Review – EXIT: The Stormy Flight

It was a dark and stormy flight …

Oh, I am so, so, sorry, but I just couldn’t resist that. The Stormy Flight (released earlier this year alongside Theft on the Mississippi) is the most recent iteration in the EXIT series. The EXIT games are one of several ‘escape room in a box’ series that have been published over the last four years. Like a traditional escape room, these games test the players’ ability to notice details, find connections, and deduce solutions. I’m not going to pretend that it’s got quite the thrill of a physical escape room, but then it’s $15 for the group instead of $25-$50 per person.

The Stormy Flight puts the as crew on board an aircraft with significant, if somewhat vague, mechanical problems when it gets stuck in a thunderstorm. The pilots are busy flying the plane, the flight attendants are there to give you clues, and it’s up to you to fix the ventilation system, replace some components, get the radio working again, and the like. You’ll accomplish this by examining components, searching for clues, solving riddles, and then using that information to look things up using a code wheel (hint cards are included in the game if you need a nudge). The object is ostensibly to complete an EXIT game in 60 minutes, but we go over that half of the time, so I would say 45-90 minutes play time (your mileage my vary).

The EXIT series are my favorite of the escape room games. KOSMOS does a great job making creative use of the components. Nothing is quite as surprising the 14th time around (my kids immediately start looking for hidden clues the moment we open up a new EXIT game), but they always manage to come up with something new and exciting. The Stormy Flight comes through in that regard, with a mirror, [redacted], and a different booklet presentation. One difference in The Stormy Flight is that it’s more linear than the usual EXIT games. You generally have to solve one riddle before you can even collect clues for the others.

On a side note, I found that I was rather puzzled by what was going on with this aircraft. What exactly is my role on the aircraft if I’m part of the crew, but not the flight crew (the pilots) or the cabin crew (flight attendants). The causality of the maintenance problems is sketchy at best. Aircraft are generally not at risk of crashing if they can’t make radio contact with the tower, even in bad weather. This is really the only time I have found myself having thematic questions about an escape room game, and I felt pretty silly having them. I imagine it has something to do with a professional involvement in aviation. Don’t be like me – just let these things go.

Setting that aside, the EXIT series remains the premier escape room series – it’s one of our go-to family activities – and The Stormy Night is a worthwhile entry in that series. If using your wits to puzzle your way out of a bad situation sounds like it might be a good time, I would highly recommend The Stormy Night or one of the other EXIT games.

Promotional consideration was provided in the form of a review copy.

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