|The Basement (room), the original room|
For those easily scared - be warned! This room is not for the faint-hearted ... but this is mainly because it is so very immersive - impressively so. Our group of half boys - half girls did well to upkeep those gender stereotypes with many a high-pitched scream emanating from the girls while escaping this room.
The Basement is the original room from this chain - rooms such as The Study (see review) and The Boiler Room follow on from this story. In The Basement, your team is kidnapped, taken to an underground lair, and threatened with death by notorious serial-killer, Edward Tandy. You have 45 minutes to escape a terrifying and gruesome death.
We were a group of 10 experienced escapees (the maximum number) doing this room - made up of a group of 6 (Randy, Mio and many of the regular crew) and an unknown group of 4. As usual, it would have been preferable to do the room on our own with the group of 6 because the large number of people meant that a lot of people were not able to meaningfully contribute at particular times, and many of us had no idea about some of the puzzles/clues/challenges and how the group ended up solving them. Having said that, there was a fair bit to do in this room, and a need to split up and solve challenges in parallel, so having fewer than 6 would definitely have been challenging.
The escape was made up of a variety of different challenges, including codes/padlocks, riddles, and some more ingenious ones. However, a puzzlemaster would not be thoroughly entertained as a lot of clues come in the form of laminated strips of paper. The live experience component of this room was also a great addition and multi-faceted. This one will definitely stick in my mind as one of the creepiest experiences of my life, which I think is evidence of how well The Basement is executed.
Pros: Production level and immersive nature of the experience are excellent and keep very well with the theme. Variety of challenges.
Cons: 10 people are likely too many for this room, and there were a fair few padlocks that could have been replaced with more creative alternatives.
- Set/room design: Impressive and very immersive, one of the best I have seen.
- Technology/automation: Gen-2 room (high tech)
- Difficulty: Difficult, not for beginners
- Price: $30-$50/person, depending on if it's LA or Las Vegas, open to public
- Number of players: 10 max, open to the public (we recommend 4-6)
- Duration: 45 minutes
- Overall Rating: ★★★★