University of Magic – Dragons Heart (Lucardo Rawtenstall)

Game Date: 8th December 2018
Game Number: 19
Price for Two Players: £44
Website: https://lucardo.com/rawtenstall

Room Overview
An announcement has been made in the University of Magic – the Dragon’s Heart has been stolen! Without this, magic as we know it is at risk. Rumours are circulating that it was seen in Oggles Magic Shop. Your task is to use your magical powers to enter Oggles, recover The Dragon’s Heart and return it back to the University of Magic. Dark forces are involved, so take care on this quest.

Arrival and Introduction
Rawtenstall is a little further out from central Manchester than we are used but the excitement of being able to play the equal to Lucardo’s epic University of Magic game was to enticing. We booked to play it on the morning that it officially opened and hopped in the car. There is a car park less than 50m away from the front door on Key Street though be careful of a few sneaky one-way systems that are about. On arrival we entered a brightly lit reception room with sofas, drinks for sale and the usual array of locks on table that you find at Lucardo’s other site. Simon greeted us warmly and had a chat about our experience and what rooms we had enjoyed up to that date. We (as always) were very early so this chat did last a while. Whilst we were waiting there was another group about to start one of the other games who completely missed the beginning of their game which gave us and Simon a good chuckle (any one who has played Corruption will know what I mean by this.

Gameplay
Once we were ready Simon reappeared and gave a very convincing game brief and we began with a very unique entrance to the room which really heightened the expectation and excitement levels. The design of the room is fantastic, magical and very very immersive – we truly believed that we were actually in a magic shop and not a office room in Rawtenstall. It took us a few minutes to actually get started because we couldn’t stop looking at the room, but once we did it was clear what the aim of the room was a immediately got started. We loved the use of “magic” in the room and at times we had to use wands, make potions to continue. The second area was equally impressive and contained a few really cool puzzles that I had never come across before. Technology is used really well in this room to create a magical experience. The room is open with plenty for two players to be getting on with and the mix of puzzles is great with a wonderful flow to the room. One of the best things about the room is how the puzzles fitted within the story – at no point did you feel like you were completing puzzles just for the hell of it. This really added another level of immersion to the room which in turn added to the enjoyment. Once we had retrieved the heart, we fled(!) from the room and were greeted by Simon again. After we finished, Simon took us back into the room to chat through some of the puzzles and ask our opinion on a couple that they were still tinkering with. I truly love it when we can talk with the hosts after the room and its clear that Simon takes a great deal of personal pride in this room (and rightly so)!

Outcome
We escaped with 21.42 remaining having had a couple of hints on one puzzle that we should have got much quicker! Clues when we received them were given via a screen.

Credit : Lucardo Rawtenstall

Overall
A fantastic room that rocketed straight into top spot on our favourite games. A fairly straightforward game for those with experience and the number and difficulty of puzzles means it is by no means impossible for a pair of newbies.

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


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