Olde City Escape Games – A Quest for Freedom [Review]

“Escape rooms are proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” – Benjamin Franklin

Location:  Philadelphia, PA

Date Played: June 13, 2021

Team size: up to 10; we recommend 4-5

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $30 per player

Ticketing: Private

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

A Quest for Freedom is Olde City Escape Games’ original experience. It’s a good, traditional escape room set against a fantastic theme.

Escape room fans who have visited Philly over the past few years have consistently told us, “You have to go to Olde City to play Midnighters.” While I agree, Midnighters is great fun, I feel like A Quest for Freedom deserves some love.

Closeup of Ben Franklin's writing desk.

With a venue a few blocks from the Liberty Bell, a game themed around Benjamin Franklin and the American Revolution is as sensible as it is obligatory… and Olde City did a great job with the concept. It looks the part, has a unique character, and played well.

From a gameplay perspective, A Quest for Freedom was especially non-linear with many puzzle paths opening up more or less at once. This made it a little challenging to figure out where an individual thread of gameplay began, but it was always clear when it had concluded.

There were a few puzzles that felt like they could have been a bit more refined, but overall, this was a strong experience, especially for the region. If you’re near Philadelphia, Olde City Escape Games is a must-visit and I recommend playing everything they have to offer, not just Midnighters.

Who is this for?

  • Puzzle lovers
  • History buffs
  • Any experience level
  • Players who don’t need to be a part of every puzzle

Why play?

  • An elegant 18th century set
  • Puzzle-focused play with good variety
  • Thematically fits with the character of Philadelphia and the neighborhood that Olde City Escape Games occupies

Story

It was 1776 and Benjamin Franklin had just been appointed ambassador to France. As he embarked on a mission to secure a $10 million loan from France to fund the rebellion, Franklin sought our help. We had to search his office and print shop to help him assemble his argument with 7 American Reasons.

Ben Franklin's secret print shop.

Setting

The set of A Quest for Freedom had a good period feel to it. The office and the secret print shop behind it were outfitted with older furniture that felt right in the space. The set had character and we were happy exploring it.

Ben Franklin's office.

Gameplay

Olde City Escape Games’ A Quest for Freedom was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.

The largely non-linear gameplay relied mostly on puzzles, combined with some searching.

Ben Franklin's office and writing desk.

Analysis

➕ Thematically, the space felt right, from the walls to the old furniture. It was inviting, and appropriately of the era.

➕ A Quest for Freedom had an unusual premise: collecting virtues. This worked well as backstory and game mechanics. We enjoyed solving parallel paths, and discovering how various puzzle components connected.

➖/➕ This escape room could easily be overwhelming at first. A lot of puzzle paths opened up at once. Initially, it was challenging to follow the gameplay. That said, everything came together cleanly, and it was clear when each puzzle path concluded.

➕ We enjoyed the puzzle-focused gameplay in A Quest for Freedom. The puzzles were varied and mostly interactive.

➖ At times, solutions seemed randomly affixed to props. We’d search our way to something overtly modern, just pasted onto the past for us to find. These were the least satisfying interactions.

➖ For some puzzles, it seemed like just a bit more cluing would have made for cleaner solves.

➕ A Quest for Freedom included some classic escape room props and a fun late-game reveal that worked well in the scenario.

➖ One other reveal could have been more deliberately designed and clued for a more vibrant moment.

➖ We encountered quite a bit of wear on some of the props.

❓ Note that one interaction has been modified since the pandemic for safety purposes. The new implementation doesn’t quite work right, but we appreciate Olde City refactoring it. This was the right choice.

➕ The finale felt like a finale. Olde City added details that made it special. We were starstruck.

Tips For Visiting

  • Try for street parking or find a nearby lot.

Book your hour with Olde City Escape Games’ A Quest for Freedom, 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 – A Quest for Freedom [Review]

  1. I’m so glad you reviewed this room, Lisa! Mark and I played this room a few years ago and we remember it like it was yesterday. We loved the clever use of the historical theme and without it seeming overly educational, I actually learned some really stuff about our country.

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