Critical Play: Puzzle

Game: The Room (Pocket)

Creator: Fireproof Studios

Platform: iOS, Android, Steam, Switch

The game I chose to play this week was The Room. Based on the dark/mysterious theme of the game, I would say that the game was made for players 13 and up, and it is single-player escape room game. I played the first level, where the objective is to unlock a safe/box in the middle to understand a new part of the story. This “room” only focused on the box in the middle, with all of the puzzles and clues being located in the boundaries within or around the box. The types of fun I would clearly see are exploration, challenge, and a little bit of roleplay!

One thing I especially liked was that the game mechanics were very well introduced at the beginning of the game. You can swipe the screen to move around and rotate, you can tap objects to pick them up, you can double tap to zoom in, and pinch in to zoom out. Even during the game, if there was a new object that required more explanation of how to use it, it would be sure to introduce the new mechanic. The overall mechanics for solving the puzzles were mostly natural, which made it feel like I was actually in a physical room. For example, if you use a key, it wouldn’t be sufficient to stick it in. You would also have to turn it sideways for it to work. The only mechanic I would keep getting confused by was zooming out, since if I need to zoom in using a double tap, I intuitively would double tap to zoom back out.

Another thing I liked was that they had hints. Especially when you are confined to a space you’ve been looking at for the past 10 minutes, it is easy to get frustrated and not want to play anymore. I think their hint system gave guidance, but did not give answers right away. This made it still rewarding when you do solve the puzzle, even if you got help.

I loved the graphics of the game and the way they kept revealing more hidden secrets that existed within the box or in a place you’ve already looked. For example, you can get this lens to see hidden symbols in the room.

About the author

hi! i'm a freshman studying cs. i love animation, vr/ar, and game dev!

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