The Room - review

Sorry, games again! But this is the last of the series.

After my recent dip into the nostalgia of game playing while reading the book on the makers of Doom, I just had to have a go at a game. There was a temptation to revisit the past and fire up a copy of the Seventh Guest or Doom itself (both available on Mac, though sadly my old favourite, the X-Wing series isn't so I would have make to do with Wing Commander III). And I may still do so, though as I pointed out in the piece on Netflix and games, I'm not sure I could make the time for serious playing time any more.

However, while perusing 'best of' lists to see what's recommended on the Mac at the moment, I noticed some 'best on iPad' games and was tempted to spend the enormous sum of 69p on a game called The Room - and I am so glad I did.

If you ever played something like Seventh Guest, this is a bit like the puzzles without all the wandering around. The Room limits you to a single table - but on that table is the most gorgeous, complex puzzle box you ever saw. And if you complete it and open the box - another, even more wonderful box emerges. One, for instance, turns into a gorgeous planetarium and orrery.

It's a bit murky, but this is a part of the level 2 (or is it 3?) puzzle box. The device on the front is a complex clock that you need to get going. Every flap, button, knob and locked door will eventually contribute something. 
For me, this is the ideal game for the Netflix generation. You can do it a bit at a time (although it is extremely more-ish, and the temptation is to just do one more clue). And there's no frustrating dying and going back to the start. You can do whatever you like in whatever order it presents itself and it will either not work or take you on a step.

It's hard to describe the puzzles without giving too much away, but they range from simple physical discoveries along the lines of 'if I turn that bit it will open a door in which I will find something', through the need to build a gear chain to get some machinery running to spotting an inscription on the back of a photograph that tells you in an obscure fashion how to position something you will discover later (and only be able to see through a special viewing glass). It is brilliant! And did I mention it was cheap? Even better, it's a couple of years old, so The Room 2 is waiting for when it's completed.

There is a hint system, but most of the time you can make progress without it. I'm so glad I read that book...