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.”
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.