The Legend of Miyalock tells of a treasure hidden deep within a mountain, shrouded in magic and mystery and guarded by the spirit of the dragon – Malaki. Long ago, Malaki sought to destroy this world but a young girl named Miya used her magic to entrap the dragon within the mountain. Thousands of years later, the Collective League of United Explorers (C.L.U.E.) has finally stumbled upon the hiding place of this legendary treasure – but they may have unearthed something much more dangerous. Retrieve Miya’s wand, master the magic of the past and join the fight to defeat Malaki once and for all to claim the treasure of Miyalock for yourselves.
Ok, I’ll be the first to admit that in the past we have been a bit snobby towards ClueHQ games. We played one venue where it felt like we were in a cattle market and just processed in and out, then another which was the opposite and had a lovely feel about it. We’ve always felt their games were made for the non-enthusiast market and never really ‘wowed’ us. So of course when our friends at Brit of an Escape Habit said there was a ClueHQ game that we must play, we were sceptical, but looked into it.
As it turns out, The Legend of Miyalock is on borrowed time and will soon (I believe the end of 2021) be retired. Knowing that we have missed out on good games in the past, and trusting Brit of an Escape Habit’s recommendation, we decided to make a detour to Birmingham just to play this game. Thanks to the Clean Air Zone and hotel charges, it was an expensive detour, but fortunately The Legend of Miyalock was worth it.
We took the scenic route to find the venue (we got lost), but eventually found it under one of the railway arches, and with all the signage there was no doubt we were in the right place. Once we rang the bell to be let in we were greeted by our host for the evening, Sherlock (I’d guess not her real name). There is a good amount of space at ClueHQ Birmingham, and although we didn’t meet any other teams, it looks like we would have been able to spread out if we needed to.
Sherlock proceeded to give us the health and safety briefing in the reception area, and then we were led further into the railway arches where we climbed the stairs to Miyalock. Once we got to the top of the stairs mountain we put our possessions into the box provided. We love it when the design of a room spills out into the common areas, and Miyalock did exactly that, starting the immersion early.
Sherlock proceeded to give us a small overview of our mission, but once we entered the room we received the full briefing from a screen in the room. Mission understood, and a lot of instructions to remember, it was time to find us some treasures!
Covid-19 Procedures: All staff were wearing masks and we didn’t see any other teams on site, there was also plentiful hand sanitiser around the venue. We were told we could remove our masks once in the game (we opted to keep them on)
When talking about immersion and room design for The Legend of Miyalock, I think it’s safe to say that they have knocked it out of the park. This is an incredibly theatrical game with a lovely set design that brings everything together to make it feels like it belongs. There was a great use of technology, which at times made this a very warm space to be in, but it was beautifully done.
The use of space was again very good, and we found ourselves going backwards and forwards many times (got some good Fitbit steps in). To get to the room itself you do have to go up quite a few stairs, and these are quite steep, but once you are in the room you will find that it is mostly on one level, although some climbing/crawling will be needed at various points.
I can’t quite tell if we liked the volume of the soundtrack playing or not, but it was certainly epic. Throughout our time in Miyalock, there was music playing, and this was LOUD. It certainly added to the experience but it also made it harder to communicate with each other (perhaps that was a puzzle?).
Other than the great journey that we went on in the game, and the excitement of working out how we interacted with the set, there was also a nice sense of closure. It’s really hard to get a good end to a game, especially when the game itself was epic. But Miyalock gave us that sense of closure, much like you may get in a movie.
Although this was mostly a linear room, there were a couple of parallel puzzle paths we could take through it. As a team of two, we found that we were kept busy the entire time we were in this room. I’d guess that even bigger teams will still find things to keep them occupied.
There were a lot of different puzzle types in Miyalock; observation, decoding, searching, maths (basic), communication (harder with the music volume), audio puzzles, and generally just following directions. Again nothing really felt out of place, and thanks to the use of technology this room had a magical feel about it.
I don’t remember any coded padlocks, perhaps one keypad and a couple of keyed padlocks – nothing that felt out of place. I briefly mentioned the use of tech, but I am aware that a lot of this was triggered by our GM. That doesn’t bother me though, as it was dealt with so seamlessly that it could have been automated and we wouldn’t have noticed any difference.
Sherlock was a wonderful host, she was friendly and bubbly when greeting us, and didn’t try and rush us through the experience. There is no doubt that The Legend of Miyalock is a very intensive game to run as a games master, but fortunately Sherlock was up to the task. Her perfect game-mastering is what made us doubt whether things were truly automated or she was triggering them – everything was seamless.
When we did require clues (I think we needed one or two because we missed the obvious) she chimed in at the perfect time. The clues were delivered by a screen in the first room and were accompanied by an audio alert. It would have been nice if the clue system could have fitted the theming a bit more, but it worked.
The Legend of Miyalock seems to be the shining light in the ClueHQ collection. Admittedly we haven’t played many ClueHQ games, but Miyalock is a cracking game and one that ClueHQ can be proud of. We don’t know what the future holds for The Legend of Miyalock, so get going and play it now, before it is possibly lost forever.
Team: 2 players – escaped in 41 minutes
Address: Arches 20 & 21, Lionel Street, Birmingham, B3 1AG