On tour in Egypt, you explore Tutankhamen’s tomb. The door slams shut behind you – trapped! Can you escape The Pharaoh’s Tomb?
“The Pharaoh’s Tomb”
Kosmos, Exit: The Game series
How We Played
13 July 2017
51 minutes 36 seconds
The experience of playing The Pharaoh’s Tomb is identical to that of the other games in the Exit series: The Abandoned Cabin and The Secret Lab. As usual, the card system works well, the art is nice, though sparse, and the game is mainly played with cardboard and paper.
The Pharaoh’s Tomb is destructible, more so perhaps even than the other games in the series. With the earlier iterations, there are workarounds for some of the destructible puzzles, but here there is one particular puzzle requiring destruction that would be difficult to reset.
Nevertheless, the designers’ willingness to commit to the single-use design approach opens The Pharaoh’s Tomb to some excellent puzzle design. One puzzle was by far the most inventive and rewarding in any escape room board game I have completed so far.
In general the puzzles had a good variety, with a mix of observation, manipulation and association puzzles, with a few more inventive ideas thrown into the mix. There were two puzzles in The Pharaoh’s Tomb that really pushed us to think outside of the box. One of these was the aforementioned favourite, while the other had problems. The idea behind the puzzle was fine, but certain important components were very difficult to see, even when we used a hint and were told exactly what we were looking for. The puzzle would work better (and be fairer) if the information was more visible.
It is also important to note that The Pharaoh’s Tomb is entirely linear, and I wouldn’t recommend more than two players. The components are small and some require physical manipulation, meaning it is difficult to find enough for lots of players to do.
The Bottom Line
The Pharaoh’s Tomb contained my favourite escape room board game puzzle, but it also demonstrated one of the issues with the outside-the-box thinking Exit encourages. Elements of the artwork made some of the puzzles rather obtuse. It remains a great example of the genre, and is highly recommended for small teams. However, this is the only escape room board game I have played where I honestly cannot think of any way to make it replayable. This is definitely a one-time-use experience, but a great one.