Escape Authority

In-Depth Escape Room Reviews

Review: The (Bargain) Basement

RATING: 0 Keys          RESULT: Walked Out          REMAINING: 

Key Quest is, without a doubt, the worst escape room ever. Rest assured that I was on the internet within minutes registering my disgust throughout the world.

Story

Key Quest’s entirely plagiarized story for this game centers around a psychopathic serial killer cannibal, who has been capturing, blindfolding and caging people in his basement before he returns within 45 minutes to consume them.

If it sounds like you’ve heard that story before, that’s because you have. Clearly – err, “inspired” – by the best escape room we’ve ever seen, Sylmar’s The Basement, this is a tale of a venue who sees something they like and thinks they can just, well, take it.

I don’t think we need to point out that is not how things work.

It’s worth noting that shortly after we played this Bargain Basement ripoff, they abruptly changed all marketing across each of their social platforms to bear the name, “The Cellar.”

 

Draw your own conclusions there.

 

Scenic

Key Quest’s Bargain Basement is sure to put you into a festive mood.

Oh – not because of the quality of experience. Sorry, I should probably be more clear.

You see, this “themed” adventure takes place in Laser Quest’s birthday party room, “magically” transformed by – well – actually just turning off the lights and leaving the tables and balloons intact.  (And yes – that is an actual photo of the actual game room.)

That’s right boys and girls. You’re trapped in the cannibal’s basement, which doubles as a laser tag birthday party room, and the only thing you have that might stop him is bunch of under-inflated balloons.

Why did you think a big balloon would stop him? Shut up. That’s why.

Puzzles

The puzzles here are the least intuitive we’ve ever seen. The steps are mundane and completely lack any excitement to continue progressing through the “story.”

The non-existent decor is, shall we say, “enhanced” by your “themed” flashlights for this adventure, which, on their own are a whole new level of tacky failure : a glittered LED Jack-O-Lantern and equally bedazzled Halloween candle, straight from the Dollar Store’s discount aisle.

The room’s ambiance soundtrack comes straight from a mid-90s CD player sitting out in the open on the counter – and if you think it adds nothing to the experience, just turn if off!

We did.

Overall

Listen, any one of the above points alone should make it understandable why Key Quest is the worst game you’ll ever see – but when you take into consideration that they clearly attempted to – but failed miserably while trying to – blatantly plagiarize the best escape room in the US, Key Quest achieves a whole new level of awful.

The Basement – to be clear – THE ORIGINAL, REAL version near Los Angeles is pure escape room art.

In the real Basement, players start by being blindfolded with sacks over their heads; in the Key Quest ripoff, players start by placing a burger king crown over their eyes.

I’m not joking.

In the real Basement, players enter a dark room and are met with an artfully directed audio track of the cannibalistic serial killer who has trapped you, perfectly setting the mood for the experience that lies ahead; in the Key Quest ripoff, players enter the birthday party room and are met with an insultingly poor quality audio track, grossly overacted by a talentless voice actor trying desperately to sound like a cannibalistic serial killer who coincidentally has also trapped you and, for extra credit – surprise, likes fava beans.

Seriously.

I’m sorry, but there’s just far too many coincidences here to be accidental. It’s clear that this is a blatant attempt at plagiarism which not only fails completely, not only adds nothing to the already terrible game play experience, but insults anyone who was lucky enough to play the real version of the game in LA.

As a team we’ve played countless games. Key Quest is probably the only one that will ever be so bad that we literally walked out mid-way through without any interest in even attempting to finish the game – and as such, it’s probably also the only one we will ever refuse to even award a single Key.

 

Key Quest’s The Basement / The Cellar solidly – without question – earns the distinction of being far and beyond the single worst escape room we’ve ever played. The most frustrating part of all of this is this game is also the single most cloned game in North America. Laser Quest has added Key Quest escape-the-birthday-party room’s to pretty much all of their venue locations. That means this game – this horrible, unforgivable abomination of a game is the most readily available to someone who may have never heard of the escape room genre of attractions we all love.

I cannot even imagine having this game as a first impression. Without a doubt, it would be a player’s first and last game – ever.

Needless to say we didn’t stop to take a group photo on our brisk walk back to the parking lot. I feel like this image of Comic Book Guy is just as fitting.

Venue Details

Venue:  Key Quest

Location: Sunrise, Florida

Number of Games: 2

GAME SPECIFIC INFORMATION:

Duration: 45 minutes

Capacity: 6 people

Group Type: Public / You may be paired with strangers.

Cost: $15 per person (minimum 3)

 

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Key Quest - The Basement
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