215-402-7036 | Email

FAQS – Escape The 1980s, Philadelphia Escape Room

How many people can play?

Escape The 1980s is an enormous game. Players have to get through four individual rooms in one single game!

• Public Games – Up to 12 players (mixed groups)

• Private Games – Up to 14 players (you book the whole room)

What happens in the Escape The 1980s escape room game?

Escape the 1980s is like a live room escape video game. It’s an interactive, on-site adventure game where 2-14 players are ushered into an environment, given instructions, and have 60 minutes to “escape” the 1980s. The game is a multi-sensory experience and participants become PI’s, interacting with retro sights and old school tech, putting together clues and codes to get through a 4-room 80’s mini mall. We’re also the largest room escape game in the city. Click here for more info about what’s in the GAME.

Do I have to know about the 80s to play?

YOU DON’T NEED TO KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THE 80s TO PLAY OR WIN THIS GAME.  The setting is an 80s mini mall, but there’s no trivia, knowledge or info needed about the 80s to play or win. All the clues you need are IN the game. If you DO remember the 80s, you’ll enjoy the soundtrack and the get some of our subtle humor. But no knowledge of the 80s is needed here.

What are Family Games? Can kids play?

Escape The 1980s is rated G, but our regular games are limited to guests age 16 and up. Our specially designated “Family Games” are the exact same game — but we allow parents with kids age 8 and up. If you want to request a specific Family Game date or time — call us and we’ll see if we can add it to our calendar (especially possible during the week).  You can also bring the kids if you book a private game, just your group of friends and family.

Should I come by myself or do I need to find a bunch of friends?

You can buy a single ticket or a few tickets – or you can book an entire party. The best games are with 6 players and up (simply because it’s such a big space), so if you’re buying two tickets, choose a time where the people have booked.

Why is Escape the 1980s different? Also, I’ve never done an escape game. Is this the right one to start with?

Escape The 1980s was designed for anyone that’s never done a room escape or has failed in a room escape. There are a lot of things that make this room escape different then the others. First of all, it’s not scary… at all. In fact, it’s thrilling and you’ll probably end up dancing your way through it. Secondly, you’re never “locked in” to our room escape. You walk out at anytime, but the truth is, you won’t want to. Escape the 1980s is also a little more linear then some of the others games because it was designed by a team of UX people and artists. Point blank, you don’t need to be a genius to win. Finally, this is a much larger room escape then any of the other games in Philly. Escape the 1980s has four themed rooms in each game! It’s a totally immersive and interactive sight/sound/tech experience. Because of that, your experience will be very different. Call us if you want more info.

Should we dress up 80s style?

If you want to… definitely, like totally, like for sure. But you don’t have to. We have players come in full 80’s garb — and players that come in jeans and tees.

Where do I park? How do I get to you?

It’s so easy. We’re close to the subway, 5-minute walk from independence hall, and there are tons of parking options!

–> Parking Garage — RIGHT NEXT TO US!

The Bourse Parking Garage is located on the west (right) side of 4th Street, a one-way street just to the south of Ranstead Street. There is a blue “Park” sign above the entrance. The address is 60 S 4th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19106

        There is also the Parkway Parking garage at 100 Independence Mall West

Can you recommend some restaurants / caterers?

Yes, we can! There are dozens of incredible restaurants all around us, but here are a few of our top picks.

Do you host team-building parties and corporate lunches?

Yes we do! Call us and we’ll get you booked.

What are my chances of winning?

Anyone can win this game. It’s whether you can do it in 60 minutes. If you work together WITH YOUR TEAM and if everyone is trying, you have a decent chance of beating the game. But you need to work together. Our success rate is about 65% as of December 2015.

Are there prizes?

We have some little surprises scattered throughout the game. You may or may not find them. If you’re all working together, you probably WILL find a few prizes… including this.

Do you offer group discounts? How about a non-profit discount?

Check out our DEALS page to see discounts we’re running. We also offer 10% off for non-profits.

Can we bring alcohol? Do you sell it? Can we bring beers while we play? Is it good to be drunk during the game?

So, this is the deal. We do not sell alcohol and you can’t bring any food or drinks in while you’re playing the game. In terms of being sober vs. being drunk, we have seen both. Honestly, your experience is a million times better if you’re not wasted and here’s why: You are simply smarter. Escape the 1980s requires thinking, and we’re seeing that people that are too drunk aren’t able to keep up.

Can I give a gift ticket?

Yes. You can give an Anytime Gift Ticket or a Weekday Gift Ticket and they can schedule whenever they want to. Click Here

Can I prepare for the game? Please tell me what to do or study!!

Hey nerd. You’ll probably be really great at this game because you’re even considering doing this. The answer is you can’t “prepare.” The most you can do is to read this site.

I’m going to cheat and ask my friend what happens in the game!!!

Did you ever hear the term “cut off your nose to spite your face”? It seriously applies here. If you ask someone else that already went through the game for hints, you’re literally ruining it for yourself. What makes the game fun is playing it.

How can we tell the difference between clues and non-clues.

This is a good question. Our set is packed with things, but the clues are pretty obvious because you’ll see our logo on props that are not clues. The mystery is in figuring out how to put the clues together — and how to do it fast.

If I need to cancel, can I get a refund?

We understand that things happen, but when you buy a ticket, you need to understand that there are absolutely no refunds. The reason for this is really simple: In order for us to stay in business, we need to sell spots to each show. If you buy your ticket and can’t come at the last minute, we lost that sale to someone else. We’re a SMALL BUSINESS. So, if you can’t deal with this — you just shouldn’t come. But the good news is that you can give your ticket to someone else. Just give them the receipt and send us a quick email with their name.

Are you really giving away free beer and candy?

Hidden in each game you’ll find at least one free beer certificate to one of our fave bars. Our hope is that your group will all go out and have a drink after you’re done. When you find the candy, it’s for your group to eat.

Can I come back and try it again after I’ve already done it?

You really can’t do that and here’s why: Because you’re going to wreck it for other people in the group. If you know how the game works, then other people don’t have a chance to figure it out.

What if I’m late?

This is really, really important. YOU CAN’T BE LATE. Think of us kind of like an airline. The plane is going to take off whether you’re on it or not. And, like an airline, you need to be there to check in. All players MUST GET TO THE SITE 5-10 MINUTES BEFORE THE GAME BEGINS to fill out some papers and meet your team. We are going to start without you. Sorry, but we probably have a game after yours and we can’t make those people wait.

I went to one room escape and we were like tearing everything apart! Is it like that?

NO NO NO. Absolutely, 100% no. You are not Pinocchio and Lampwick and this is NOT Pleasure Island. You will not rampage through the room, tearing things apart, looking for clues. You’re not going to scrape paint off walls and crack things open, rip heads off dolls, and shove tools into lightswitches. The props and clues are the props and clues and they are designed to be looked at and examined and interacted with as if you are a professional detective. You are going to pick things up like a normal human being and look at them and place them down (again, like a normal person). If you break something, destroy something, or alter something — you’re going to pay for it. Think about CSI or Law & Order. Do you see the detectives rampaging through rooms destroying everything in sight, or are they carefully collecting evidence and examining things? Yeah. So it’s like that.

Can we pick a time that’s not listed on your calendar? (i.e. 8AM on Wednesday)

Absolutely. If you’re with a corporate group and need a daytime spot (before 4PM, we can easily work with you. For night-time and weekend spots, we’ll do our very best.

Can I add a person even though our game is full?

For private parties, yes you can. That means, if you have the room booked only for your group (and have purchased all the tickets for that game time), you may add another person! If not, you have to call us. We handle this on a case-by-case basis depending on the make-up of the group you’re in.

Can we come last minute? I can’t seem to book online.

You have to book tickets a few hours ahead of the game time. This enables us to stay organized. BUT, in many cases, booking last minute IS possible! If there are tickets available, you can call us and we’ll manually book them for you.

Is it scary?

It’s the exact opposite of scary. It is like a party. There is absolutely, 100% nothing scary about this experience at all. Compare it more to the feeling of a roller skating rink or a party.

What’s your best deal?

Throwback_Thursdays. If you have 6+ players, come on a Thursday after 4PM, and enter that code — you’ll get tix for $25 each. (Limited time deal) Look at the bottom link on our website to find “Deals”

Is this wheelchair accessible? Is it okay for people with epilepsy?

We are wheelchair accessible, so if you are in a wheelchair, we’ve got things set up for you! Just let us know in advance because there’s one part of the game that needs a little adjustment before you come. We are located on the first floor and there are no steps outside or inside our facility. In terms of guests with epilepsy, our game contains flashing lights, sounds and surprise elements. It’s probably not the right place for you to be.

Are ticket sales on your website secure?

Yes. All ticket sales go through an HTTPS site (Bookeo), but the address bar shows our address. Click Here to learn more about this.

What is Steel Owl?

That’s the group that created this game, made the escape games at The Franklin Institute and creates experiences for corporate groups. It’s also  the parent of Escape The 1980s. Every now and then, we’ll add a new game or open a new location. So, book tickets while you can. Escape the 1980s isn’t here forever.

Who are you?

We are Gen X’ers that live in South Philly with experience in events, activities and advertising.

I see this Magnum PI van driving around Philly. Is that you guys?