Mystery Manila – World of Wizardry [Review]

Location: Manila, The Phillipines

Date played: March 6, 2015

Team size: 2-6; we recommend 3-5

Price: worked out to about $16 per ticket


“As a trainee wizard, you and your friends are tasked to steal the magical time turner and stop Sidius from his evil master plan that will change the world of wizardry.”

Deeply inspired by Harry Potter

Everything about this game is an homage to Harry Potter. It’s packed with wizards, wands, potions, cloaks, magical macguffins, and John Williams’ music.

If you’re a Harry Potter fan, this feels like it could exist in Universal Studio’s Harry Potter World with a few name changes.

Very detailed theming

The room is super detailed. It nails that old, dirty, Dungeons & Dragons wizards laboratory aesthetic. The deeper you go into the game, the more the surroundings support the fiction.

Mystery Manila Logo

Story & character

The progression of the puzzles follows the progression of the plot. Cast this spell; break this curse; retrieve the mystical object that would give too much power to the bad guy. It’s all pretty standard fantasy fare, and it works largely because the environment is believable.


Prior to entering the room, the folks from Mystery Manila have every person on the team suit up in a black cloak.

Mystery Manila - World of Wizardry

This is the first time I’ve encountered a game that has costumes for the players, and I’m really torn as to whether I liked it, so I’ll just lay out my observations, and let you decide whether or not this is a awesome or lame.

Pro – It’s an extra layer of detail, and I do love detail.

Con – I was in Manila on business and I convinced my clients to come along, and I got a bit self-conscious when the first thing we were made to do was up the geek-factor to “what the hell did I just agree to do?”

Con – Manila is really hot and scurrying around an inclosed space with half-a-dozen people in black cloaks can get pretty sticky.

Pro – Aside from being really hot, I stopped be self-conscious about it a couple minutes into the game.

Physical puzzles

This game is filled with physically interactive puzzles. There’s a lot of stuff in this room and you’re constantly moving around and interacting with the various items as you try to unravel the game.

Some of these puzzles are physical to the point that your game master has to trigger something to indicate that you’ve finished the task. It’s done well, but these are puzzles that I frequently struggle with because I am very respectful of the designer’s rooms and don’t want to break or damage things. There were times where I knew what needed to happen but had to ask for a clue to confirm that I wasn’t about to destroy something.


Mystery Manila’s clue system is as follows:

  • The team selects one leader, only that person can ask for a clue and actually get a response from the game master.
  • You can have as many clues as your leader asks for.

This system works well.

One Really Obtuse Puzzle

There’s one logic puzzle that I’m still not sure how one would have determined what to do unprompted.

Our puzzle master Jeff gave us the gist of what we needed to do and I was able to work through it, but I would not have figured out how to even approach the puzzle based on what we had in that room.

This was the one big disappointment of the game.

Should I play this game?

This one gets a big yes from me.

Manila seems like it has a number of strong escape games; World of Wizardry didn’t disappoint.

If you’re in the Philippines and aren’t allergic to hi-fantasy, this is a wonderful game. If I’d had more time, I would have loved to play another game with Mystery Manila. The staff kept recommending that I play their horror game, “Rebecca’s Room.” It sounded pretty effective as we kept hearing screams coming from that room the entire time we were there.

Book your hour with Mystery Manilla’s World of Wizardry, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

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