Designed by Inka Brand, Markus Brand & Juilane Voorgang | Published by KOSMOS
1-4 Players | 120-180 Minutes
In this incarnation of the highly popular Exit: The Game series from KOSMOS you’re making your way through lush, tropical jungles in a race to discover a hidden temple and save a professor from sinister treasure hunters. You take on the role of a knowledgeable assistant in the university’s Archeology Department who stumbles upon a professor’s office in disarray. While some rare books about a hidden temple are missing… so is the professor. Fortunately, it appears the professor has left clues leading you across the globe in search of adventure and danger.
The Sacred Temple provides a unique spin on the classic Exit: The Game style by combining a series of riddles along with actual puzzles that when pieced together, provide a vivid backdrop for the challenges. Players must use their wits and creativity, often thinking outside the box, to solve a variety of unique puzzles – each taking them one step closer to discovering the secret location of the lost temple and saving the professor from potential doom.
HOW TO PLAY THE GAME
One common characteristic of board gamers is a passion for puzzles – both intellectually and literally. The Sacred Temple brings the perfect mix of the two by combining an escape style game with traditional jigsaw puzzles. The jigsaw puzzles provide a unique backdrop to the narrative and serve as an interactive resource for much of the game. While they’re not terribly complicated, they do provide a fun element to the mix.
While this entire review is meant to be a little vague so as not to give away any of the twists and turns that come with an escape-style game, I also want to provide a sense of what you might be getting yourself into.
To begin, The Sacred Temple provides a few random game pieces and a brief story intro to get you started, but it is essentially up to you to solve the puzzles and navigate your way through. The game’s 12 puzzles are presented in a series of sealed documents that take you from one challenge to the next. No 2 challenges are the same and you’ll need to keep your mind sharp to solve them.
As you traverse the riddle documents, the game will notify you of new components to grab to help you on your journey. Many of these seem trivial, but therein lies the discovery and intrigue in a game like this. There’s nothing like finding an old coin and realizing it’s the key to opening a door to a lost civilization (that doesn’t happen in this game… but you get the idea).
These types of games are generally good for one play – and that’s the case here. You will often permanently alter pieces from the game. Because of that, the components aren’t typically super high-end, but that shouldn’t affect your enjoyment. The value is in the experience – pitting your creative, perception and deductive reasoning against the game. The satisfaction from solving a locked puzzle isn’t the same you get from your more traditional board games. The weight of your success sits on your shoulders… and because of that can render a much more satisfying experience.
The box claims 1-4 players. It’s my opinion that 2 players is the right player count for a smaller Exit game, like this one. I would even go as far to say 1 player is ideal, but you need that second player to share in the joy of the discovery. It also doesn’t hurt to have someone to share ideas with. Anymore than 2 players and the game tends to get a little crowded. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but it does make it harder to really engage the game.
KOSMOS does a great job of creating a lost world full of Indiana Jones-type adventure. Each location is packed with atmosphere and mystery. The artwork is top-notch and you never feel cheated for a minute. Overall, the artwork does a great job elevating the entire gameplay experience.
The components are fun and I loved discovering how each would be used in coordination with the adventure. They’re all made from paper, but they’re a step above your standard, glossy sheets. My guess is the publisher keeps the components from going overboard in order to keep these games affordable. They serve their purpose and I never felt like anything was “cheap” despite the quality not being what other more high-end games provide.
If you’re a fan of escape-style games or the Exit: The Game series, I would give my recommendation based on whether the theme appeals to you or not. The atmosphere and environments created by the game were a big positive for me. I loved the environments and the Indiana Jones feel to the graphics. The challenges are fun without being frustrating and they work really well together with the theme.
I also really enjoyed tying in classic jigsaw puzzles to the game. The puzzles aren’t terribly difficult, but I love putting puzzles together almost as much as playing board games. It’s really a treat for the two to be combined together. I also loved that they didn’t just serve as a new way to present a photo on a piece of paper. The puzzles truly serve the game in multiple ways and that was a surprise I didn’t see coming. I really appreciated that extra, creative touch. The game provides 3 separate puzzles to put together during the course of the game.
The box claims the difficulty to be a 3 out of 5. I would generally agree with that. Of course, the difficulty does vary from puzzle to puzzle. Overall, I felt the puzzles were pretty well thought-out and they do a great job of engaging the theme and immersing you in the story. There were only 1 or 2 that I felt a little cheated. For those in need, the game does provide a help system to provide you clues without giving away the solution. Of course, they provide the solution as well, but why would you want to use that?
I think Exit: The Game – The Sacred Temple provides a TON of value. These games usually run $10-$15 and that’s a bargain for the experience. The theme was right up my alley and I imagine it will appeal to many board game adventure seekers out there. The puzzles, while not too difficult, were fun and engaging. The suggested age range is 10+, but I’m not sure most 10 year old will be able to solve many of the puzzles. Where they could participate is piecing together the jigsaw puzzles. Combining the game with jigsaw puzzles was a great idea and adds to an already fun experience. If you’re looking for a night or two of high-adventure, seeking lost temples in distant lands – this is an Exit game you should check out.