Albuquerque Escape Room – Trapped in the 80’s [Review]

“Doc, you’re my only hope.”

Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico

Date Played:  June 4, 2022

Team Size: 2-8; we recommend 3-4

Duration: 60 minutes

Price:  $22 per player

Ticketing:  Private

Emergency Exit Rating:  [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints:  [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Trapped in the 80’s delivered a satisfying dose of 1980s nostalgia with fast-paced and light-hearted gameplay, set within a convincing game space. I genuinely had fun playing this feel-good trip down memory lane, so if you also have fond recollections of the decade of MTV and Aqua Net, this one is for you.

An 80s basement with wood panel walls, and old CRT television with an Atari, an ET poster, and assorted 80s toys.

This escape room could level up by building out its storyline and giving players a more compelling mission to achieve. It also missed a couple of opportunities to involve some of the larger and more interesting pieces of the set that were practically begging to be played with. With a few tweaks, this experience could be greatly enhanced to appeal to both beginner and experienced players.

Who is this for?

  • 80s kids
  • Fans of 80s pop culture
  • Scenery snobs
  • Newbies
  • Players who don’t need to be a part of every puzzle

Why play?

  • A smile-inducing jolt of 80’s pop culture nostalgia set to a great soundtrack
  • Approachable puzzles that can be appreciated by anyone, regardless of their level of knowledge of 80s trivia
  • Quick pace of game play
  • Realistic 80s-themed setting


We were a group of investigators that had returned to the 1980s in a time machine to explore a seemingly standard basement recreation room. We had to solve all of the puzzles in 60 minutes or the time machine would leave without us and we would be trapped in the 80s.

Closeup of an Atari and 3 cartridges.


Trapped in the 80s mostly nailed the 80s rec room vibe, down to the wall paneling, furniture, toys, and other random items and pop culture references scattered throughout the space. One well-intended video game reference proved anachronistic, but would be easily fixable.

A wood paneled 80s basement with a large beanbag chair and assorted toys.


Albuquerque Escape Room’s Trapped in the 80s was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty. Core gameplay revolved around searching, observing, making connections and completing word puzzles.


➕ The set and props in Trapped in the 80s offered a delightful trip down memory lane by evoking 80s pop culture references in all forms – toys, home furnishings, music and more – and setting up several feel-good moments.

➖ This escape room’s story and our mission as players could use further development. It never felt like there was much at stake, and a few moments proved anticlimactic.

➕/➖ One collaborative puzzle could be solved either with outside knowledge of the 80s or by discovering clues throughout the room, effectively giving the option to play a trivia game or a puzzle hunt depending on your level of familiarity with the subject matter. This worked well, was fun, and allowed all players to contribute. At the same time, it was a bit lengthy and would have been just as effective within a shorter timeframe.

➕ One hands-on puzzle was well executed and mapped clearly to the lock it was intended to open, and was accessible and interesting to both beginners and more experienced players.

➖ In general, however, Trapped in the 80s contained a lot of locks, and it wasn’t always clear where players should input solutions. Better lock mapping would greatly improve the player experience.

➖ Two set pieces in particular were underutilized for the amount of appeal they generated. It would be great to see these incorporated in a more interactive way.

➕ A take on a classic escape room puzzle was done well, effectively incorporating the 80s theme and improving on the tedium this type of puzzle can often bring.

Tips For Visiting

  • Ample parking is available in a parking lot outside the location
  • Albuquerque Escape Room is located within a corporate park alongside several other businesses, so keep your eyes out for the sign.

Book your hour with Albuquerque Escape Room’s Trapped in the 80’s, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Albuquerque Escape Room comped our tickets for this game.

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