Boxaroo – Mystery of the Magician’s Study [Review]

Mystery of the Magician’s Study is one of the best games in Boston. Here are our other recommendations for great escape rooms in Boston.

Update March 2022: Boxaroo has rebuilt and upgraded Mystery of the Magician’s Study significantly since the time of the review. While the game structure and most puzzles stay the same, a handful of puzzles and interactions were added. Additionally, the set now contains spotlighting for hard-to-see places eliminating the need for flashlights. Overall, Mystery of the Magician’s Study still contains the magic and wonder of the original build, with a tighter overall gameplay, further elevated set dressings, and clearer audio recordings.

“The secret impresses no one. The trick you use it for is everything.”
– Alfred Borden, The Prestige

Location: Boston, MA

Date played: August 28, 2016

Team size: up to 9; we recommend 5-6

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $28 per ticket

2016 Golden Lock-In Award - golden ring around the REA logo turned into a lock.
2016 Golden Lock-In Winner

Story & setting

From the minute we entered the magician’s study, we were transported into a magical realm. Thematically, it was an office space with a heavy wooden desk and wall-to-wall bookshelf. But in profound ways, this wasn’t your ordinary office.

We had limited time to discover the secret of this mystical place.

A dimly lit room with red walls. A typewriter sits in the foreground, dramtically lit. A bid cage hangs in the background illuminated by a series of wall-mounted candles.


In Mystery of the Magician’s Study, Boxaroo turned the standard bag of tricks inside out. They started with common escape room puzzles and delivered surprises; many designed to trick experienced players… and fool us they did.

This performance had no fluff. Every puzzle led us closer to the secret. Every puzzle mattered. Almost every puzzle fit neatly into the stage.


As the story unraveled, Mystery of the Magician’s Study escalated. Boxaroo cleverly added drama where before there had been nothing. This design led to more than one wow moment.

The magic of this game was well concealed, as magic should be.

Boxaroo used legitimate stage magic practices throughout their game.


One section of the game felt like a throw-away. It was unpolished, out of place, and boring.

A lot of the story was told through voice-overs that were difficult to understand. This made it challenging to follow the story. After the dramatic conclusion, we had to piece the story back together rather than feeling it as an integral part of the game.

Should I play Boxaroo’s The Magician’s Study?

The Magician’s Study is a must-play.

The standard puzzle types made it approachable for new players. Yet Boxaroo manipulated the space such that it tampered with the expectations of our experienced players. This escape room offered a fun and exciting challenge to both audiences.

Note that the ambiance included dim lighting and Boxaroo provides flashlights for all players.

Upon completion of the game, Boxaroo provided us with a stat sheet. It outlined the flow of the game and measured our progress against the average team. It’s rare to see a company keeping such detailed statistics.

Finally, this game was set inside in a massive bank vault in the basement of a downtown Boston office building. Mystery of the Magician’s Study had nothing to do with the bank vault apart from it providing a dramatic entrance to the game. I had to laugh because most companies would kill for a space like this to tell a heist story. Boxaroo chose to ignore the gigantic metal door and instead tell a different story. It was a bold decision that certainly worked.

Book your hour with Boxaroo’s Mystery of the Magician’s Study, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Full disclosure: Boxaroo provided media discounted tickets for this game.

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