The English version of escape room “The Magical Cauldron: The Culinary Academy's Final Exam” started on July 27, and we immediately ran to Tokyo Mystery Circus in Shinjuku, Tokyo to try it for ourselves! As the title suggests, players are students about to take their final exams at a culinary academy. They must use magic to complete the tasks given to them in the allotted time limit or risk failing their class! But before the exam starts, they come into contact with a mysterious flower…
Tokyo Mystery Circus is famous for their escape rooms, but “The Magical Cauldron” is unique in that it uses projection mapping to take you through the storyline. The game can be played by groups of up to six people. We highly recommend gathering as many friends as possible as you can for this game—we went as a group of three but had five people at our table and were super glad to have had all hands on deck!
After choosing our roles in the game, we found our wands and gathered around a round table with a cauldron. The projection imagery was absolutely beautiful and stunned us from the very start. The game was also fully localized into English with written English instructions and even an English voice over!
Teamwork was an absolute necessity, as we had to work together to follow instructions, solve puzzles, and cook up different dishes for our exam. Unlike other escape room games, the entire game is held in one area, so it’s easy to immerse yourself in the game. Also unlike other games, you only have one hour to complete the exam and there are no extension options available, but plan for the entire experience to last up to two hours. Thankfully, you can use hints if you get stuck, but only if everyone in your group agrees to use it!
Unfortunately, despite our amazing teamwork, we ran out of time on the final puzzle and failed our exam. (I made “cooking like a chef” Stray Kids references throughout the entire game, but five-star magicians we were not…) At least we were treated to “Native Dancer” by Sakanaction, the theme song for this game, along with beautiful imagery, so our failure wasn’t nearly as frustrating as the time we were cursed by Sadako.
Tickets for The Magic Cauldron: The Culinary Academy's Final Exam can be purchased online or at the venue. If you don’t have time for the full two hours, check out Tokyo Mystery Circus’s other games.
Don’t have five friends to go with? We feel you… But don’t worry! You can join other small groups at one table and work together as a team. In fact, the table next to ours consisted of two groups that had never met each other before, yet they were the first group to complete the whole game and graduate from the academy! I personally think this game would be a great activity for group/blind dates ;)
This game is currently available for the foreseeable future, so be sure to add it to the itinerary for your next Japan trip!
This is a Tokyo Otaku Mode original article written by Katie Kimura.