Lucardo, Manchester – The Dream

Lucardo, Manchester – The Dream

It’s been too long since we last visited an escape room, so we thought we’d jump back in at the deep end with one of Lucardo Manchester’s most difficult rooms, The Dream. This room is a bit different from most others. It lacks the commonly used story arc used to theme the room and puzzles and instead uses the concept of a dream to allow for more unusual and creative puzzles, without being restricted by a linear narrative to motivate your escape.

Your dreams are always happy and delightful, but tonight something is going wrong. Your wildest dreams of finding the magic numbers are slowly slipping away, through a whirlwind of riddles, puzzles and illusions. Can you solve your way out of this dream before your chances get lost in the subconscious forever? Be aware, things may not be as they appear…

The Dream room is your chance to win the jackpot on the lottery. If you can find the missing four winning numbers before the hour is up, you can make your dream come true. Fail to complete the challenges before time runs out, and your dream may just become a nightmare…

The approach to this room is super interesting, and the only game we’ve previously seen using something similar was Breakout’s Classified. The break away from linear storytelling allows for more freedom when designing the puzzles. No longer does each challenge have to somehow ‘fit’ the overall narrative, and in this case, it totally works. Too often rooms try to find a way for a puzzle to fit within the room’s theme, and it can feel forced or worse, out of place. With these restrictions removed we have the chance to solve interesting puzzles without worrying about why they’re there.

What you end up with is a room with a lot of locks and a lot of puzzles. Each one linked to some bizarre prop dotted around that makes no sense, and in making no sense, fits perfectly in the dream concept.

We enjoyed some new approaches to puzzle solving, including hands-on solutions and mild physical activity (at least one of you will need to crawl…). We saw common puzzles implemented in interesting and quirky ways and a quirky starting point, all making The Dream an enjoyable room to play.

The Dream is puzzle heavy and would provide any enthusiast with lots to get their teeth stuck into. Each team member can happily be working on a different puzzle to everyone else, making it great for veteran teams who just like to get working and want to avoid tripping over their teammates while all clustering around a single clue.

If you’re new to escape games or a less confident team, there’s a risk that this game could be overwhelming for novice players. It’s probably not a great introductory game but works great for those looking for more of a challenge. The great thing about Lucardo is that they have five different rooms of varying levels, so if The Dream sounds too advanced, we recommend starting with something easier and linear such as Espionage. Alternatively, if you’re a sucker for a good storyline but still want the challenge, Virginia House is on a par with The Dream for difficulty and retains the more traditional approach.

The good news is that we escaped with 15 minutes left on the clock, which we’re told is quite impressive for this room! We played with a team of four, which for us was the perfect number as three of us had considerable experience. I wouldn’t play this room with more than four confident people, but due to the vast number of puzzles and non-linear play, six players with less experience would also be a good fit.

We’re told that this room will be the next to be revamped at Lucardo Manchester, so we’re not sure how much longer it will be available to play. Don’t miss out on this challenging, fun and whimsical experience. You can also get 20% off with code Dream20 if you book before the 4th September (games can be played after this date).

Thanks for reading!
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