Just over a week ago, we made a last minute trip down the motorway to moviESCAPE Stockport, to take on their recently opened magic game. We previously enjoyed moviESCAPE’s games, particularly Haunted House when we played it a couple of years ago, but were left a little underwhelmed on our last visit to take on the Meth Lab, so we were unsure what to expect with their new magic game. After a 15 minute delay in reception due to a children’s party, we finally headed into Merlin’s academy, but would it be worth the wait?
“If you love the Boy Wizard… you will adore Merlin’s Magic Academy.
Actual working wands…. create potions… free the dragon!”
The above brief from the website is a bit limited, but the story within the game is a lot more detailed, as you’ll find when you read your academy acceptance letter at the start. Basically, the premise is that you’re proving your skills with a one hour exam, and along the way, you must uncover the secret that the school is harbouring…
The theming of the room is spot on. Big stone walls, stained glass windows, candles hanging from the ceiling, big bulky books, pictures of the Academy’s ancient alumni, all with a great level of detail.
It’s not just good theming though, but also good puzzles. They had the mix of puzzles just right, with some quite easy, and others requiring some proper thought. There was a little bit of searching to do, but mostly this was quite a padlock based room. In between the padlocks though were some proper magic themed puzzles. As the game description reads, you do have to create potions, and there are “actual working wands”. Although… our wand didn’t work and someone had to come in to sort the puzzle out for us. Hopefully that’s something they can get working more reliably, as it’s a nice touch!
Overall, this is a very good magic room, and if you enjoyed “University of Magic” at Lucardo, you’ll definitely enjoy this. It’s a similar theme, but executed in a completely different way, also packing a fantastic finale piece with some great theming and special effects. It’s a great surprise to finish with! This is definitely the best of moviESCAPE’s games, and I hope we see more at this high standard from them in future.
Host: We didn’t catch our host’s name, but she delivered a quick brief covering everything we needed to know, and we had well timed, useful clues.
Clue System: The clue system must first be activated, which is a great bit of fun. We won’t say how the clues are delivered, but it’s done humorously and adds to the experience.
Success? Yes, we got out in around 56 minutes.