The lights are on
didn't know what to expect when I turned on The Room. Full disclosure: The game
is by Fireproof Games, a place where a dear friend of mine works. But to be
fair, I have lots of friends who work in this industry, so this isn't the first
time I have had to look at something with a journalist's eye rather than a
downloaded the game this morning, knowing that I would need to play
it someday or go through the uncomfortable moment of saying to my friend,
"Oh yeah, I didn't play that game you worked on so long." Of course, I have
done that before and will do it again.
my surprise, The Room is something I hate and something I love. I'm not a fan
of Myst, and never will be. So in the opening moments of The Room when my thoughts
were first forming, all I could come up with was that it was Myst, but more
personal and tactile with its single-room design and touch based interactions.
As it turns out, I was both right and wrong.
Room is most certainly a puzzle. Through a series of mysterious letters the
player is given context to the world and why you (the player) are sitting in
this room solely focused on this box. In the case of the opening tutorial, that
box is a safe. As you solve puzzles you discover what is in the safe, and after
that what is in the box that was in the safe. In fact, it's an onion of puzzles
with puzzle upon puzzle that you peal back as you learn more of the story and
fall deeper into the game's charming design.
the touch interface you spin the puzzle like a virtual Rubik's Cube, looking
for that one hint of something out of place that will act as a clue. You push
panels, spin knobs, manipulate keys, slide levels among many other things to find
solutions or parts to a larger puzzle.
game is unfortunately a litte short (I finished in about 3 and a half hours), and the mystery just gets deeper as you reach the
climax. What is here is excellently produced, with clever puzzles and some
spine-tingling music that really sets
the mood (at times it reminded me of The Shining). There is a sense of panic as you delve deeper into the mysterious box
and learn that it is more complex than you expected when you first read that
simple letter on top of a safe at the beginning of the adventure.
Room by Fireproof Games launched today for $4.99 on iTunes, and works on iPad 2 and above.
Email the author Andy McNamara, or follow on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and Game Informer.