The Basement (retired)
- Played February 2018
- Guelph, ON
- 60 minutes
- 4-8 players
- 3-4 players $25, 5-6 $22, 7-8 $20
- Family friendly
- What People Say
Exitus, located in Guelph, has a bright green sign over their front entrance. At first glance it looks like an actual exit sign, so don’t get deterred if you can’t find the “entrance”. The lobby of Exitus is supplied with refreshments, puzzles, and comfy couches for you and your team while you wait to enter your room. The orientation and story is verbally delivered by the friendly staff shortly before your game begins.
The gloomy unfinished basement really adds a creepy tone when you imagine what the previous tenant’s last days living there must’ve been like. His eclectic collection of knick-knacks really makes you wonder if he was “all-there” by the end of his stay.
Security seems to be a prime objective of The Basement’s mysterious tenant. With hidden compartments, locked boxes, and cryptic clues strewn about the room, the missing enigma really seems like he has something to hide! (This paranoiac’s hideaway even has security camera footage hooked up down there!)
The room itself is located in the basement of Exitus. (It looks exactly like what you would think it looks like: a basement!) Room quality obviously doesn’t get any realer than “real”.
Yet The Basement still manages to defy expectations; because everything in the room looks old and forgotten, it’s impossible to distinguish between props that are genuinely old with props that are skillfully disguised to look old. Despite the many props that were impressively well made, there are definitely more than a few props that seem out of place or cheaply made. Clues are often hid in the places you’d least expect, so be sure to look closely!
The regular appearance of “Do Not Touch” stickers will also be an immersive drawback for some players. While the story is very much present, it will only be obvious to members of the group that take the time to read the journal that belonged to the person who once lived there. More experienced players will probably not love the journal-based clues, but it may set a comfortable pace for new players.
Through an immersive lens, The Basement begs a few questions. Where did this person sleep? Why are there holographic puppies on the wall? Small details like this are of zero consequence to the game itself, but it can detract from the overall experience for players who favour immersion.
Puzzle-wise, The Basement offers a diverse experience for any group. The room provides many more physical puzzles, communication puzzles and searching than the average room does. As it says on their website, The Basement is a very hands-on game. Players should ensure at least one person on their team is dexterous, at least one person is content reading out loud, and at least one person is good at searching (children are great for this). In particular, this room is very reflective of Exitus’ mission for cultivating team-building experiences. Some puzzles also fall into the trap of introducing random variables. While they might not have the most elegant solutions, these puzzles may be straightforwardly easy or confusingly hard depending on the group. Additionally, The Basement contains a few “unlocked box leads directly to another locked box” or “hard-to-find key leads to another key” moments.
Overall The Basement is an atmospheric room with “hands-on” puzzles that are strongly rooted in team-building. Its puzzle structure is very suited for beginners; a tutorial-like journal and a clearly labeled meta-puzzle are both present at the start of the game for players to follow along and work through.