RATING: 3 Keys RESULT: Win REMAINING: 21:10
No need to PanIQ, this new piece of MagIQ is designed just for kids.
A mischievous elf has stolen your wands. You must break into the elf’s home and recover your wands to break her curse. This MagIQ room has just enough story to give your mission a purpose, but most steps do not link back to the story world. Guests won’t really need to break the curse, or stop protection spells, or do other things one might expect to take place in this scenario.
MagIQ does have one unique role-playing moment that adds a fun element to their story telling. During the pregame briefing, the gamemaster has players come up with a code word to be used in case of danger. If players hear the code word during the game it means the elf is returning home and everyone must hide to keep from being caught. It wasn’t clear if there was a consequence for being seen, but as soon as we heard our code word we bolted behind pieces of furniture and peered out of doorways. Through our peeking positions we could see the gamemaster, now dressed in an elf costume, enter the room and look around for anything that was amiss. Soon she left, and we returned to our hunt. This little moment added a nice bit of story to the experience, and could be a good deal of fun for children.
The Secrets of Wizardry takes place in four separate rooms, three of which are quite small. The first room players enter is by far the most compelling. Objects are suspended along the ceiling. They seemingly float, held captive by some magic force. There’s also a variety of knick-knacks and aged objects placed around to give the room a lived-in feeling. Of the PanIQ/MagIQ owned rooms we’ve seen, this first room certainly ranks among the top scenically.
The other rooms in the game don’t quite meet the same level of quality as the first room. Players are only in these other spaces for a brief time compared to the main room, but having the same level of detail across the board would be much better. The final room in particular could use some attention. It had an exterior window with a simple curtain on it that let in a large amount of daylight. This shift in light tone felt off compared to the main room of the game and also highlighted some of the other scenic flaws in the space.
One of the cool ways MagIQ continues to support the time period of their games is the use of a large physical hourglass as the time keeper. Once in the game, players flip the hourglass and can watch as the sand drops away; each second fading away.
MagIQ rooms are built to be kid-friendly, so naturally most puzzles are easier than what one would typically find an escape room. Our group did struggle with a couple of the puzzles early on simply because we were over thinking what the solution could be. Reverting back to a more child-like mindset ending up leading us in the correct direction. We later had difficulty with what we thought was a puzzle but turned out to just be a poorly done magic effect involving lasers attached to the bottom of a drawer…
A trademark for PanIQ/MagIQ rooms is large maze/puzzle tables. We talk quite frequently on Escape Authority about our dislike for these type of activities in Escape Rooms since it’s very rare for them to fit within the story world of the game. This is also the case in The Secrets of Wizardry. After accessing a secret area of the Elf’s home, players are presented with a ball and rope puzzle game. A ball must be successfully brought to the top of the board by balancing the plank it’s on. While in isolation this activity is somewhat enjoyable, it doesn’t have a place in an elf’s house or make sense as a delivery method for a key.
MaqIQ room is trying to do something unique in the Escape Room space by explicitly tailoring the experience to one children will enjoy. The interaction with the staff member in the game is one we found somewhat silly as adults but could see how a group of elementary school aged kids would find it amusing. The puzzles were fairly low on the difficulty scale and would probably provide an adequate challenge for children.
If you’re looking for a place to take a group of kids for an Escape Room activity in Los Angeles, MagIQ is a good choice. With a bigger focus on integrating story into puzzles and game steps, and a more consistent scenic brush, MagIQ could be something truly special and unique within the Los Angeles Escape Room space. As it stands now The Secrets of Wizardry is still a fun experience but is missing just a touch of magic.
Venue: MagIQ Room
Location: Los Angeles, California
Number of Games: 3
GAME SPECIFIC INFORMATION:
Duration: 60 minutes
Capacity: 6 people
Group Type: Private / You will not be paired with strangers.
Cost: $159+ per group of 2 (prices vary by time of day and day of week)