A very quick game that you should by rights, blitz
Inside a dressing room full of tricks and illusions, you learn the fate of Jasper The Great. He once saw The MacGuffin Machine as an ally, helping create ‘The Ultimate Stage Illusion’, but The MacGuffin Machine tricked Jasper and transported him to another dimension. The MacGuffin Machine will send you to a similar fate, if you do not quickly figure out Jaspers tricks and find your own portal to safety.
We’ve been wanting to do the rooms at The MacGuffin Project for a while and as we were driving past it seemed like the perfect time to stop in for a room. One of our regular team members really wanted to do The MacGuffin Project so we put that one on hold for now and opted for The Magician.
First impressions when entering the venue were good with decor being a blend of steampunk and carnival, which they carried out throughout the building. We were greeted by Joey and Julie and we had a good chat about rooms in general and then after an overview of the rules we were lead downstairs to the room.
Julie was enthusiastic and gave a theatrical introduction to the story and why we were there. Once that was done, we were in the room and on our own.
Going into this room we were expecting something pretty spectacular and lots of wow moments, unfortunately there was nothing that wowed us. It is a well themed room but don’t go in expecting ‘magic’.
At one point I did something stupid which meant Gilbert had to pipe in and ridicule me to fix what I had just done. It was a nice bit of humour that gave us a laugh and brought well deserved attention to my stupidity.
We did enjoy this room, but for some reason we both left feeling a bit flat and we don’t know why. There was nothing about it that was bad but it just felt lacking, perhaps because it was a pretty short game by regular standards. We weren’t on top form that morning yet we still got out in 37 minutes. I think we just wanted and expected more.
There were a fair number of padlocks in the room and not much tech, but that doesn’t really bother us like it does some people. One puzzle that we thought would have been automated wasn’t and it looked like it was released by the GM pushing a button.
Generally, the puzzles were on the easier side and if we hadn’t had a couple of search fails we’d have blown through them. I did like one aspect of the room which at first seemed obvious what you needed to do but when you stepped back you realised it was a different solution all together.
I would imagine that one of the puzzles is a bit of a love/hate situation. It’s pretty clever, very simple, and we haven’t seen it before, but it still stumped us for a few minutes. I’m still torn on if I liked it, but Liz did and she’s harder to please than I am.
The final puzzle wasn’t hard and felt like a bit of an anticlimax to the room, I think we were hoping to see something special at the end, but it never came and then we were out.
The design was in keeping with the rest of the building, which makes sense as it is all part of a larger story. The theming of the room was good and it had the usual items you would associate with a magician’s act. There were a few red herrings which frustrated us a little, but they still were on theme.
Clues were delivered by Jasper’s helper, Gilbert. McGuffin Project have definitely mastered the art of giving a clue that is just helpful enough to get where you need to be, but still ambiguous enough that you still find yourself needing to work it out on your own, and when we needed them they were delivered practically instantaneously.
We did this as a team of two and still got out in less than 40 minutes having used two clues (due to searching fails). If you are a large or experienced team then I doubt you’ll have any issue getting out in a quick time, so factor that into the price you pay.
Team: 2 players (escaped in 37:34 with two clues)
Address: 205 Old Christchurch Rd, Bournemouth BH1 1JU