The perfect room to start our Lucardo experience
The famous 190 carat Saratov diamond from Russia is being deposited at the central bank in Manchester. Lucardo has hacked the security system, buying your team a one hour window to steal the diamond. Can your team pull off Manchester’s biggest ever heist? *note this game is similar to Gem Runner at Rawtenstall.
If you’re a member of the UK Enthusiast Group on Facebook it seems like not a week goes past without someone singing the praises of Lucardo in Manchester. So after a 5am start our Manchester day trip from London began, destination: Lucardo. To make the trip worthwhile we booked all five rooms at their Manchester location (they also have more rooms in Rawtenstall).
We found the venue easily enough as it was only a 15min walk from Manchester Piccadilly station, and it’s located on a main road. You get used to seeing escape room companies setting up in trading estates and seedy locations so it was different to see one in a building that also houses recruitment consultants.
We were greeted by a horde of GMs all waiting for their teams to arrive so we took a seat in the waiting room and waited for our GM to give us the health and safety briefing.
After the usual health and safety briefing we were given pencil and paper so we could write down any notes while in the room – a small thing that we like as sometimes remembering things is not our strongest skill – then we were shown into the room.
*Top Tip* – don’t watch the video that is playing in the reception area as it contains spoilers for the rooms and takes away some of the surprises from the room (and also strangely shows you where hidden things may be located.
Gem Runner is heavy on the ‘traditional’ escape room puzzles, with plenty of padlocks, codes, and searching and is not a tech heavy room.
The room is heavy on observation and problem solving, if you see a code, use it. You may find yourself finding things early in the game that aren’t needed until later so be careful what you focus on.
One challenge near the end seemed very random to us and we spent longer than we should on it, it wasn’t until our debrief at the end when the GM explained where the solution was. It made sense when we were shown but fortunately by the process of elimination (wasting time) you could still solve it even without putting everything together.
There was one puzzle which I really enjoyed, it stumped us for a few minutes but suddenly it clicked, and it gave us both a laugh as it was so simple yet so clever. I won’t say more than that, but it was pretty good.
It’s arguably not hard to create a heist game as banks can often be very plain. Lucardo have created a decent room here, with good theming and plenty of room to move around (except maybe in the latter stages).
The puzzles all fitted in with the theme and one could argue there were a few red herrings but really they were set design and it was easy to discount what was part of the game.
I always enjoy when rooms have a soundtrack or something to break up the silence and Lucardo have a decent backing track which kept the tempo up and threw in the odd police siren for good measure – or they were real and outside, I’m not sure.
Throughout this room you know exactly what you are there to do, get the gem and get out, so there is a very clear ending to the room and we left feeling content in the knowledge that we had completed our mission.
Our preference for clues is always that we will ask for them if we need them, but if we’re doing something particularly stupid then we’d like the GM to chime in. Our GM, Rick did a great job as our outside man and when we needed a clue it was simply to tell us that what we were trying to solve didn’t come into play until later. Rick also gave us a good debrief and answered our questions about the room so it was nice to find out what we had missed for one of the last puzzles.
Clues and your time were displayed on a screen in the room. When a clue was offered it was announced by the words “Cashier Number Six, please” over the tannoy.
This room seemed to be the perfect room for our day at Lucardo, it is one of those rooms that reminds you why you enjoy escape rooms. Nothing flashy, just good padlocky fun for the whole family.
Team: Two Players – escaped in 38:57 with one ‘kinda’ clue/nudge
Address: Virginia House, 5-7 Great Ancoats Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M4 5AD