The Courtyard – The Basement’s Latest Game of Survival
Anyone who visits our site knows that, here at Media Geeks, we love escape rooms! And The Basement continues to offer some of the best, most immersive, horror escape rooms out there. Here, we try our hand at their newest room, The Courtyard.
The Final Game
Following our capture by serial killer/cannibal Edward Tandy and our subsequent attempts to escape through the Elevator Shaft and The Study (during previous visits), we find freedom – finally – within reach, as we breathe the dusty desert air in Tandy’s Courtyard. But, of course, this is still part of his game, and The Courtyard is just as booby-trapped as his other sadistically constructed rooms. If we fail to solve the puzzles he’s laid out for us within 45 minutes, he will unleash his bloodthirsty hounds…and they are hungry.
The Fight for Freedom Continues…
In what has become standard at The Basement, the set design of The Courtyard is impeccable. I don’t want to give too much away since, not knowing anything going in, I was awestruck when one tiny room opened into another, larger locale. The structures are worthy of movie sets, and pull the narrative together beautifully. A few grisly props and technological details enhance the feeling of urgency and dread; my group was startled on more than one occasion. Several of the rooms at The Basement also include live actors, The Courtyard included. We met Tandy’s daughter’s boyfriend in a harrowing dilemma, which might give “nicer” players pause. The actor was superb and ran through a gamut of emotions, and only nudged us in the right direction once.
Like the Elevator Shaft, The Courtyard provides puzzles that are all narratively cohesive, using props and clues that are relevant to the story – and nary was a combination lock found. Every prop used furthers the story, and is not just a puzzle for puzzle’s sake. A staple of The Basement is its inclusion of physically challenging pathways and secret cubbies. In The Courtyard, one path is more physical and hidden, while the other is more mobile-friendly, offering options for the variety of players that will encounter Tandy’s twisted games. While several puzzles can include more than one player to complete quickly, there are also a few that are quite linear and don’t provide enough content for multiple players to do. That being said, the group puzzles provided a good amount of interactivity with the world and characters in it.
Despite the underlying horror theme, The Courtyard is creepy, but not scary. There is nothing jumping out of the shadows at you, although some moments might be slightly startling. Additionally, The Courtyard is not gory, even though you might encounter a body part or two… It is also worth noting that due to the dusty décor, wear clothes you won’t mind getting slightly dirty (nothing too extreme).
Although The Courtyard is the fourth, and possibly final, game in Tandy’s world, I suggest players new to the world of The Basement start here. Unlike most other escape rooms, The Basement’s gameplay really uses the world they’ve created in novel ways. Do not expect to move from combination to combination; think outside the box. The Courtyard, in my opinion, is the easiest of Tandy’s rooms; while it can accommodate up to ten players, we sometimes didn’t have enough content to keep six players occupied. New players would be wise to use The Courtyard as an introduction on how to fully use the environment and play the games Tandy has created before moving on to much more difficult rooms like The Basement or The Study.
The Courtyard is a truly fun, immersive escape room. We searched for clues, solved puzzles, and explored a complete world – all with Tandy’s angry dogs nipping at our heels. Our group of six brave souls made it out with time to spare – and even made the leader board! A thrilling addition to The Basement, The Courtyard is beautifully crafted, torturous entertainment!
Book your trip to The Basement here and see if you can outsmart Tandy in one of his four rooms of terror. Good luck!