Escape Rooms

We escaped 9 of Philadelphia's escape rooms. Then we rated them.

You might find yourself unearthing a key in a hidden drawer panel that unlocks that door that’s been driving you nuts. Or trying to hack into a computer with a secret password you decoded from solving a series of brain teasers. Or triggering concealed switches to reveal a whole new room of puzzles. All in the name of trying to solve a murder mystery, prevent a nuclear meltdown, or restore the balance of the universe. You get the idea.

In an escape room, anything goes.

Over the last few years, these immersive game setups have popped up all over Philadelphia and surrounding suburbs. The first one opened  in 2014. They’ve become wildly popular -- we visited nine of them on weekend nights, and every one was fully booked.

Once you arrive at an escape room, a game master introduces you to the story line you’ll be playing and locks you into a themed room of puzzles. If you can solve them all in an hour or less, you successfully escape. If not, they let you out anyway, and you lose.

If you need to escape before the hour's over, there's always a way out -- either a button to press, or a game master to release you.

Here’s everything you need to know to pick your perfect escape room adventure in Philadelphia:

Use the switches below to navigate through all nine escape rooms.
20 by 20 orthogonal maze
CHARLES FOX / Staff Photographer

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