This room came out around the time a little part of Calgary (just down the street from them) became Diagon Alley for a day in celebration for Harry Potter’s 20th anniversary, so in my head all I had expected it to be was pretty much going to Hogwarts. Now, I know this couldn’t be the case (literally or figuratively since other rooms have used other IPs for their themes) so I wasn’t too sure of what to expect. Much like their Unmasked room, the room is fairly lock based with little to no tech in it. There are for sure items in the room that are related to wizardry and such, but some of the puzzles felt a little random as to what it actually had to do with wizarding. There’s enough nods and reference to elements of sorcery, but all eventually lead to a lock for the most part. The hint system again is different, where instead of asking for a hint, you’re under what seems to be constant surveillance and premade clues that were printed out are slipped through the mail slot of the door (and a knock) when you look befuddled. We apparently only needed a few of these and made it out in a record time with, what we were told, a small group considering how many puzzles were in the room. The room is fairly non-linear as we all broke up individually (or into pairs) and worked on separate puzzles and rotated as need be. The time for this room was also listed for 70 minutes, I’d assume due to the vastness of the puzzles.
Before starting this room, I’ve heard that this company currently uses little to no tech in their rooms. All locks are physical locks rather than sensors, so I was curious how well that would translate into a ‘magical’ themed room. Even though that was the case, it was really well done. This is currently their hardest room and it is 70 minutes instead of 60. It can fit up to 10 people, and has A LOT of puzzles. It’s not too linear, so we were able to break up into pairs and work on things together, and then swap if needed. This is obviously themed to mimic Harry Potter, and there are definitely nods to it, however you don’t need any previous knowledge to be able to do the room. The clue system is different than I’ve experienced before, where they stick hints through the mail slot in the door every once in awhile. There isn’t a clock in the room so your time markers are given to you the same way (45 minutes left, 30 minutes left). In the end, we managed to not only escape, but made it out with the fastest time! The room was really well done and highly enjoyable.
This was my first room at Cognito and I was impressed with how well the Sorcerer’s Academy was done. The theming was neat and they had a few really fun puzzles, one of them was a fun puzzle that required the entire group. Some puzzles really didn’t make sense for the theme but overall it was a banger of a room for decoration and looks. The one positive about the layout I will put out here is we all had something to do, no one was standing around waiting for puzzles which is a nice change from some of the linear rooms we’ve done. I loved how they handled the hint system, it was something that I haven’t seen done before and it really fit in well with the room. For a room based off Harry Potter, a lot of people would appreciate the effort put in by the Cognito crew for this room. It also doesn’t hurt that we set a record for the room. I’m really excited to try the Unmasked room now!
- Variety of puzzles
- Theme puzzles and elements
- A little lock heavy