A very interesting, highly immersive, creepy but addictive 3D game for those who has the patience to role-play like Sherlock Holmes, digging out clues and tweaking mechanisms through highly tactile gameplay.
It’s hauntingly beautiful minus ghoulish surprises. For the faint of heart, there will be no screaming moments here, just subtle jolts of fright once in a while from incredible use of mechanical audios upon discovering a piece of a puzzle and accomplishment throughout the game.
The Room is a 3-dimensional puzzle game with the goal of unlocking all four puzzle boxes and an underlying objective of escaping the room.
While solving puzzles you, as the player, will be shown mysterious letters from an author, who previously solved the boxes’ puzzle, discovered the box was made of an ethereal material called “Null”, and slowly drove himself to madness.
In truth, the storyline isn’t that important. Although the letters gave a mysterious, historical depth to the plot, the fun comes from trying to find hidden tools, to solving hours of puzzles and challenges.
Each puzzle you encounter will lead to solving another puzzle. Let’s say you found a key, which will be used to fit in a keyhole you discovered. Keyhole unlocks a drawer with a cog in it. The cog you need to reposition on a hidden device you previously uncovered to get a clue to your next puzzle.
You will be provided with a small inventory area at the left of the screen for item storage though it hardly gets filled anyway. The most important tool in this game is a special lens, which when used becomes a ‘magical x-ray tool’ for use anytime in order to see other parts of the box hidden from default view. Sometimes, items that fall in your inventory needs to be examined too for hidden other hidden items.
When stuck, a hint comes out at the top-left corner of the screen. Hints can come out vague sometimes, making you scratch your head but fundamentally points you in the right direction, if you are patient enough.
There are no add-ons in this game.
Superb 3D details abound in each puzzle box with each classical baroque and labyrinthine aspects highlighted (or maybe hidden), drawing fascination to the player to explore every surface and crevice there is. You can imagine yourself holding an actual box, tapping, pulling and tinkering on every surface to find a hidden apparatus to help you along the way.
I swear, the only missing thing about this kind of graphics in games is the experience of feeling texture. Who knows, the future might bring this experience despite the smooth mobile screens.
Don’t be fooled by the musical box music you’ll hear in the introduction. It’s one of those musical box you hear in scary movies but there’s nothing of the sort in this game.
The immersive interactive sounds correspond accurately with each action done with a puzzle box. Every pulling of drawers, pushing on buttons, cog whirrings, and that tingly sound whenever you discover a new tool pulls you further into the game, heightens the sense of ‘realism’ there is.
Added to that are haunting background sounds, door creaks, and intangible abrupt tones (everytime you deal with ‘Null’), shakes you awake providing auditory cues that you have accomplished something to progress in the game.
The controls are easy to understand although they can be frustrating when trying to get zoom recognized in different directions. It can take multiple tries until you zoom into the surface that you want. It can be tiresome since zooming is an integral part of the game but you will hardly care about that since the game is so engaging.
When I finished this game, I made my bestfriend play it to when we had a short get-together with another bestfriend at the small. It was a good thing there were 3 of us or I wouldn’t had anyone to talk to with since bestfriend 1 ended up getting so engrossed in it, we couldn’t prod her to stop playing and talk to us for a while.
Given all the superb features of this game, The Room garnered several awards as seen below:
App Store Editor’s Choice in 146 countries
- #1 App in UK & US
- #1 App in 65 other countries
- #1 Game in 80 countries
- #1 Puzzle Game in 116 countries
- #1 Adventure Game in 115 countries
- #1 Grossing Game in 19 countries including the UK
- Reached the top 10 Highest Grossing Game in 103 countries
- Apple’s iPad Game of the Year 2012
- BAFTA – Best British Game 2012
- GDC Award – Best Mobile/Handheld Game 2012
- New York Video Game Critics Circle – Best Mobile/Handheld Game 2012
- International Mobile Games Awards – Excellence in Visuals
- International Mobile Games Awards – People’s Choice
- TIGA Awards – Best Game Design 2012
- Pocket Gamer Gold Award
- Develop Awards – Best Micro Studio (Fireproof Games)
So why don’t you give The Room a spin? Even if you are not a puzzle lover, try the experience of being Sherlock Holmes of some classical, baroque mystery. It’s worth the try.
CREATOR: Fireproof Studios
PRICE: $4.99, by the time this game was purchased