#262 – EXIT: The Sunken Treasure [Spoiler-Free]

Box

Base price: $15.
1 – 4 players.
Play time: 1 – 2 hours.
BGG Link

Buy on Amazon (via What’s Eric Playing?)
Logged plays: 1. Still not gonna get much more than that. 

Full disclosure: A review copy of EXIT: The Sunken Treasure was provided by KOSMOS.

Alright, well, nobody came to my house and threatened me after my first review of an EXIT game, and I like them, so might as well keep going, I suppose? This one is going to have mostly the same features, but I’m going to start trying to keep the generic things I like and dislike short so I can focus on the specifics where they’re applicable. That said, these are still going to be pretty short reviews, so, just keep that in mind. Definitely not my longer fare.

Anyways, in EXIT: The Sunken Treasure, you’ve caught wind of the lost treasure of the Santa Maria, a famous boat. Naturally, you decide to immediately go out to explore this potential and find that you’ve gotten a bit more than you bargained for on the way. Will you be able to escape? Will you find the treasure? Or are your chances of success also, well, sinking?

Contents

Setup

Setup is the same as the other EXIT games, but here goes. Take out the Decoder Disk, and set it aside:

Decoder Dial

Place the Answer cards aside:

Answer Card Stack

Also set aside the Riddle cards; you’ll need them soon enough:

Riddle Card Stack

Finally, set out the Hint Cards. This time I’d just recommend having them in stacks so that you can go straight to the one for your problem, rather than having to dig through the pile:

Help Cards

You will probably also want something to take notes with and you may or may not want a pair of scissors, as usual. When you’ve done all that, well, good luck! Get a timer started and pull the notebook out of the box. You can leave everything else in the box in there.

Gameplay

As with the other EXIT games, The Sunken Treasure has you trapped in a dangerous situation, and only solving riddles and puzzles will be able to get you out. You’ll start by uncovering Riddle Cards (only when the game tells you to do so), and then using those in conjunction with the notebook to try and determine what set of three digits or symbols you need to enter into the Decoder Disk. That should suggest an Answer Card, which may point you to new pages in the notebook or more Riddle Cards.

Note that unlike other EXIT games (that I’ve played), you should not flip to subsequent pages in the notebook before you’ve completed each puzzle.

When the game says you’ve won, you win! Check your time and how many hint cards you used to see how many stars you get for this game. We scored 8!

Player Count Differences

I only played it at two, this time, but that felt like a good number. I never felt like having another person would have been … super helpful? We mostly had the puzzles covered, for instance, and I don’t think there were as many places we could split problems off as there were for The Secret Lab. Two seemed like a pretty ideal fit for this particular game, for us.

Strategy

Again, not much to say, here, since it’s a puzzle game. My only recommendation is that sometimes looking at a problem again instead of trying to force the solution out might be helpful, but that’s generally my advice for any sort of riddle or puzzle.

Pros, Mehs, and Cons

Kind of all the same general Pros, Mehs, and Cons from the previous one apply. I still like the decoder disk and Riddle / Answer card system, still wasn’t too big on the Hint Cards (though I felt like they were better than The Secret Lab), and still always feel bad about taking scissors to any of the game components. Beyond that, I’ll try to add some more specific feedback below!

Pros

  • The puzzles in this one are pretty great. My co-player in particular almost squealed audibly at one particular one because it’s apparently her favorite kind of puzzle? Beyond that, a fair number of them were like, once I got the solution I was pleased with how clever of a game it was. It was a very pleasant experience, and I’d probably recommend this one to start, so far. This definitely had my favorite puzzle between this and The Secret Lab.
  • The lowered difficulty was kind of nice. I probably should have started with this one, or I’m bad at puzzles. It’s hard to say.
  • I really do like nautical-themed games. All of the dials on the decoder disk are random marine animals! That’s very pleasant. Add in a nice blue-tone to a lot of the game components (the box) and you’ve got a game that’s very nice to look at. Maybe I should start putting these in shadowboxes or something.

Mehs

  • Extremely linear. This one was kind of weird in that you weren’t supposed to look through the entire notebook (so, don’t) and instead were supposed to solve pages in order. It made it feel a bit more constrained?

Cons

  • One puzzle in particular is kind of obnoxious. Without spoilers, it was definitely something that we had all the right pieces of but couldn’t quite get to the solution on our own due to an iconography issue, so we ended up spending a fair bit of time and a hint trying to figure it out, which cost us 2 stars? It was the only point in this that I would say I was frustrated.

Overall: 8.75 / 10

Overall, EXIT: The Sunken Treasure was pretty great! I’m a sucker for a nautical theme, as I’ve mentioned before, and the decreased difficulty was a welcome change from the frankly-much-harder Secret Lab. Not to say I didn’t enjoy it; it’s more that I wish I had done them in the previous order so that I could have gotten a bit warmed up, first. This isn’t to say that these puzzles are slouches; far from it, in fact. These are every bit as hard as some puzzles I’ve done in escape rooms around where I live; I just don’t have to leave my house to do those, so that’s nice. The main point is, if you’re looking for a fun puzzle game and you don’t mind having one that you can only play once, I’d definitely recommend taking a look at the EXIT games and seeing if that’s what you’re into! If you’re looking to start a bit on the simpler side (as a way to test the puzzley waters), I’d recommend starting here over The Secret Lab. If you’re ready to just dive-in, head-first, well, go for it!


If you enjoyed this review and would like to support What’s Eric Playing? in the future, please check out my Patreon. Thanks for reading!

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