The Room
Gameplay 9
Graphics 8
Sound 8

Don’t let the fact that The Room was originally an iOS title scare you away from this great puzzle adventure. The developers have gone the extra mile to enhance the visuals and tighten the controls for this PC release all while keeping the price very reasonable. The game looks and sounds fantastic and it is only the short time it takes to complete holding it back from a better score. Still, there is very little padding here and the game offers a compelling experience from start to finish.

Gameplay: Engrossing puzzle solving from start to finish.

Graphics: Superbly detailed.

Sound: Atmospheric and fitting

Summary 8.3 Outstanding
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The Room

Developer: Fireproof Games | Publisher: Fireproof Games |Release Date: 2014 | Genre: Adventure / Indie / Puzzle | Website: Official Website | Format: Digital Download

It all begins with a letter, imploring you to come to the residence of an old friend. The letter urges you to make the journey immediately as apparently everyone is in great peril. Following the instructions in the cryptic letter, you make the trip and enter the study room of your friend. He is nowhere to be seen, but dominating the room is an imposing looking safe. More information is revealed by a letter on top of the safe and your purpose soon becomes clear.

Originally a hit on iOS, The Room has made the transition to PC and anyone worried about it being a cheap port can relax. Not only has the price been kept very low, but the game also includes more content in the form of the “EPILOGUE” DLC that iOS players had to purchase separately. The developers have also recreated virtually every asset in the game in high definition and if I didn’t know that this was originally a mobile game I would never have guessed it. Hopefully this is enough to mollify the usual mobile hating mob because anyone dismissing The Room because of its mobile roots would be doing themselves a great disservice.

The game opens with a short tutorial to teach you the basics of interacting with the gamerworld after which you are left to get on with the mystery solving. You have to use your mouse to interact with objects, so the game loses the tactile feeling of the iOS version, but the controls have been adapted very well for PC. Your first objective is to open the safe, but since it is no ordinary strongbox, gaining entry is not as simple as cracking the combination. Instead, you have to comb every inch of the box to find hidden pieces, panels, buttons and switches which will grant you access to its mysteries. Everything you need to progress is right in front of you, so there is no need to search the room or any other locations like you might be used to doing in a traditional adventure game. Instead, the answers are always staring you right in the face, you might just have to twist, turn or do some poking around to see them.

Considering that the majority of your time playing The Room is spent scrutinizing a series of bizarre boxes and containers, it is a good thing that the visuals are up to scratch. Each item in the game is meticulously created and to quote an overused cliché, it really looks like you can reach in and touch these objects because they are so detailed. Turning keys, sliding open panels and pressing buttons might not sound very exciting when you read about it, but trust me, once you start playing the game it will effortlessly suck you in. Story snippets are revealed through letters that you find tucked away in all kinds of hidden compartments, but don’t expect everything to be spelled out for you. It is the tale of a man meddling with forces beyond his understanding, and as with all arcane dabbling it doesn’t end well for him.

While puzzles consist mostly of manipulating objects in the physical realm, a special pair of goggles that allow you to see into a different realm adds another layer to the gameplay. If this combination of physical and mystical manipulation leaves you vexed you can always turn to the (optional) hints for a nudge in the right direction. I suggest turning these off from the Options menu as the game is already on the short side, but if you are really stuck, they can help immensely. With the hints enabled you can click on a button for a clue, but only if you haven’t made any progress in a while. If you still can’t make headway you can ask for another, more explicit clue, but once again only after some time has passed. This is to prevent you from spamming the hint button until the answer is spelled out for you, which will ruin the experience of solving the puzzles yourself.

The Room features some stellar audio which draws you into the mood of the game without it becoming obtrusive. There are some good sound effects and ambient noises to further immerse you in the experience. The game definitely has a very creepy atmosphere and cultivates the feeling that you are fiddling with something sinister. The deeper you get into the box, the more mysterious the contraptions become and the more arcane symbols you start to uncover. The touch-screen controls have been adapted well for PC and I never encountered situations where using the mouse felt limiting.

If you are a fan of puzzle games you should definitely get The Room. It is a great game with some excellent puzzles to solve and about the only thing I can fault is that it is over all too soon. Even with the included DLC, which increases the playtime by about 20% it is still possible to finish the four chapters and get every achievement in just a couple of hours. Considering how low the price tag is, this doesn’t really affect the value for money though. I can only hope that The Room finds the audience it deserves on PC otherwise we might not see the sequel, which is already available on iOS.

System Requirements

  • OS: WindowsXP SP2 or higher
  • Processor: 2.0 GHz Dual Core Processor
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Video card with 512MB of VRAM
  • DirectX: Version 9.0
  • Hard Drive: 1 GB available space
  • OS: WindowsXP SP2 or higher
  • Processor: 2.0 GHz Dual Core Processor
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Video card with 512MB of VRAM
  • DirectX: Version 9.0
  • Hard Drive: 1 GB available space

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