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Unlock vs Exit Escape Room Games Question

With the latest announcement of Mythic Aventures, the next chapter in the escape room series Unlock, it got me thinking about Escape Room Board Games.

The two major players are UNLOCK and EXIT. Exit leans more in the realistic space, relying on thrilling and at times horror elements. Unlock, on the other hand, leans more towards the fantastical, being set in magical scenarios one would never get into in real life.

Have you played either? Were you a fan? Do you have a preference between Unlock and Exit? If you have played many, which scenarios were your favorites and least favorites?




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2 months ago

We enjoy doing actual escape rooms so always interested in doing these. We've played a couple and were a fan of both series'. Exit is great cause of how creative and out of the box the puzzles can get, but that also limits them to one playthrough. Unlock also gets you thinking and provides replayability (after a few months maybe when the answers get fuzzy). We're looking forward to doing #Escape Room In A Box: Flashback next.

2 months ago

We enjoy doing escape rooms fairly often too! I haven't been able to try Exit or Unlock yet, but in my research between the two I feel like Exit would be the one I go for first. I have played both Escape Room In A Box games (Werewolf Expirement and Flashback) and thoroughly enjoyed both. I had a group of 6 for each and it was surprisingly close on the time limit in both games.

Premium User2 months ago

I've played neither unfortunately. I think I'm more interested in playing Unlock because from what I understand they don't require the game to be destroyed and can therefore be reset and played again.

2 months ago

Saw some interesting feedback on Facebook:

"Out of those two. Unlock because they have more of a narrative even if only a weak one. Exit is purely just puzzles. However might I suggest an alternative? Consider the Escape Tales sets from Board & Dice - to date they have the best narratives for any escape room games." - Luke Hector

"Exit are better. The puzzles are better designed" - Nathan Woll

"We enjoy both just about equally. Exit for its use of physical objects, and Unlock for its ongoing evolution. We have done every single one of each (minus the two most recent exits which are on the shelf!) and honestly not too many are super memorable and some we played years ago. Two that stand out were both Unlock: Insert Coin (Heroic Adventures), and Lost in the ChronoWarp (Timeless Adventures). Both of these boxes had other good ones too (Sherlock in Heroic was great, and both the others in timeless were good as well). The exit games all feel fairly equal in my mind-- though some of the newer ones have puzzles where I think they were going for innovative and different, but end up just feeling kinda obtuse and unsatisfying. I'd say though, overall you can't go wrong with either. For unlock I'd say avoid the train robbery one and the arabian nights one, those were both pretty bad." - Tamara Dorn

"I slightly prefer Unlock. My group does fewer facepalms in their games, and if it matters, Unlock is usually reusable and Exit usually isn't." - Tammy McLeod

"Unlock is my favorite. The puzzles make more sense for me. That being said, the games are hit and miss. I enjoyed Squeek and Sausage, The Lab and the pack pictured in your post." - Michelle Rundbaken

"I prefer the EXIT series over Unlock - Unlock is more about the story and combining object-cards to advance, Exit has more focus on puzzles and the possibility to "destroy" elements (draw, cut, fold) makes the game much more varied" - Anna Vargane Kis

"I prefer exit way over unlock. I really like the way they use all the elements in the box" - Joeri Jacobs

"We still play all the new EXITs, but the novelty of using components the way they do ran out many boxes ago. Unlock! has been using some very fun AR lately, so I’m more interested in them, but will continue buying both." - Jessy Catterwaul

"Prefer exit over unlock however I’ve done many exits (and have enjoyed them all) and only did 1 unlock and thought it was one of the worst play at home games I’ve ever played" - Eric Ackley

"I prefer exit but I've found frustration with both to varying degrees just due to the limitations they make. The puzzles are better in Exit." - Steven Webb

"Exit games are basically a series of 3 digit codes concealed in a myriad of ways ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous. Fun to a point." - Trev Heath

"Both have pros and cons. As time has passed, Unlock has evolved into a superior series with much greater theme, storytelling, and variety. Exit has conversely become redundant. Your first few plays will be good though, if you get a good one. Check Board Game Geek for ratings. They are pretty reliable." - Ben Matlock

"We also play both as a family but Unlock is our favourite. It really has improved with each release in terms of puzzles and how the app is used. Exit is great but having done a few now (first 2 series) we are noticing the same kind of tricks getting used over again. I am interested to see how some of the newer Exit games have changed it up though." - Marc Alderman

"I like Unlock more because the Exit puzzles require ridiculous leaps of logic." - Mikey Golczynski

"Unlock are more coherent in there stories. I don’t like Exit as they tend to not go together. Bonus Unlocked can be shared with friends when done." - Kristina Platypus Schaeffer

"We prefer Exit. We found unlock to have seemingly random leaps of logic that even after getting the solution to the puzzle we find ourselves irritated because there was no way we could have figured it out on our own from the clues we were given. Even if I can’t solve the puzzle without hints, I want to know that I *could* have if I were just a little smarter 😝 and we never got that feeling from Unlock. With Exit you get that lightbulb moment when getting a hint (or on the expert levels sometimes even the solution) where you go 'oooh!! So *that’s* how you get the answer!'" - Rochelle Muller Wilson

"I’ve played all of both. I used to say Exit was better in terms of puzzles and cleverness but Unlock has been getting more inventive I think and I’ve enjoyed the two most box sets more. Love both of them as a series, highly recommend if you’re looking for an escape room in a box idea. In both, some games are better than others and you won’t get any agreement on here about which ones are better that’s for sure! 🤣 in exit, if you’re playing for the first time, get one of the 2 star difficulty ones. They tend to be linear (1 puzzle at a time) and then you’ll learn how they work. With unlock, the first one in each box set is easier, so do them first." - Leah Breeds

"I've played several from both. In general, I have found Unlock smoother in implementation than many of the puzzles in Exit. Feels like more thought was put into user experience." - Josh Derksen

"I have strong opinions about Unlock. I LOVE playing them and I will only play them by myself because I'm THAT type A. I do own them all and I have played all but 3, (saving them, I guess?) My favorite was the Heroic adventures because of the side-scroller video game version. It was the most creative, IMO. I also love the werewolf one in the "7" series, and Nautilus. The only one I didn't care for is Scheherezade, but it's possible I just didn't have the right attitude that day." - Emily Labéjof