Escapologic: Operation Magnus Review | The year is 1942, World War 2 rages on. You are an elite spy deep undercover at the operations bunker of the infamous splinter cell group known as SPYKE. The group has reached an agreement with the mysterious Magnus, an aerospace engineer, and he has agreed to develop a new super weapon that could change the tides of war and leave devastation in its wake.
Completion Time: 35 minutes
Date Played: 11th September 2021
Party Size: 4
Woohooo! It’s road trip time! 🚗
For the longest time I’ve been playing online escape rooms with Team Escaping the Closet and our friend Tasha, but now that the UK is starting to open up after a long lockdown – we’re finally able to meet in person! The first stop on our escape room travel itinerary? Escapologic in Leicester – the midpoint between London and Sheffield.
There we took on two rooms, first Reactorvate followed by Operation Magnus, where we were greeted by the enigmatic Games Master Destiny.
Change the tide of war
Operation Magnus is your classic World War 2 room with a couple of tasteful changes (namely, no awkward references to the axis forces, instead you’re fighting SPYKE). The story goes that you are a secret agent deep undercover in the enemy’s operations bunker. SPYKE is on the brink of developing a new super weapon that could seriously change the tides of war and leave huge global devastation in it’s wake.
It’s up to you to gather the intel on the inner workings of this weapon for the allied forces. You have another agent on the inside who has left you clues behind in their bunker, but you must not blow their cover.
No pressure, eh?
The most wonderful thing about this room is how well they’ve themed the room. For starters, you really are in a deep underground bunker. I’m not sure what the original use of the building was, but we emerged into our escape room into a strangely dark, slightly musty tiled bunker space. Nope, I don’t think this is just really creative set design, the room feels incredibly genuine. It seems so funny to mention it, but I loved how dusty the space was too. Real nooks and crannies, I even think I spotted a spider.
From the era-appropriate props (clues delivered by a real WWII phone, need I say more?), to the smell, to the tiled walls, to the coldness- if you’d transplanted this exact escape room into a “life during world war two” museum, I wouldn’t be in the slightest bit surprised! And not a single broken prop either!
Another great thing about the physical escape room space is how large it is. It might just be the first escape room I’ve played with a whole staircase in it and multilayered areas. We found ourselves running up and down stairs, crawling through rickety doors, discovering hidden passageways. Some areas were a little bit of a squeeze for our team of 4, but nothing we couldn’t handle by dividing and conquering the puzzles.
Operation Magnus Puzzles
In terms of puzzles, there was a good mix to challenge us! The game got off to a slow start as we struggled to find the one thing which could start us on our way – but from reading other reviews, it seems like this beginning trips up a lot of teams, so don’t be afraid to ask for a clue so early! Once we got into the flow of things, we were off to a flying start!
Players can expect to encounter a lot of mimetic puzzles such as searching and finding, rummaging around the clues, and of course… No World War Two room would be complete without a couple of maps and a Morse Code puzzle or two.
The only thing to highlight is that there were a lot more red herrings than expected. In truth, I’m not a fan of any red herrings in an escape room unless they add to the story, but Operation Magnus had more than a fair few that didn’t have much connection. At the end of the game our Games Master Destiny was very helpful to walk us through the whole room from start to finish – but we had a lot of “what about this object” and “we never used this” questions. Examples of such red herrings included hidden openings in the wall, a key we never used, and some clear signposts to use particular objects when those objects weren’t involved in the game at all.
That said, if you don’t mind the occasional red herring or two, there’s still more than enough in this room to have a lot of fun! The attention to detail is second to none, and the puzzles challenging, tactile and delightful.
Operation Magnus – The Verdict
The real pièce de résistance of Operation Magnus is without a doubt the ending.
Oh my God that ending!
It takes the biscuit as one of the most impressive escape room endings in any room ever. I really don’t want to describe what it is bat the risk of giving away any spoilers, but anyone reading this review looking forward to booking it, you’re in for a treat!
It’s with a lot of pleasure I’m awarding this one a “Best in Genre” badge. Alongside Escape Plan’s Roll out the Barrel, Operation Magnus is probably one of the best World War Two themed rooms in the entire country. I’ve played a lot of World War Two rooms (it’s probably my most-played genre, come to think of it), but Operation Magnus ticks so many boxes and the designers have really outdone themselves on this one. It’s something special and not to be missed.
Operation Magnus can be booked at Escapologic Leicester by heading to their website here.