Having had a good experience with this company in the past, I decided to book this Witchcraft and Wizardry room for my team of newbie, Harry Potter loving friends. We also did the School of Witchcraft at London Escaped, but this room was far superior. We actually got on the leaderboard for this, which is one of the only rooms where I’ve managed to achieve that!
First things first, we got robes – immediately onto a winner there.
The set itself is pretty simple – a normal, rectangular room designed to look like a (magical) school room. They’ve been very clever in their subtle references to Harry Potter, whilst keeping it general enough to avoid any sort of direct affiliation.
The design itself didn’t blow me away. The walls were pretty clearly just wallpaper, and admittedly it was pretty basic. That being said, the room was spacious, had good quality furniture and props, and did (mostly) immerse us into the theme.
There were 4 of us in the room – one first timer, and two who had done a few rooms (with me). Then there was me, on 50+ rooms…so quite a mix.
The room felt fairly linear, but there was enough to do for each puzzle that it wasn’t a one man show. The puzzles were mostly straight forward to understand, and interesting to solve. They were all nicely themed and fit with the room. Most of the time I was able to direct a team mate to solve one puzzles whilst someone else was working on another. The difficulty level was fairly easy – I think a team of amateurs would have been able to complete the room successfully.
The hint system was good too – a screen disguised to look like a photo frame. Although we didn’t use any hints, I know from past experience that it is not obvious when a hint appears, so it is worth checking regularly.
The only downside was just how easy it was, as I didn’t feel at all challenged. We really did fly through, and at no point did I really need to stop and figure anything out.
Outside the room
The customer service during my previous visit, and subsequent visits, the staff have been fantastic. Unfortunately, during this visit the staff were less than ideal. They seemed pretty bored and disinterested with the whole thing – a pretty tepid welcome, lacklustre briefing and no big ‘fanfare’ upon escaping. We weren’t even told our time until I asked, at which point it seemed to dawn on them that “oh, I think you might be on the board”.
Obviously, this isn’t what you want from staff members at an escape room. However, the room was great and I wouldn’t let the customer service experience put you off. It’s also worth noting they have a fairly active Facebook account, with regular deals.
The venue (Shadwell) has a step into the building, and stairs down to the rooms. I can’t remember if there is a lift at all. They have a nice waiting room, with plenty of room to sit, and the room itself was wide with somewhere to sit inside. However, there is a subsequent room which is a little tighter.
The room is well lit, and there were no loud sounds. There is a screen with moving images, although they do not flash. There are two colour related puzzles.
Was it worth the money?
This room cost £24 each for 4 people, so around average for London. Ignoring the customer service, I do think this was worth it. The room was good quality and gave us a really good level of enjoyment.
I don’t think it would be worth it for a larger, more experienced team, but for a team of 2 or 3 experienced people, or 3-5 inexperienced, it works really well.
TL ; DR
Pros – theme, flow
Cons – easy, customer service