did, possibly due to the laboratory theme suiting the code-and-association style of puzzles better than the cabin theme.
The designers make an admirable effort to integrate some puzzles into the theme, but there is no narrative to speak of apart from the atmospheric scene-setting. Though they are paper and cardboard, the puzzles have a satisfying tactility, as you must fold, tear and cut certain items. Though this means the game is not replayable, it does allow for more interesting puzzle designs.
The design of the puzzles in The Abandoned Cabin is great. It throws a couple of great lateral and abstract thinking puzzles, riddles, and association puzzles into the mix. One or two are a little clunky – one puzzle frustrated us immensely because it has multiple plausible solutions. The game provides plenty of clues for this puzzle, but as it requires a different kind of abstract thinking to the earlier puzzles the misdirection is a little frustrating.
The Abandoned Cabin has a nice spatial reasoning puzzle that feels right at home in an escape room, but would have been more interesting and challenging if it was part of a real escape room. This is hardly something I can blame the designers for though!
The Bottom Line
In comparison to other escape room board game lines, Exit: The Game has some of the most interesting and intricate puzzle designs, but this comes at the cost of a single-use game in the truest sense. Once played these games are unusable.
In comparison to The Secret Lab, The Abandoned Cabin’s puzzles are a touch easier, but also a touch more logical and less frustrating. They still represent plenty of challenge.
I recommend The Abandoned Cabin to escape room enthusiasts especially. It might be a bit overwhelming for inexperienced players, but offers a fun challenge to anyone with a couple of games behind them. Small teams are also best, as the game is reasonably linear.