THE BASEMENT – My Name is Jamie [Hivemind Review]

My Name is Jamie is a real-life escape room livestreamed and played through an avatar game created by THE BASEMENT in Los Angeles.

Jamie on the floor and looking very beat up. An elaborate interface surrounds him.

Format

Style of Play: real-life escape room livestreamed and played through an avatar

Required Equipment: computer with an internet connection

Recommended Team Size: 2-6

Play Time: 45 minutes

Price: $20 per person

Booking: book online for a specific time slot. The bookings are all public with a maximum of 6 players, so you could be playing with strangers unless you buy all 6 tickets.

Description

This is a live escape room played via a live actor. You log in with Zoom to their custom interface, which will include a live feed to the actor in the room, a map, an inventory system, and a whiteboard for taking notes.

An unknown person speaking through and elaborate interface.

Hivemind Review Scale

REA's hivemind review scale - 3 is recommended anytime, 2 recommended in quarantine, 1 is not recommended.

Read more about our new Hivemind Review format.

Fro’s Reaction

Rating: 2 out of 3.

My Name is Jamie is an immersive-heavy, puzzle-light experience that brings the eerie factor. The story line wrapped itself around virtual play in a compelling manner, and offered our team some “skin in the game” to drive a sense of urgency. Our interactions with the outstanding actor were believable, intense, and deeply human.

The pre-game briefing could be improved to offer more onboarding and guidance on how to interact with the game, but I did find the interface easy to use. Our team had a slow start, but the payoff at the end was well worth it.

Your appetite for horror and immersion will ultimately help determine if this is the right game for you, but if you’re looking for some fast-paced fun with a little added adrenaline, give this one a go.

Tammy McLeod’s Reaction

Rating: 2 out of 3.

I have played games at THE BASEMENT in person, and My Name is Jamie is very much in the same style, with high production value, immersion, and effective acting. However, the custom remote game interface is difficult to use. We encountered so many problems logging in that it took over 30 minutes and 3 phone calls before everyone was situated and ready for the game briefing to begin. The interface itself was confusing — there were 3 different chat areas alone. There were tabs for inventory and map, but viewing those hid the video, so players were disinclined to use those very important tools. We were recommended to mute ourselves when not talking, but the game sometimes hid the video and the unmute button along with it. I was forced at one point to explain a puzzle solution over chat to my team so that we could solve the puzzle and get video back. The interface was slick, but unnecessary, and in this case, even detrimental to my gameplay experience. This is unfortunate, because the room and puzzles themselves were fun, and met my high expectations of THE BASEMENT.

Peih Gee Law’s Reaction

Rating: 3 out of 3.

THE BASEMENT is known for having realistically immersive sets and convincing actors, and their online room was able to convey the same intensity. We started off with a slickly designed custom interface that included live video, tabs for the map and inventory, as well as a “whiteboard” for taking notes and chatting.

The actor was great – stayed in character the whole time with very convincing makeup. THE BASEMENT excels at creating a superbly creepy atmosphere and it was extremely realistic.

While this game takes place in the original set of The Basement, this is a totally different game. The puzzles were medium difficulty. Some of the puzzles required a bit of online searching, but I thought in this case it fit with the narrative.

The only thing I don’t like about this company is their time limit of 45 minutes. Most online rooms have actually extended to a 90-minute limit, which I think is necessary due to how clunky it can be to play a room using only 1 pair of hands. Because of the shorter time, I ended up frantically skipping past most of the narrative only to be disappointed when we finished with about 10 minutes to spare.

The other slightly bizarre note is that at the end when Jamie escapes, the entire session just ends abruptly. It’s probably to maintain the integrity of the character, but it still felt slightly weird and rude.

I still highly recommend this game – it really hit most of the high notes for an online escape room experience. Intensely immersive environment, high production value, a great actor and very user-friendly interface are definitely high notes.

Cara Mandel’s Reaction

Rating: 2 out of 3.

Overall, I enjoyed My Name is Jamie. The actor playing the titular role was excellent and very responsive. The game felt immersive and urgent. The narrative conceit for how and why we were able to communicate with Jamie made sense. Even the pre-game messaging was very detailed… However, it was almost too detailed. The information overload was such that we nearly missed out on important steps in what should have been a fairly straightforward login process. The web interface was ambitiously designed but, again, perhaps over-designed. Having three separate places in which chat functions were possible led to player confusion and a delay to our game starting. We also had several players (who are quite accustomed to Zoom and online escape rooms) have issues with joining the experience. One player was kicked off the site mid-game, but somehow able to remain in the zoom throughout, and thus spent the entire game just watching quietly. With some small refinement and minor adjustments to the on-boarding process and web interface, this game might run a bit more smoothly. However, as far as dramatic, interactive gaming experiences go, this was definitely an enjoyable one and worth checking out!

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