This company is one of the first I encountered – around 3 years ago. I very much enjoyed the room back then, so thought a return trip was in order. As one of my teammates had already completed the “Brunel” room, and I am not a fan of horror, we opted for their newly created “Wizard” room. Having already seen quite a few of the same theme, the bar was high…
When you walk in you are immediately transported into a ‘wizard’s schoolroom’. The decoration is sparse, but there is a nice mix of set dressing and essentials. The props weren’t of the highest quality, and the rooms were pretty empty, but there was attention to detail in the construction of the room, with things working flawlessly. Ultimately, I did feel immersed in the room and it was beautifully complimentary to the puzzles.
This company likes to play with their hint systems, imbedding each one to the room and theme. Usually, I like to stick to screens and text, but I really appreciated the effort they went to in creating a ‘magic mirror’. They also provide a ‘painting’ of the order of puzzles to complete, although we chose to ignore this.
As that painting might suggest, the game was fairly linear – it was clear what puzzle to do at each point, and how each puzzle linked to each other. However, with 3 of us we didn’t get too frustrated and there were a couple of puzzles going on at a time so we weren’t tripping over each other. I also appreciated how the difficulty of the puzzles does increase as you work your way through, with some towards the end taking a little extra time.
As this is a wizard’s room, naturally you need a wand. This is the only part of the room that didn’t totally work well – the wand was a little temperamental, and was pretty samey. However, the excitement of using a wand and casting spells is fun no matter what!
The puzzles themselves were pretty varied – a mix of tactile and logical puzzles. All were able to be solved via brain work (rather than something you either know or you don’t). Quite a few of the puzzles linked to the same theme within the room, which I really liked – it’s not too often that I notice a consistent thread running through a room other than the theme. They also made really good use of props – things you think were set dressing, but useful when you look closer.
My review would also not be complete without mentioning the fact that we gained the record time! However, this was only 2 weeks in, with a time just under 40 minutes, so I have no doubt someone else has already broken it.
Outside the room
The staff were very helpful and friendly. I was able to talk to them about my previous visit (2 years ago) and that room (which has since closed). They also recognised my team mate and were discussing her previous visit with a different team. This layer of detail, added to the fact we were able to discuss other rooms in the area, definitely added to the sense of enjoyment and value of the room.
The reception is pretty sparse, with only a couple of seats and a few lockers (with no locks). However, it’s decorated well and the fact it has storage shouldn’t be sniffed at.
The venue also has parking close by, free for 2 hours, which is ideal! There are also regular busses to the area.
The venue is up a flight of stairs, and there is a step inside the room itself. The room itself is quite spacious, with some aircon if needed. There is a chair within the room too.
You need to be able to identify colours and sounds in this room, and there are a couple of puzzles which may be a little high up for children. However, you don’t need any physical strength or dexterity (thankfully!).
There are smoke effects in the room, which the GM made us aware of, and said he would turn off if required. Similarly, it was a little dim and the background noise was a little distracting, both of which the GM offered to rectify.
Was it worth the money?
We paid £23pp – I definitely think this was worth it! I highly recommend this room to anyone, particularly for such a competitive price.
Pros; Hints, staff, theming, puzzles
Cons; Technology, linearity