Lucardo Manchester: University of Magic: The Entrance Exam

By | March 20, 2019

by Lucardo Manchester (website)

Virginia House, 5-7 Great Ancoats Street, M4 5AD

Manchester

2-6 players

60 minutes

Wheelchair suitable - contact the venue for details
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?
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Overall rating

Rated between 35 and 40 out of 5

based on ratings from 22 users
combined with 7 pro reviews

Your review

Player reviews

Laura McGill expert rated this:Rated between 30 and 30 out of 5
Played: 14 Dec 2021 Team size: 2 Time taken: 40:00 Outcome: Successful escape!
family friendlymagicalquite easy
flyingoctopus expert rated this:Rated between 40 and 40 out of 5
Team size: 2 Outcome: Successful escape!

Nice fun room. Family friendly. 

Beautiful set.

Runs alongside the magic room at the other venue. It's nice that the 2 stories run back to back

🌵Juliette B expert rated this:Rated between 40 and 40 out of 5
Played: 12/07/2019 Team size: 2 Outcome: Successful escape!

Great room, our favourite of the 3 we played there. Very well themed and some great puzzles. Recommended if in the area. 

Scotus0 experienced rated this:Rated between 35 and 35 out of 5
Played: 19/01/2020 Team size: 4 Time taken: 47:34 Outcome: Successful escape!

Sorcery on a Sunday!

I came here for my final (at least for now) Lucardo challenge with a few friends.

Story

Secure your place at the University of Magic by finding a wand and mixing a potion.

Puzzles

There were some truly unique, ‘magical’ tasks closely related to the theme/story. We required two or three hints, but none of them were overly complicated. The previous group had written the answer to the penultimate puzzle down, and this wasn’t rubbed off prior to us going in. While we still effectively solved it, the information we shouldn’t have had made it obvious we were doing it correctly. Since the answer didn’t become accessible until right near the end, it wasn’t too big a deal.

Mise-en-scène

A quirky, close-packed room that utilised every inch of available space for brooms, wands, quills, creatures and potions. I identified a fair few of Poundland’s Halloween wares as props, but if you don’t know, some of them do look authentic. There was one item that struck me as impressively Harry Potter-esque, but not quite as interactive as it perhaps should have been. As a whole, the room did feel part of an immersive, wizarding world.

Final Comments

An impersonal brief was saved by another bouncy Game Operator who welcomed us into the room in-character. I wouldn’t take more than 4 people, or else you’ll be struggling for puzzles to solve.

Allie Abbott rated this:Rated between 40 and 40 out of 5
Played: 02/01/20 Team size: 3 Time taken: 35 Outcome: Successful escape!
imrahil experienced rated this:Rated between 35 and 35 out of 5
Team size: 2 Outcome: Successful escape!
PurpleB experienced rated this:Rated between 40 and 40 out of 5
Played: Jan 2020 Team size: 2 Outcome: Successful escape!

A great set and some interesting well-themed puzzles.  The game was let down a bit by the last puzzle though, which was lacking proper constraints and required you to make assumptions which didn't fit with the story.

🦡cipherdelic virtuoso rated this:Rated between 35 and 35 out of 5
Lise Mortier expert rated this:Rated between 40 and 40 out of 5
Played: 28/10/2020 Team size: 2 Outcome: Successful escape!

Really good room by Lucardo. We were hoping to complete this room since we did Dragon's Heart back in 2018.

It really didn't disappoint but we were left a bit lost by the story, we didn't know what the aim of the room was, not sure if we missed it in the introduction video (which had very low volume) so once all the padlocks and doors were opened, we lost a bit of time trying to understand why we were meant to do.

The game master (Emma, I believe) was fantastic. She really is enthusiastic about escape rooms so it made our experience even better as she knew to wait before sending us clues.

Gavin B rated this:Rated between 40 and 40 out of 5
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Reviews by escape room review sites

Well deserving of its great reputation University of Magic was a fun, well-decorated room and, while the challenges focus more on observation than hard puzzles, there's still some meat in there to keep you busy.
Due to bad experiences in the past we tend to stay away from magic themed rooms, but this one has restored our faith. Now we need to head to the Lucardo Rawtenstall branch to check out the sequel!
It’s an extremely popular game and we could see why. It’s a beautifully themed and high-quality game with good puzzles excellently tied into the theme. 

Lucardo has built a reputation in the UK for quality games and had long been on my wish list of places I wanted to visit. They entered the online market in mid-2020 with Gemrunner (which I rated highly for its design and the overall experience). I’ve not had the chance to play Safe House as yet so when the opportunity came up to play the University of Magic I immediately signed on. Along with Prisons, pirates and sci-fi, Magic is one of my go-to themes.

See also

Other versions of this game:(Different copies of the same game sometimes have significant differences.)