It’s a kind of magic!
You will become part of a mysterious ritual, research secret websites, be surprised by the magic of ancient spells and all in a heart-pounding race against time to save 5 witches from their horrific fate. Witchery Spell is a complete escape room in a box, only this escape room can be played from the safe environment of your own home.
DarkPark have got quite a reputation for making exceptional escape rooms over in the Netherlands, and from what we were hearing, they had turned their attention to creating unique play at home games. Their first game, which we haven’t played, is called Conspiracy 19, but the game that got our attention was Witchery Spell.
We’d heard a little about Witchery Spell from a few other enthusiasts but it seems to have generally gone under the radar for most. We actually knew very little about this game other than it was supposed to be one of the best play at home games out there, with many unique ways to interact with the game.
Coming from the Netherlands, DarkPark did note that delivery could take a little while, yet we ordered on a Tuesday and it arrived on the Friday of the same week. I don’t know if that was a fluke but it was much quicker than we were expecting.
Arriving sooner than we expected, we quickly cleared our diary and set aside time on a Saturday to play this game. We probably should have waited a week so we could play it on Halloween but we were impatient and wanted to see what surprises it held.
We opted to play this as a team of two, but you probably could play it with more. With current lockdown issues I’d imagine you could find a way to play it over Zoom, although as there are a lot of tangible assets that you need to interact with, the experience certainly wouldn’t be the same.
With supervision this would be a great family game. I’d imagine that children would get a kick out of the ‘magic’ that this game contains. Although it is worth noting that fire plays a part so you may want to be careful.
Top Tip: This game isn’t cheap so to play it once seems like a waste. DarkPark sell a ‘refill kit’ for £10 which gives instructions on how to reset the game, and replaces the consumable parts. If you bought the game and refill kit at the same time you could either regift it or sell it on – suddenly the price becomes a bit more favourable.
The first thing you notice when you receive this box is that the attention to detail is high. Yes, it comes in a cardboard box but even that has had a little styling to make it look a bit more special. Opening the box, the intrigue grows as you investigate all the items contained within, and lovingly cushioned for transport with real straw.
The attention to detail which is apparent on the box is continued into the game itself. The team at DarkPark obviously put a lot of thought into how to make this game feel as authentic as possible and everything feels like it belongs.
I won’t go into detail about what you receive, but they have put together a kit that feels straight out of a witches coven (I’d imagine) and included ‘ingredients’ that are designed to create a bit of magic for your game.
The game plays out using both the contents in the box, and a couple of websites that you need to access. We found the use of websites worked well and added an extra element to the game. There is no outside knowledge needed and everything you need is either contained in the box or on these websites (no Googling needed).
If there was one area of the game that fell a bit flat for us, it was something that felt like it was going to be really quite magical and we had been looking forward to it through the game. But when it came time to use these ingredients, we both said “Is that it?”. Although it fitted into the story I think we were expecting some theatrics – being realistic though, I think one would need some black powder to create what we wanted, can’t see that being safe though!
The ending of the game was clear, you can’t get clearer than a message saying ‘The End’, but in a way it left us with more questions than anything else. The way the game ends makes it feel like that there should be one more thing we need to do, just to really get closure.
There were a mixture of puzzle types in the Witchery Spell, that all fitted in with the theme and worked well to progress the story. Word play, audio, observation, decoding, logic, and generally just following instructions are the types of puzzles you’ll encounter in this game.
When I say ‘following instructions’, I mean it. Make sure that if you are told you need to do something, you do it. We tried to take some shortcuts here and there to make for a quicker cleanup and this actually slowed us down.
It could be our experience but we found the puzzles to be on the easier side in this game, that’s not a bad thing though, I feel like this game is more about the experience than the puzzles. In terms of immersion, this game had it in bags.
If you aspiring Witches got stuck trying to make your spell, help was on hand. It would have been nice to see the immersion of the game carried through to the clue system, but as it was, it just worked.
If you needed any help you could scan a QR code that was contained in the box and this would direct you to a website that was easy to navigate. Clues were broken down into sections and puzzles so you didn’t accidently click on the wrong one. Generally there were three clues available for each puzzle and if you still couldn’t get it, you could get the solution so you could keep moving.
This is probably one of the most immersive play at home games we have played so far. It carries a premium price, but I doubt you will find anything else like it out there. We felt like it promised a bit more magic than it actually delivered, but it still was a delight to play.
- Computer with an internet connection (and speakers)
- Pen and paper may help
- A ‘cauldron’ (mug will work)
|Value for Money|
Team: 2 players
Time Taken: 1hr 29mins