Room-in-a-box, Jan 2020
I wouldn’t like to suggest that Exit are scraping the barrel for their theme ideas, but the premise for House of Riddles is simply that you’re in a house… full of puzzles… kinda like one of those ‘escape room’ things. Although to be fair, there’s actually noticeably more story in this game than in most others in the Exit series – the standard booklet of clues includes some pages of narrative.
House of Riddles is rated a minimal two out of five difficulty, as easy as any games in the series. As well as easier puzzles, this means you proceed through the booklet in a linear fashion, and only get clues and illustrations relevant to the current puzzle.
There’s definitely a degree to which familiarity with the Exit games makes them easier, and I’ve done more or less all of them now. Even so, House of Riddles struck me as really quite straightforward. The two of us rattled through it without using any of the hint cards and finished in just over half an hour, of which a significant chunk was spent on one particular time-consuming puzzle.
We may have just been lucky not to get stuck, because there were two puzzles which seemed to have scope for confusion, where we happened to pick the correct approach on each.
While Exit are endlessly inventive with their puzzle ideas, this box felt like there was a lot that I’d seen before. Still, it included a nice ‘aha’ puzzle and the most entertainingly physical solution they’re used yet.
We’re clearly not the intended audience for House of Riddles, and if you’re reading this then you may well not be either; but if you haven’t tried any games from Exit’s range before, and would prefer to start with something as approachable as possible, then this would likely make a good starting point.