As most of you probably know by now, The Room was voted by Apple as 2012’s iPad Game of the Year. Having recently started this website, it naturally provided me with a good place to start for reviews. After all, where better to start than the best?
At first glance, The Room appears as nothing more than just another puzzle game. You’re in a room with a well-locked safe, and your goal is to get the safe open. But why? What’s in this safe? And more importantly, why is this safe so intricately locked up? These are the questions you’ll find yourself asking as you explore every crevice of this well-protected safe.
The ultimate goal of The Room is to solve the puzzles and unlock the safe, but the game offers so much more than that. Where others fail and The Room succeeds is in its execution. It makes you want to explore because the puzzles aren’t just handed to you. You may have the right key to an opening, but you may have to search the safe for the correct hole. The answers, and even the questions for that matter, aren’t directly placed in front of you. You want answers? You’re going to have to explore, and that’s where the fun sets in.
That’s mostly because of the environment the game puts you in. It’s you, a three-dimensional room, and the safe. The lack of distractions really puts an emphasis on the importance of unlocking the safe. Throw in some eerie ambiance and sound effects along with impressive lighting and suddenly a “simplistic puzzler” offers a wonderful environment that caters to the mystery of this box.
As I mentioned, The Room is about exploration and it’s the gameplay that really shines. Normally, I grow frustrated with puzzles, but it does offer some in-game hints — though awkwardly written — to help along the way. But you see, the point of the room isn’t just solving the puzzles, it’s the journey in uncovering the puzzles. What makes The Room enjoyable is the fact that it doesn’t seem like individual puzzles. The entire game, though broken into chapters, is all about you exploring in hopes of solving the one big mystery: what the heck is in this box!?
It’s that mystery that will keep you playing and exploring this one tiny, yet intricate box. It’s a mystery you’ll enjoy uncovering.