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Review: Virginia House - Lucardo, Manchester

Room Story - from Lucardo

A serial killer is on the loose. Every hour, on the hour for the past 24 hours a murder has taken place. The killer has been leaving clues around the murder scenes, sending Scotland Yard around in circles. Your team has been granted access to the murder scene and is tasked with cracking the clues, riddles and puzzles to track down the next location before the murderer strikes again. An innocent life depends on you.


Key Stats

Room NameVirginia House
VenueLucardo
LocationManchester, UK
Date09/02/2019
Escape Time47:39
Team Size3
My Recommended Team Size3 - 5

Review

We’ve played all the other games at Lucardo Manchester (with the exception of Gem Runner that we played at Rawtenstall instead), so Virginia House was our final game to play. We’ve always enjoyed Lucardo’s games, so we thought we’d go along and “complete” the venue.

After the standard briefing, we were given our task. As members of a police force, we were tasked with investigating a serial killer who has already claimed a number of victims and who is going to kill a new victim every hour, on the hour. Therefore, we had an hour to put a stop to his crimes!

Upon entering the room, we found ourselves in an apartment living room with some signs of a crime – furniture in strange places, crime scene markers and bloody hand prints on the wall. We set about exploring the room and quickly progressed through a number of puzzles that all followed a similar format of finding a code/key, decoding and unlocking. There wasn’t a great deal of extra story development in this space, but we soon unlocked the door to the bedroom of the apartment.

They’ve done a good job of creating a creepy feeling room without making it scary and inaccessible. It’s a little bit dark, there are bits of blood about the place and you soon come across a marked out outline on the floor of the unfortunate victim of the killer.

There were a couple of puzzles in the room that caused us a bit of frustration. One we overcomplicated because of other information in the room I’d consider a bit of a red herring.

The other puzzle was a multi-part puzzle where we didn’t realise that we didn’t have all the information to solve it. We therefore spent such a large amount of the game on this one puzzle, complete with lots of aimless wandering in an attempt to solve it. We hinted at needing a clue on about 3 occasions and the GM let us get to the stage where we got bored before finally giving us a hint. We prefer to be given hints by the GM when they find it appropriate, rather than asking. After all, they know the game better than we do. This took all momentum out of the game for us.

The ending to the game felt somewhat anti-climactic as to complete the game you need to find the next victim and convert this into a code to exit the room. In escape rooms, you almost always have to slightly suspend your disbelief as you encounter “escape room things” that you wouldn’t get in real life. I always find it important how well the game manages to explain away and integrate “escape room things”. I felt this game wasn’t strong enough on story and the ending didn’t feel at all satisfying.

We were a little bit disappointed with Virginia House and felt it fell below the standard of other Lucardo games. It wasn’t strong enough on story and this ultimately led to what we felt was quite an unsatisfying ending.

The team were Becky, Daniel and Beth.

Ratings


Overall We found this to be one of the weaker Lucardo games we’ve played. We didn’t feel there was much variety in the puzzles and felt there was quite an anti-climactic ending.
Difficulty It’s not a game designed to be difficult. The majority of the puzzles flowed logically, but we felt there were a few ambiguous moments.
Fun We enjoyed the majority of the game, but we got stuck on a puzzle we felt was ambiguous and got to the point where we got frustrated. This led to quite an anti-climactic ending for us.
Puzzles We didn’t feel the puzzles in this game were that strong compared to other Lucardo games. There wasn’t any one puzzle that particularly stood out for us.
Immersion The room is furnished in Ikea furniture, but it looks and feels like a real apartment. They’ve done a nice job of making it look realistic.
Surprises There’s some sense of discovery in the game, but not as much as you’d like for a murder mystery game.

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