“It can’t be that simple, can it?”
The year is 1938, just prior to the outbreak of WWII. You and your team are part of the newly founded British Secret Intelligence Service. The War Office has had a number of classified documents stolen, which are thought to be held in a secret enemy bunker. Intelligence tells us the guards change every hour. Your Mission: crack the bunker security codes and recover the documents before the guards change.
I always have a soft spot for World War 2 themed rooms so I was excited to give Espionage a try. It was quite a change of pace coming from the beautifully themed University of Magic to this one, not because this was bad, but they were just so different.
First impressions when entering the room were good and it immediately felt like we had stepped into an active World War Two command room. We hit the ground running and were blitzing (no pun intended) through the puzzles, but as always with us we then hit the metaphorical wall.
One puzzle which looked like there should be more information in the room to solve it stumped us for longer than it should have and it was only thanks to a moment of brilliance from Liz that we solved it. In the end it seemed like guess work so we’re not sure if something was missed or if it was just guess work. Either way some people will no doubt get it right away.
There were plenty of things to get on with in this room and at no times (other than our search fail) were we standing around looking for things to do.
Lucardo have some great rooms and that could be why our expectations for this one were higher. Put this room in a lesser venue and it would probably leave you buzzing, but put it in a good venue like Lucardo and it just doesn’t come up to the same standard as the others.
There was a mixed bag of puzzles in this room, some of which were very easy, at one point I even said to Liz “surely this can’t be the code, can it?”, and it was. Then at other times there were puzzles which were trickier and stumped us for longer than they probably should have.
For the most part the puzzles were ok and fitted in the theme but there was one exception that we both felt was weak and really only tentatively fitted in the theme. Perhaps we missed something but we really couldn’t see how this fitted without guess work.
There was a decent amount of searching in this room, although things weren’t particularly hard to find. Saying that, there was one item we needed to find late on in the game that we really couldn’t see, it blended in so well with its surroundings that we didn’t question it. After spending what felt like a lifetime hunting for this item, we were on the verge of asking for a clue when we finally saw it.
The room design was good and contained lots of items that felt like they fitted correctly with the era that the room was set, a lot of them because I think they were probably genuinely of the era.
There’s always a fine line between set decor and red herrings but I feel like this room treaded that fine line well, it was close at times, but it didn’t take long to rule out something as set dressing.
The design of this room is closer to what we would class as a traditional escape room, no surprises with (almost) everything on show early on. The ending to the room felt a bit flat, it could have been something special and they did try, but we can’t quite put our fingers on why but the ending just felt anticlimactic.
Like most of the rooms at Lucardo (Manchester) the clues are delivered via a TV screen in the room. This screen also shows your remaining time.
Our GM was as attentive as all the other GMs we encountered during our visit and was on the ball with clues/nudge when we needed them.
This room certainly won’t give you any surprises, nor will it wow you, but it is still a decent room. For us though, this was the weakest of the rooms at Lucardo (Manchester) – but they had set the bar high.
Team: Two Players
Address: Virginia House, 5-7 Great Ancoats Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M4 5AD