Ugh. The pain is killing me. But... But where am I? I don't recognize this place; why's it so dark? What's that smell? And why are these flies... OUCH! Hey! Those aren't normal flies, that thing bit and it hurt.
I... I gotta get out of here, this place is giving me some seriously bad vibes and did that thing in the cage just move?
Unlike most room escape games that focus almost strictly on puzzle solving, Monster Basement seeks to inject mood and atmosphere into what is often an almost apathetic genre. Usually (some choice selections exempted of course), you're simply thrust in a room with no motive to get out other than the player's desire to complete the game.
In Monster Basement, the motivation to leave is made all too clear; this room with its vampire flies, blood stained meat hooks, and grotesque abominations sitting in fluid filled beakers, scares the jebus out of you, and as you slowly work through a way to leave this terrible place, things aren't likely to get better either.
With an almost old-school horror movie sensibility, your courage is sure to be tested at every turn with flickering lights, pictures that appear to change out of the corner of your eye, and music and sound effects that make you feel like something is lurking just beyond that rotted old door.
Or is there actually something lurking there?
A room escape game with bite, Monster Basement is definitely the game to play after the kids have gone to bed. Turn off the lights, crank up the sound, and if you're easily scared, just keep telling yourself, "It's only a game. It's only a game."
Analysis: Full disclosure: I love horror games. Anything that gets my blood pumping from high end console productions like the Fatal Frame series to well done indie offerings to be found on the net such as Sinthai Boonmaitree's The House are simply heaven for me. As a result, I might just be a little bit biased towards Monster Basement.
But this would only be because Majewski does a surprisingly awesome job of selling the horror side of the game. Violin stings hit when you look at the right thing to crank up the tension, and what little voice acting there is in the game is for all intents and purposes perfect.
Add to this some truly jump worthy moments and a twist ending that will catch you off guard, this game definitely finds itself very much on my good side.
As for its merits as a room escape game it does a decent job on that front as well. While there may not be a trashcan to look under, many of the other staples are there; pixel hunting, a handful of keys, and puzzles that won't make sense until after you've completed them.
The fact that you can die in this game (though the game is mercifully forgiving when you do die) does actually make it easier because this gives you the opportunity to figure out what you got wrong and try again.
Not the hardest of room escapes, Monster Basement should be just easy enough for the escaping challenged such as myself to eventually work their way through, but challenging enough to prove suitable for the more hardcore of room escape enthusiasts.
All in all a well put together game on all fronts and one that should not be missed unless you've a heart condition or avoid movies because they give you nightmares.