Elevator Shaft – The Basement Continues to Push the Boundaries

The Basement is known for elaborate sets, robust narrative and complete immersion into the twisted game of serial killer Edward R. Tandy, and the Elevator Shaft did not disappoint. The second room in the story of our escape from Tandy and smaller than the Basement and Study, the Elevator Shaft is the revamped version of their old Boiler Room and set our expiration at 45 minutes.

The Premise

Tandy hired a man named John to turn his elevator shaft into a means of body disposal. When John found out about Tandy’s sick intentions, he planted clues within the shaft to help future victims escape. Three months later, after John’s brutal death, my friends and I found ourselves locked in the elevator shaft, awaiting a similar fate. Could we follow John’s clues and escape Tandy’s madness?

The Elevator Shaft

After watching a short video, my friends and I huddled together in the darkness, listening to the ravings of madman Tandy. When the lights came on, we were standing in what could have been a real, working elevator shaft, with pipes, steam, water dripping from the walls and the crackle of electricity. The mood took over and the immersion aspect skyrocketed. Frantically, my friends and I looked for clues hidden in among the pipes, struggled with the fuses and pulled ourselves through a tunnel of skulls.

In addition to the impeccable set design, I loved that all the puzzles worked to further the story and progress our escape. There were no superfluous puzzles for the sake of busywork, and they all made sense within the context of the room. Absolutely nothing felt out of place. Within the location presented, the puzzles were incredibly clever. For a group that’s done many escape rooms, the Elevator Shaft bucks the norm with its challenging and unorthodox puzzles, and not one single combination lock!

Because the puzzles fit so snugly into the narrative and location, there was some down time when we got stuck or when one person was working on something independently. There were times when I wish I could be doing another puzzle to help things along, but that’s also part of the beauty of the narrative. Stuck in our own horror movie, there are understandably times when we, as potential victims, would feel helpless.

Taunted occasionally by Tandy and stressed by the imminent threat of being crushed by the elevator, my heart was beating quite furiously toward the end. We managed to pull together and escape with almost three minutes left – with the help of an unconventional and fun hint system.

The Takeaway

As is expected from the Basement, the Elevator Shaft is top-notch in realism and story. The only downside to that expertise is the little bit of waiting we had to do, and one feature that was slightly glitchy. Other than that, the Elevator Shaft is ridiculously smart and well done. I can’t wait for there to be another room here!

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