Los Angeles, Nov 2018
Maze Room’s Magic Kingdom is a fantasy adventure where you must brew an elixir to heal the Heart of the Forest, with the aid of a variety of magical creatures. You could describe the setting as a distant cousin of Narnia with visuals from a children’s book version of Avatar.
This gentle fantasyland is full of magic, thanks to tech sufficiently advanced to be indistinguishable. That goes much further than a few maglocks and concealed electronic circuits, and some hidden projectors are put to clever use to make the whole environment more dynamic and atmospheric.
My favourite part actually uses no technology at all, a simple but highly effective idea that would have been even better if I’d dared to approach it with less caution. But there are multiple stand-out moments that make Magic Kingdom memorable, as well as the gorgeous decorations that make the room a delight to spend time in.
The whole thing is both enchanting and beautiful, and yet fell short of its potential. There were two reasons for that. The first was simply that it was too short. It’s very family friendly and perhaps the quantity of content is intentionally pitched for families and less experienced groups, which is fair enough. Still, enthusiasts will find it a bit brief, and with such a lovely space it’s doubly painful to exit in half the available time.
The more serious flaw is that sometimes it just seemed a bit muddled. Several times we solved something and weren’t sure what had changed in response; several times we saw an effect trigger and were uncertain what had set it off. The logic of what actions lead to what results wasn’t arbitrary, but we often found it less than obvious. A bit more feedback and a little more spelling out of what we needed to achieve at any given point would do wonders.
Those few problems with flow took some shine off but were easy to forgive. The pretty setting makes this an excellent choice for families, but even if your group doesn’t have any younger players it’s hard not to enjoy.