Olde City Escape Games – The Midnighters [Review]

Stranger Heists

Location:  Philadelphia, PA

Date Played: June 13, 2021

Team size: up to 10; we recommend 3-5

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $30 per player

Ticketing: Private

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Imagine Stranger Things and Rocky mashed together into an escape room and you have The Midnighters: a puzzle-focused escape game in a compelling boxing gym setting with a sci-fi backstory. It’s kind of nuts in a good way.

Assorted punching bags and gloves in a boxing club.

Where I found myself wanting more from The Midnighters was in tying the story to the interactions. There was a deep backstory, and it certainly permeated the experience, but I never felt like I was truly living the story. There was also a puzzle that was difficult to track. We got there with a hint, but I don’t think that we would have been able to confidently follow it through without that external confirmation.

Overall, this was among the strongest games that we’ve played in Philadelphia, along with Olde City’s first game A Quest For Freedom. Olde City is a regional must-play.

Who is this for?

  • Adventure seekers
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Stranger Things fans
  • Any experience level

Why play?

  • Unusual story and staging
  • Fun puzzles

Story

Philadelphia, 1988: we’d long suspected that Uncle Mick had been the culprit of “The Heist of ‘79.” A lunar rock had gone missing and the family had always thought Mick was behind this. Our group of friends had decided to break into Mick’s gym, Brotherly Love Boxing Club, and steal the rock from him. We call ourselves The Midnighters.

First aid kit, boxing gloves, and a stool in a boxing club.

Setting

The Midnighters had the dingy, rugged look of a boxing gym, which made for a fairly compelling set, complete with the fight posters, punching bags, and the expected equipment. The game didn’t have a massive physical footprint, but it did use the space well.

Brotherly Love Boxing Club Rules include, "No Profanity" and "If it's your blood, clean it."

Gameplay

Olde City Escape Games’ The Midnighters was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.

This was a puzzle-focused game that included a bit of searching. The puzzles were well themed, but did not convey a story.

A wall of boxing fight posters.

Analysis

➕ Olde City escape nailed the boxing gym vibe with the set and props. We especially enjoyed challenges that fit right in with the look of the place… like the opener, which made sense, considering this was a heist mission.

➕ Some of our favorite puzzles in The Midnighters worked best with collaborative solving.

➖ There were opportunities for clearer cluing in some puzzles. We encountered one puzzle early on with a bit of ambiguity in the cluing, which lowered our trust. Ultimately, it was an unusual and fun solve, but we needed a bit of assistance to get to a place where we had any confidence in our actions.

➕ Olde City thought through how best to implement technology that belonged to this place and time. One interaction was implemented in a way that made it accessible for younger players, less familiar with the prop. Another interaction projected such that the entire team could take part in what usually wouldn’t be a full-team moment.

An assortment of framed black & white images of boxing matches.

➖ There was a lot of wear on the props. In one instance, a prop was partially broken. This didn’t affect the interaction, and the gamemaster clarified this immediately, but it was initially confusing.

The Midnighters hid its secrets well.

❓ This was classic escape room-y gameplay, executed well. The puzzles were thematic, but not story-driven.

Tips For Visiting

  • Try for street parking or find a nearby lot.

Book your hour with Olde City Escape Games’ The Midnighters, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Olde City Escape Games provided media discounted tickets for this game.

2 thoughts on “Olde City Escape Games – The Midnighters [Review]

  1. So glad you got to play these amazing games, David! Mark and I discovered them in 2019 and I told the owner about you and Lisa and the blog. Wonderful that you shared your experience through this review. Thank you!

    1. This visit was long overdue. They had been on our must-visit list for years.

      And thank you for spreading the word about our efforts 🙂

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