Oh, how I enjoyed my time in The Room. A hit on cleverphones and tablets, the spooky puzzle game creates as strong a sense of place as almost anything else I’ve ever played. Admittedly, as the title suggests, it’s not recreating a vast wilderness – in fact, the title could well be The Box rather than The Room, since most of the playtime involves exploring the surfaces and secrets of a tricksy container. The long-awaited (and at this point unexpected, by me at least) PC version will have mouse support but it’s the rare game that I’ll probably play on my laptop, with the fondlesome screen. That means braving Windows 8, but a game as tactile and textured as this deserves a personal touch.
As well as the climactic epilogue chapter, which adds to the length but breaks that wonderful sense of place a little, the PC version has revamped HD graphics that “involved recreating almost every asset in the game from the ground up”. Is this the time for a comparison video? Perhaps.
The Room opens its doors on July 28th and I’ll almost certainly be stepping back inside. It isn’t a complex game and in some ways, many of its puzzles are little more than an evolution of pixel hunting, but it has a creepy atmosphere that creates a sense of dread. I like dread and, quite frankly, there’s not enough of it on my hard drive at present. And if this is the evolution of pixel hunting, it’s a very sensible one – like the time little amphibious wormy-things decided they’d go in for some limbs and eyes a few thousand generations down the line.
Exploring objects in The Room, looking for a hidden catch or panel, is satisfying. That really is the best word to describe it. The worst thing about all of this is that I’ve been reminded that a sequel exists and that I haven’t played it. To the Play Store!
No word on whether The Room 2 is coming to PC as well but surely it will if the first sells enough copies to make the transition profitable?