Marvo Mysteries: M.A.R.V.O. Induction

The City Adventurers are often tasked with recovering mysterious artifacts so it was not surprising that we found ourselves preparing for another mission on the outskirts of Bournemouth. This time we were undergoing an evaluation to become M.A.R.V.O agents.

The Story

You enter the world of M.A.R.V.O as Volunteers looking to recover a Mysterious Artifact. All is not what it seems. Old stories give a glimpse into another world, a mirror world, a wonderland filled with powerful Artifacts. Has someone found a way to travel between them? You must search for clues, solve the mystery, recover the Artifact and Escape the room, all before Time runs out.

Do you have what it takes to become a M.A.R.V.O Agent?


We drove down to Boscombe on the outskirts of Bournemouth and parked in the multilevel car park by the shopping centre. The “shop” we needed was not in the center but a short walk away. Luckily we had been sent very detailed instructions to find it. Arriving at the front of the building, we were struck by the detailed window dressing. However, the shop-door was not the way into the building. No. Instead we had to follow a pathway around the side, counting our steps, and head through a gate to a loading bay at the back.

We rang the bell and were asked to wait for the previous hopefuls to complete their quest. When they left, we were allowed entry into an amazing waiting area. Filled to the brim with artifacts there was so much to see while teams wait for everyone to use the facilities and work out how to master the bag storage locks.

If you want to look around the museum setting of the waiting room, do it before the game as there will not be time after you’ve played. We, however, were keen to get started so we didn’t spend long there. We were lead behind the scenes at the Marvo corporation, to a small room ready for the briefing. Our guide then disappeared and a “surprise” video briefing ensued from a secret place, complete with secret facts….. When the guide returned she told us a slightly different “Corporate-approved” mission. In both cases we were being tasked with a rescue mission. And, unsurprisingly, our mission involved finding and returning a Mysterious Artifact.

The Game

We love physical props in escape rooms rather than technology so we were in for a treat. This room had some wonderful custom props where everything felt well made and cared for. There was a lot of attention to detail here. Yes there was tech involved, but it felt in keeping with the plot and did not over-ride the tactile elements.

The game had a fantasy steampunk feel that was echoed by the mix of Victorian decor and modern/fantasy technology. While the steampunk theme does not lend itself to bright lights, we didn’t find the lighting a problem. In fact, we were given wind-up torches to help us.

We noticed there was no timer in the room. Not that you’d need it as this is a very fast-paced game. There was a lot to be done and, with a small team, we needed to keep moving.

The puzzles were great. True, there were padlocks and keys but this tied into the theme of the room. They were also coded so you could tell which key/code fitted which lock. The other puzzles were a mix of mental, visual, logic, practical and search puzzles. Some tested pattern recognition and communication skills. So something for everyone.

The hint system was via audio clues. The story moved forward as we solved the puzzles and was supplemented with a periodic video narrative.

There was one point in the story where we knew what two puzzles we had to solve next. However, the hint system kept suggesting we did them in reverse order to the path we had chosen. This was the only time we noticed there was a linear progression that we had attempted to by-pass!

The Ending

The game leads to a tense and exciting finish.

There was a surprising twist at the end that we were not expecting. This led to a last minute final climactic escape. (No spoiler – you need to play this to find out what it is!)

Induction completed in 59.22 minutes.

One of the best games we’ve played.

Tickets to M.A.R.V.O INDUCTION  are available at

City Adventurers Team Photo Marvo Mysteries
City Adventurers Team Photo Marvo Mysteries

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City Adventurers Membership includes invitations to adventures and travel mainly in the UK. If you are not UK based, or prefer online adventures, join the City Adventurers as an Armchair Detective.

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