After the smashing success of Exit: The Game–Advent Calendar: The Hunt for the Golden Book here at the Bell compound, my children ran through a brick wall to play the newest game in the Exit: The Game series, Jungle of Riddles.
“Daddy, is that the new Exit game? Can we play that game tonight??”
Family games are the easiest ones to get to the table; my nine-year-old daughter and six-year-old son love games, but they love anything where we can win or lose together. Co-op games? Sold.
Then we noticed something in small print on the front of the box. “Playable multiple times!” says the box. For a game series famous for the permanent destruction of game components to solve each crime, riddle or puzzle, this was pretty shocking. Still, we dove right in, and I’m happy to report that this is a jungle worth booking. (Hmm. A jungle worth cruising? A jungle worth…well, you get the idea.
A Talking Toucan?
Here’s the setup for Jungle of Riddles, per the manual: “…a group of animals approaches and presents you with six different riddles. ‘For each riddle you solve,’ the toucan explains, ‘you will get one of the six golden keys.’”
This talking toucan is one of the 18 animals featured in Jungle of Riddles. They form the core of the Answer Disk, which is used to navigate each of the six puzzles in a short 20-minute experience. One puzzle in each game requires you to decipher a silhouette of three animals; another requires you to look at a card and figure out which three animals of the 18 are NOT on the card. Using the Answer Disk, you’ll pick three animals across three different wheels on the Disk to solve each riddle.
Other riddles get more creative, such as the “Leaf” riddles. Here, you’ll have to place five small cardboard leaves on spots that will eventually leave only three animals completely uncovered by the leaves. One of the riddle types, the “Hat” riddles, require the use of the game box to find animals wearing certain colors of hats.
All of the puzzles are beginner level, but they are quite crafty in terms of execution (save for the “Map” riddle cards, which ended up being unpopular with the kids due to their simplicity). And even if the answers don’t come as easily as you would like, the manual has all of the answers at the end.
Enter, or Exit?
The kids loved Jungle of Riddles. My wife and I had fun, but all that really matters here is the children. As a game aimed towards audiences ages five and up, Jungle of Riddles could definitely be played with a family of four but my vote is to play this with your child aged 5-7 and one other adult to serve as a co-pilot for the fun. That’s because there wasn’t enough for the entire four-person Bell family to do at once.
The only other miss here—the ending. Jungle of Riddles gives you six puzzles to solve for those six keys, and those keys are then used to “open” six of the nine treasure chests included in the box. This is not a spoiler—that’s also listed on the back of the box. But it’s not like you are really getting any treasure; in some games, you’ll get items that are different than your last play, but none of the treasures were interesting even to the children.
In this way, Jungle of Riddles is about the journey. And with 36 different riddle cards split into six different types, it’s fair to say that this is a game that can be played multiple times. I really loved the “Binoculars”, “Leaf” and “Magnifying Glass” riddles, but all of them have the normal level of creative fare I’ve come to expect from Inka & Markus Brand along with the entire Exit: The Game team.
For about $15, this is a fun way to spend time with the kids. This would also make for a great gift and a great introduction for anyone looking to dip their toes into escape room/one-time mystery game formats. The folks at KOSMOS have done it again!