A little while back, I remember hearing about all the good reviews The Room was getting, but I was disappointed to discover that the game was only playable on the iPad. Now, the game has been ported to the iPhone, had a “Pocket” thrown into the title, and I’m more than ready to check it out.
It’s hard to describe The Room. Yes, it is a first-person puzzle game, where you have to solve puzzles by combining objects and such. But there’s a story behind it all, a good one at that, and that’s what makes The Room most unique. What works so well in The Room is that the puzzles are logically framed by the plot, so you never feel like you’re completing a non sequitur puzzle, as you would in games like The Heist.
The puzzles themselves are varied, at times difficult, but always interesting. The game doesn’’t rely too heavily on one type of conundrum, so you’ll have searching puzzles, timed puzzles, and a handful of others. The hint system is well-implemented, only allowing hints to be viewed after a certain amount of time. This prevents hints from being overused or over-relied upon, and makes the player participate in all of the puzzles thoroughly. It’s nice to know that in case of frustration, though, the hints will be there.
The plot is such a major part of The Room, so I don’t want to spoil it for those planning on picking it up. I will say that it involves a mysterious box sent to you by an equally mysterious friend, and the game is spent opening various layers of the box, discovering the secrets within. The plot provokes enough curiosity to drive you through the game, which only helps. However, the singular mode (Story) is a bit short, and consequently, so are the puzzles. A little bit more content here would have been nice, but the content that is present is still very good.
The graphics are Infinity-Blade quality (very good), which I didn’t expect from a puzzle game; and the sound and music are haunting and perfectly fitting. Even the dull ‘clicks’ as mechanisms shift provide deep atmospherics. The Room, overall, brings a profound level of aesthetic beauty to the table.
Even if you’re unsure about puzzle games, The Room still offers engaging brain-stretching action within. The story-driven puzzler will give you fun, frustration, and intrigue. And it looks good to boot.