24 March 2022
Can we interest you in a free trial?
Ambition is an admirable thing in any creative project but it can just as often see a good idea reach too far and end up falling flat as is the case in Exodus.
To its credit, Exodus tries to provide a choose-your-own-adventure style game that spans several planets in the midst of a war between two alien factions and while the back of the box presents the idea that you and your friends will be playing for an hour, truth is you will more than definitely run into an end in just a few minutes.
See, the issue with a branching CYOA narrative is that you can’t let the player run in any direction for too long before you’d need a whole separate game just to deal with those choices and that’s exactly what Half Monster Games’ ambition has set up for themselves. Within twenty odd minutes of playing, we had discovered five endings that said “Congratulations, you’ve reached the end of this storyline! It will be continued in a future expansion. Return to Card 1 to explore alternate realities.” Which is disappointing because as soon as you feel like you’re getting momentum, the game stops and not in a definite “oh you died” or “oh you found a definite, spelled out, interesting ending” but in a fizzling “we didn’t have enough budget to finish this part” which just makes it feel unfinished.
Maybe it’ll all come together when the expansions are released as the writing is quite good, the worldbuilding is interesting (especially for fans of their Xenohunters universe) and the art is well used but as it stands Exodus feels like paying for a free trial to a sci-fi MMORPG that kicks you out after your first quest.
PLAY IT? MAYBE
Designer: Jack Ford Morgan
Publisher: Monster Games
Time: 5-60 minutes