EXIT: The Game – The Haunted Roller Coaster

Designer: Inka Brand and Markus Brand

Artists: Inka Brand, Markus Brand, Silvia Christoph, Martin Hoffmann, Michaela Kienle

Publisher: KOSMOS

There is a reason why I hate haunted houses. Cheap thrills……(Photo credits: Eric Martin@BGG)


There are plenty of reviews of this game out there that are spoiler free. This is not it. I am going to directly discuss about the game and the puzzles. You have been warned!!

This is the 7th game in the series we have played, mostly with 2 players. I was a little curious what a “2-star” rated EXIT game felt like since I have never paid heed to the difficulty ratings. Indeed, except for a single puzzle, The Haunted Roller Coaster is the easiest EXIT game we have tackled to date.

The entire narrative occurs in a linear fashion: You are trapped at one end of a roller coaster ride and must make your way to the exit by going through the haunted house. The riddle cards are extra helpful in that they point you to the exact pages of each puzzle and all the components as you work through each room. No guess work needed trying to figure out the components for each puzzle. I thought the clues on the riddle cards were exceptionally direct compared to previous entries. Makes sense given the difficulty rating. If it weren’t for one stubborn puzzle, I think we could wrap the whole thing up in 30 minutes.

Still, we had fun, and clearly thought it was worth our time, but we clearly like the whodunit puzzles best.

Among some of the notable puzzles:

“Moon”: I thought the Frankenstein monster puzzle would be the highlight, but it was pretty easy. The key is to find the template on the back of the box to assemble the monster. This is no biggie for a veteran. Once you know how to assemble the monster, the clues are clear about connecting the dots- an old trick found in many EXIT games.

“hexagon”: The shaggy monster puzzle was the hardest for us to decipher and not in a good way. I thought the monster gaze was cute but we figured out a different methodology by counting the fur clumps that matched the cards to navigate the maze even though it misled us to a different exit. I suppose it was a viable mechanism though it wasn’t accurate. It was a little deflating. I didn’t think it was as bad, but my spouse thought otherwise. The puzzle ate up quite a bit of time.

“Diamond”: The Venus flytrap puzzle is cute and I wished we had waited for my daughter for this puzzle. You are essentially doing an origami by folding the flytrap and chomping on the insect cards to figure out the digits. Really novel. How do the Brands come up with these puzzles?

“Circle”: This is an easy but clever puzzle. It is clear you need to cut out the characters and slot them on the box insert to spell out “EXIT”. Standard stuff which we are used to. The clever part comes from getting the digits by looking at the negative space. It didn’t take us long since we are tuned to it, but for a first timer, this could be exhilarating.

“L shape”: The decoder wheel puzzle is unexpected. The wheel is plain looking and I thought there wouldn’t be a puzzle for it. I was wrong. This time, you have to disassemble the wheel, flip the pieces over to realign a picture of a jack-o-lantern with an arrowhead pointing to the answer. Cool.

Overall, we liked but not loved Haunted Roller Coaster. Most of the puzzles are cute and clever but not hard for someone who has done this before. This game is suitable for a newbie.

Updated rankings:

1. Kidnapped in Fortune City

2. Dead Man in Orient Express

3. Abandoned Cabin

4. The Haunted Roller Coaster

5. The Mysterious Museum

6. The Pharaoh’s Tomb

7. The Polar Express

TBD: The Sinister Mansion, Theft in Mississippi River.

Final Word: Average

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