Apparently, breaking into Houdini’s workshop was not a wise idea. We now find ourselves trapped in cages! Perhaps it’s a test.
It certainly was for us.
Let me start with the positives. The room had a realistic backstage atmosphere, assuming Houdini hired orderly stage hands. There were a variety of magic props, many of the staples of magic shows: curtains, swords, and cards. Starting with multiple cage escapes was definitely a good thematic choice.
We found ourselves stumped often in this room. A bit of loosening might help the introduction, as our “don’t break anything” mentality hindered us. From there we had a hard time making some associations needed to solve further puzzles. We were close sometimes, but minor technical disturbances hampered us.
That said, there was one technical, or rather magical, mechanism near the end that delighted all of us. I tip my hat to it.
The structure and progression of the room is good, though I feel changing several pieces could significantly improve the game. I find this frustrating, as I can see the designer’s vision, seeing how the experience should advance, but then minor things impede that.
If you’re in the area, and don’t mind needing hints, Houdini is an okay room.