Not the common ‘HP’ wizard in this room
You have one hour to escape before Merlin returns…
Merlin has gone MAD and you need to get out of there….fast! You’ve stumbled across his secret spells so he’s locked you in his tower for your sins.
You have one hour to escape before Merlin returns, so as a team you need to think smart and act fast to escape your magical fate!
Our second game of the day at Tenby’s Great Escape, having just played The Tenby Asylum, was to be The Wizard’s Lair, another game we knew nothing about.
Tenby’s Great Escape is located at Heatherton World of Activities which is quite a sizable entertainment complex with lots going on, including amusement arcades, bumper boats, baseball cages, crazy golf etc, etc… and one of their latest additions is escape rooms!
Because of the location for the games, there is plenty of parking on site and also plenty of places to get refreshments between games if you decide to do more than one. One piece of advice though, don’t try the ‘Shmoo’, I don’t really know what it is, but no drink should be that colour and it was certainly sweet.
Anyway, after finishing The Tenby Asylum, we took a little time to explore while we waited for The Wizard’s Lair to be ready for us, and then we returned. We were once again greeted by Bruce, who was our GM for all our games that day. We already knew the health and safety stuff so could skip over that, and then Bruce took us down the dimly lit corridor to the entrance to the room.
Outside the room, Bruce gave us our mission briefing, but before we could enter, we had a riddle to solve. Fortunately Liz was on the ball as I was being particularly dim. With the riddle solved, we entered the Wizard’s Lair, with 60 minutes to get out before Merlin returns!
I’ve got to admit, when we booked the games at Tenby’s Great Escape we took a bit of a punt as we had no idea what they would be like. Fortunately, our gamble paid off as the team here have obviously put a good chunk of money into their rooms, including the set design. The Wizard’s Lair didn’t come across as a knock-off Harry Potter room, in fact it felt perfectly suited for Merlin as it had Camelot/Castle vibes. So if you’re not a fan of magic themed rooms, just think of this as a castle themed one.
I don’t know if we missed it because we didn’t read the ‘story paper’ in reception, but this game felt more lacking in story than the other rooms. Obviously this doesn’t bother me as I’m terrible at story, but I know some people like all the details. That said, even though I don’t feel like I knew what the story was, almost everything felt like it belonged and we still knew what to do.
Really the only things that felt out of place were the padlocks and another tool you use to solve a puzzle – but this is an escape room so there is always an element of disbelief, plus I like padlocks anyway so I didn’t really mind. The only other thing that felt out of place were the screams coming from The Tenby Asylum room next door.
The Lair was a little dark in places but never really caused us any issues, and inevitably there were lighter areas where we could take things if we were struggling with the light. A pen and paper were provided as well as a chalkboard for taking notes, and this was very much appreciated!
On exiting the game there is a clear ending as once you get out you are confronted by a sign telling you that you have escaped – can’t be much more obvious than that!
Simply going on our time in this room I would guess that it is probably the easiest of the games there – certainly a great choice for a family friendly game. Despite being the ‘easiest’, there are still some good puzzles that can give a little bit of a challenge.
Arguably the experience for The Wizard’s Lair started before we even set foot in the room, with the riddle we had to solve. Once in the room there were a varied number of puzzle types, and pretty much something for everyone; searching, observation, smell, colours, logic and decoding.
Smell puzzles are a dangerous puzzle type to find a room, especially in Covid times where people’s sense of smell may have been altered. Fortunately Tenby’s Great Escape have used smells that are very distinctive from each other, so hopefully most people will be able to work out what is what.
There was one puzzle that we thought we knew what to do, but it felt like we were cheating and bypassing something, so we stopped. Eventually after calling for a little help, it turned out that we were doing it correctly; we just had to use a bit of ‘logic’ to get us started. It was a fair puzzle, but just felt like we needed a little more info to make it fully obvious what needed to be done.
As mentioned earlier, most of the puzzles in this room resulted in combinations or keys for padlocks, although there was a little tech too. The game also played out in a mostly linear fashion but there were a few areas where we were able to split up and work on different things – even if they couldn’t fully be solved at that point.
Bruce was our man behind-the-scenes who was on hand should we require any help. For the most part we gave him a pretty easy ride but there were a couple of occasions where we did need assistance. At one point we shot ourselves in the foot by being too considerate of making a mess which meant we missed something we needed to find, and then on another occasion we just didn’t think we had what we needed (we did).
When clues were needed we simply had to ask for them out loud and then they were delivered on the screen, although could also come via the speaker. Bruce was on the ball and we didn’t have to wait long at all to get the help we needed.
It was a nice change to play a Wizard themed room that simply wasn’t a Harry Potter rip off. The set design in this game was spot on and they managed to fit in a few surprises, along with some enjoyable puzzles.
If you’re in the area, particularly with family, then this is the perfect game to play if you need to escape the rain (or even if you don’t).
Apparently Tenby’s Great Escape are planning to open another couple of games at some point, so we’ll certainly be keeping a close eye for any announcements.
Team: 2 players – escaped in 38minutes
Address: Heatherton World of Activities, St Florence, Tenby, Pembrokeshire, SA70 8RJ