Lucardo Rawtenstall: University of Magic – Dragon’s Heart

On Friday, we headed back to Lucardo Rawtenstall to test their latest game. The original ‘University of Magic‘ at the Manchester branch was one of the biggest escape room successes we’ve seen, with it near-impossible to book for around six months after opening. It makes a lot of sense for them to follow it up with another UOM room, but would it be a magical experience, or suffer from the curse of the sequel?

“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.”

University of Magic Dragon Heart at Lucardo Rawtenstall

When we played the other original game at the Rawtenstall venue, Corruption, the start to the room was one of the big highlights, adding so much immersion to the experience. One thing that became clear when starting this game was that unique beginnings is a speciality for this place.

Getting into the room was a great experience, and once we stepped in, we were instantly wrapped into the setting by the theming. The game is set in Oggles Magic Shop, and it looks like it’s come straight from the set of Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley. It’s a beautiful room with so many magical props to look at, with the set looking perfect overall.

It was hard not to get lost in the theming, but we got started on actually playing the game to find a selection of puzzles that fitted well within the story and setting while being a lot of fun. The puzzles mostly required observation and searching, and everything was enjoyable to complete.

Above all, the gameplay at times involved actual potion making and spell casting, with the results using some great effects to make you feel like you’ve actually just conjured up some magic.

This is a very worthy sequel to the original University of Magic. It’s on the easier side of Lucardo’s games, and experienced teams will glide through, but the lower difficulty and magical activities means it’s perfect for families. Definitely give this one a visit!

Host: Our host was Simon, a proper escape enthusiast whose experience playing games comes across in the rooms he builds.
Clue System: Clues were delivered via a screen.
Success? Yes, we escaped with around 15 minutes to spare.


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  1. Oh yes! What a follow up! As Jamie says, University of Magic at Lucardo Manchester (now UOM: Entrance Examination) was a huge success, it was months before we managed to get in to play it. We really liked it but weren’t completely blown away with it, maybe some of that was down to hype it had generated. But as it was so successful it does make perfect sense to create a follow up…and wow.. what a job they’ve done!

    I’ve got to say at this point that my favourite Lucardo room was Corruption – the start was indeed a big highlight, such a clever start, very immersive, and the room a little different in that you weren’t just escaping but gathering items and acting out a scenario. We loved it… but…

    UOM: Dragon’s Heart has now taken the Lucardo crown in our opinion. Once again a great and different start…it’s very hard to not give anything away, but the setting and the theming of the building does make it look like something out of Diagon Alley as Jamie says! Once inside there’s lots of lovely props to look at…the room is done up perfectly like a magician’s shop, the stone flooring, the counter, the bottles…everything!

    This whole room is more a hands on experience than the previous UOM and you’ll find yourself really getting involved and creating magic! The second half of the game again has some amazing features and props. It’s fantastic. This is the most magical magic room we have played and we’ve played a few. If you liked UOM at Lucardo Manchester you NEED to play this…if you weren’t a fan of UOM then you’ll still need to play this because it’s better, haha. Great job Lucardo guys, you’ve created a stunner.

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