It’s Not Me, It’s My Basement
It’s Not Me, It’s My Basement is an RPG Maker gothic horror game from 2021 along the lines of The Witch’s House and Mad Father. It takes about 35 minutes to finish, and it’s free to download from Itchio.
You play as a kid named Embry whose parents have been eaten by monsters. Embry has managed to padlock the basement door, but the monsters are constantly hungry. The player is therefore tasked with feeding the monsters so they don’t escape and eat Embry. The game consists of navigating between Embry’s kitchen and the town market while stopping at the basement door a few times along the way.
The story is divided into three days, during which food becomes progressively scarce and the monsters become increasingly hungry. Each night, after feeding the monsters, Embry has a dream. All three dreams end with an extremely mild jumpscare, but the game is more concerned with creating an oppressive atmosphere than it is with trying to shock you.
What I appreciate is that it’s unclear what the monsters are or where they came from, just as it’s occasionally unclear what Embry is feeding them. Although you have the choice to enter the basement in one of Embry’s dreams, you never learn exactly what’s going on down there, and sometimes not knowing is worse.
If you’re worried that I just spoiled the game, please don’t be. There’s a lot going on here.
The creator has a few shorter games available on Itchio, some of which are loosely connected through a shared universe. The reason I chose to play It’s Not Me, It’s My Basement is because this game has a surprisingly large online fandom. Seriously, it even has its own page on TV Tropes (here).
It’s Not Me, It’s My Basement feels a bit like Homestuck run through a few filters. Everything about this game is catnip for edgy tweens. Even if that doesn’t sound appealing to you, It’s Not Me, It’s My Basement presents an interesting and open-ended story, and the game is a fun experience that doesn’t bother the player with any puzzle elements that impede the flow – or the steadily mounting creepiness – of the delivery.