University of Magic – Entrance Exam (Lucardo)

Game Date: 17th January 2017
Game Number: 10
Price for Two: £44
Website: https://lucardo.com/manchester

Game Overview
You have been offered a place to study at the mystical University of Magic. In order to secure your place, you will need to cast spells, recite incantations, mix potions and battle with dark forces. Do you have what it takes to play this ultimate escape room and become the next Witch or Wizard of the University of Magic?

Arrival and Introduction
For this game we parked just down the road at the SIP Car Park on Gun Street – beware they have TINY car parking spaces so if you are lucky enough to drive anything bigger than a Ford Focus I would park somewhere else. As we have come to expect from Lucardo we were warmly welcomed into the reception. It was busy with a few other teams waiting around so there was a general game brief for us all before Professor Rick took us to the game door for a more specific briefing.

Gameplay
As soon as we stepped through the door, it felt like we had stepped into another world. The effectiveness of the decoration was incredible with magical touches aplenty and a ethereal music in the background. We immediately set about the first task which was unlocking the door to the apothecary. The first area had a decent mix of puzzles – logic, a nice little physical one and observational (one we picked up on straight away but took a lot longer than it should to piece together what it was telling us to do). There was a real magical moment when we unlocked the door to the apothecary and the second room did not disappoint on the theme either. Potions aplenty, a craftily hidden air-con vent gave the illusion of dragon breath and plenty of twinkling lights. We enjoyed the puzzles (mostly observation and logic) in the second room as well but struggled on one quite ambiguous one that was almost getting to us before a series of clues finally put us on the right track. There was a wonderfully magical end to the room and we certainly felt like a witch and wizard.

Outcome
We escaped with 15.02 remaining putting us in Kerynaus house and at the time of playing 8th on the leaderboard (and the highest place pair), however I am sure that quickly got beaten! We took a few clues delivered by a screen in the room – most on one puzzle that we just couldn’t work out.

Credit: Lurcardo

Overall
This was the first escape room that has really impressed us with its immersive themeing and as with all Lucardo games we have tried the GM’ing was spot on, with clues coming just before we started getting frustrated. Pairs of players should not find this too difficult and I would expect enthusiasts to complete it with out breaking much sweat. That said I would still definitely put it on a “MUST PLAY LIST” just for its immersion alone.

Customer Experience – 4.5 out of 5
Theming – 5 out of 5
Enjoyment – 5 out of 5
Gameplay – 4 out of 5
Overall – 4.5 out of 5

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