Escape in the Towers: Magna Carta Murder

By | December 28, 2022

Canterbury, Jun 2021

Rated between 3.5 and 4 out of 5
Toby says:

The three games at Escape in the Towers are notable not just for their historic setting but also for how very different each of the three games is. All are located in the Canterbury gatehouse towers, and each situated in a different part of the building’s history; unlike the other two, Magna Carta Murders takes place in the main exhibition area, which you’ll have seen before if you’ve ever visited the museum. It’s split across multiple floors, so be prepared for quite a few steep stairs to climb!
Since the game area is normally a museum, it contains exhibits and signs that are not part of the game. In places the game makes use of these in a ‘found objects’ sort of way, but also has a number of hidden panels. There’s a thrill to those, a sense of seeing behind the normal museum displays to the admin control panels that run everything.
In this game you’re trying to foil the theft of the Magna Carta from the tower museum. This is introduced in a far more immersive way than with an intro video, and the drama is this game’s strong point, with a story that proceeds through multiple locations with a increasing sense of urgency, plus moments of humour.
The puzzles were more variable, mostly good but at one point frankly terrible – an unfortunate combination of ambiguities with a big false lead caused by the clue items being pre-existing items, not made for the game. I doubt we would have made it past that without hints from the host, and it sounds like that’s the case for almost all teams. Elsewhere they’ve done a much better job of providing feedback mechanisms that smooth you past what might otherwise turn into points of confusion.
In some ways this struck me as a game more suited for beginner players, in that it’s linear and quite guided: there’s a well-defined path from one step to the next and if you’re not sure where to look next – which was sometimes the case for us – the host isn’t slow to nudge you in the expected direction. That gave a bit more of a hand-holding feel, but was also useful, given the museum setting means there are more potential distraction items to confuse players.
I found it slightly hit and miss and liked the venue’s other two games more. However, I thought it was probably the most approachable of the three, and it has plenty of cool moments, particularly as it ramps up the pressure towards the climax. And of course the location alone would already make it an unusual and memorable game. 3.5 / 5
Pris rated this:4 / 5

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *