Location: Columbia, SC
Players: 2-10 (We Recommend 4-5)
Price: $28 per person
Time to Escape: 60 Minutes
I cast a spell on you!
Merlin has been transformed into a tree and as his most promising apprentices, it is up to you to find and restore him! Search his tower for clues, and retrieve the powerful artifact capable of turning him back into his true form. Do it quickly, though, as once the magic has taken full hold, the great wizard will be gone forever!
We were initially much more impressed with the design of The Wizard and could tell that it was a more recent addition to the business in comparison to Missing. Lighting effects, sound, and set design were leagues beyond what we had just experienced, and we had much higher hopes going into this one.
As previously mentioned, the room was quite a bit more impressive, and the whimsical set design was playful and mysterious. Nice props as well as technical puzzles were scattered throughout and made for an enjoyable and tactile puzzling experience. Movement from the early to late game made good sense, and the design held throughout. Clues were mostly clear and helped direct our path without holding our hands too much.
The game flow was fairly choppy, as some puzzles relied on much fuzzier logic, leading to lulls in the game that were exacerbated by the linear nature of the room. One late game puzzle was increasingly finicky, and required a good bit of fiddling to trigger. This prop also felt out of place as it was not quite as high quality as the other props. Our group of 4 was comfortable and had enough to do, even with the fairly linear puzzle thread, but I believe any more than 6 would start to feel crowded and would not have nearly enough to do.
With a interesting set design as well as a better story and core puzzling experience, we were happier with our experience in The Wizard, and would recommend giving it a shot. Though uneven, the core design is mostly well thought out and delivers a fun adventure to players. A bit of fine-tuning and polish would help launch this one from merely good to fantastic, but is an overall solid experience. You can book your race to save Merlin here!
Full Disclosure: Escape Plan Columbia comped our tickets for this room.