“You’re trapped in your office building after-hours, and you stumble into a place that shouldn’t exist. Discover the secrets of Floor 13 and escape the building…if you can! Discover clues, piece together login codes, and go face to face with a haunted computer. Solve the challenges of this slightly spooky escape room from the comfort of home!
Use a blend of digital documents, print-and-play elements, audio, and more in this immersive cooperative game.”
This game, in a roundabout way, is why this puzzle review site exists. Let me give you the short version: During quarantine, I wanted to do more puzzle games; it was something that I had a hard time finding a consistent group for in precedented times. At the time, I was doing the Exit: The Game games and had gone through the Lost Temple early in the year. By the time that Floor 13 came out, I had added my puzzle-loving bestie into our household pod. So, we played this together, had a great time, and she went home. At our next game night, she told me about puzzle books like Tachyon and Journal 29; it turns out that she had such a great time playing this game, that she went home and actually did a search for what else was out there. Here I had been sitting, wanting more puzzle games, and not doing anything about it. So—appropriately enough—like an escape room, I just needed a second perspective to get me to solve the puzzle of “how to get into the hobby”.
As for Floor 13 itself; much like Lost Temple, this was another impeccable blending of print and play components and digital integration. I own a pretty nice laser printer, so we opted to print it ourselves. While I missed the nice wooden components of the deluxe version of Lost Temple, the materials were well-designed and thoughtfully laid out, so we didn’t run into any issues while playing. We had a lot fun going through the game and got through it in about 75 minutes before successfully escaping the 13th Floor and earning our Certificate of Certification in the process.
I’ll say up front that the story this time around is a little less rich than Lost Temple. It’s almost dream-like in it’s narrative on- and off-ramps. However, the game is still full of CU Adventure’s trademark wit and—what I can best describe as— humorously banal menace. I don’t want to spoil anything in the game, so to use an example from another franchise, if you watched Buffy: the Vampire Slayer, think about the sorcerous demon Mayor Wilkins, who did stuff like this:
This sort of humor is right up my alley, so I loved all those little touches spread throughout the game. Did I mention that the game is a period piece set right before Y2K? It’s all that (and a bag of chips). The narrative drives the puzzle design, all of which feel right at home in this menacing office space.
Much like Lost Temple, the puzzles are Gen-1 style, where you’re typically attempting to find hidden messages, passcodes, and combinations to locks. You navigate through the game world with an adventure-game style point-and-click interface which, helpfully, does all the heavy lifting of keeping track of your interview and unsolved puzzles. The puzzles themselves are fun, in-theme, and fairly designed. This definitely felt less difficult than Lost Temple, but if you do get stuck, the wonderful hint system from that game has returned to help you along the way.
This is another sensational game from CU Adventures and is a steal at $10. If you haven’t played any of their at-home games, I would actually recommend doing this one first, as it’s a bit easier and shorter than Lost Temple. Though the environment is a little spooky, there isn’t anything really overtly scary in the game; even the most squeamish of players should have a good time with this. The game is setup for people to easily play over Zoom, so team play shouldn’t be a problem. I’d recommend 1-4 players.