Edinburgh, Apr 2017
Svengali’s Lair has a great start, a memorable finish, and plenty of nice touches in between. The theme is a little more tongue-in-cheek than their other two games, with a vaudevillian bad guy taunting the players over the audio system as they attempt to solve the riddles he’s left for them.
There are again plenty of padlocks, though I’d say the puzzles here are somewhat more closely tied to the theme than in Exit Plan’s other games. While the highlights were at the beginning and end of the game, the rest kept to a broadly high level of quality throughout.
In common with Framed!, Svengali’s Lair ends with a high-stakes puzzle that the players must get correct or face an instant fail. It’s entirely suited to the theme and provides a great moment of tension for the climax.
The three Exit Plan games have distinct themes but quite similar styles of gameplay; each has their highlights but I think Svengali is my personal favourite of the three. When I played it I was in fact suffering from a splitting headache, and despite that it managed to be a whole lot of fun to play.
Svengali’s lair is a fun scenario. Being taunted by the villain through the game adds a bit of flavour to the room and the puzzles are suitably linked to a narcissistic villain playing games with his prey. Nice decor and good puzzles.