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Game Info:

The Room
Developed By: Fireproof Games
Published By: Fireproof Games
Released: July 28, 2014
Available On: Mobile (iOS and Android), PC (Reviewed)
Genre: Puzzler|
Number of Players: Single player
ESRB Rating: Not rated
Price: $4.99

The human mind longs to learn and to know; in some, this desire is stronger than in others. For those of us who have particularly strong desires to learn, solve, answer, and figure stuff out in general, puzzle games were developed. Games like this allow us to unlock our story or objective piece by piece, and give a feeling of accomplishment when we find the answer. This is the type of game that we find in The Room. As a puzzle game, The Room is geared towards we who simply can't rest until we've unlocked that last door and discovered what awaits us inside.

The Room begins with a note from a mysterious person with the initials A.S. While it isn't made clear who this person is, we do learn that he or she knows you, and has left this box for you to open. Personally, I got the impression of a long-lost eccentric uncle with hidden genius. Whoever A.S. may be, the game revolves around your attempts to open each box that you're presented with to discover what's inside. It is described as having been hidden away, because normal people wouldn't be able to use it properly. You must examine every aspect of the box in order to get in. But it isn't quite so simple as merely finding the key. For example, in order to get to the key, latch, switch, or whatever it is that you seek, you may first be required to find a secret compartment, which contains a clue as to how to open a drawer, which contains a screwdriver that will let you remove a plate, where you discover another clue, and so on. Each piece of the puzzle may be large or small. Concealed, or out in the open. Obvious, or obscure.

There is a large variety of methods for getting to the next section. Sometimes you need a key; other times you may need the proper combination, or a wrench, or, once, even a rubber band. The objects you find are diverse enough to keep the game interesting, and yet not so unique as to make it instantly obvious what you should do with what you find. Often, you will solve one section of the box only to have another section entirely reveal itself to you. As long as you're within the game, you will not run short of puzzles to solve. Some will be easy, others will be difficult. The game provided enough of a challenge for me to be entertained, and yet also gave a pleasant feeling of progression throughout as I solved the puzzles bit by bit.

The Room
Highlights:

Strong Points: Puzzles are interesting, yet give a sense of progression as well. The graphics and sounds fit in very nicely with the theme, and have an excellent effect.
Weak Points: The game does move a bit slowly when it comes to transitions, with no way to speed them up; you're moving at the game's pace, not yours. The game also has little to no replay value.
Moral Warnings: The game delves very deeply into the realm of the occult and demonic rituals.

Unfortunately, the game does have very slow transitions. When you're moving from one place to another, or when it's telling you what item you've picked up, it requires that you wait for several seconds before you can cancel an action and move on to the next section of the game. If you're taking your time with the game, this won't be a problem. It can be very pleasant to wander through at a slow pace and solve it bit by bit. But sometimes, I would get excited when I found the answer, and would want to zoom in instantly, or cancel out the tooltip, as I already knew what I had picked up. The game offered no method for speeding up these slow transitions, which was a bit disappointing. While the slow atmosphere did add to the game in general, having a feature that allows you to speed it up would have been nice.

While the game is centered mainly around the puzzling aspects, it does have a bit of a story as well. Remember A.S. from the beginning? Well, he's left behind a few other notes for you as well. While reading his notes is not required in order to solve the puzzles, they do add a lot of flavor to the game. These notes pop up in various locations as you dig deeper and deeper into the box. How he got them there, I have no idea. The notes that come last are deepest in the box, and the notes that come first are on the outer layers. But if he were locking up the box, he would be starting from the inside, and the latter notes would be on the outside. However he did it, the notes are there for you to find and read. These notes give an essence of mystery that combines excellently with the graphics and audio. The visuals are very nice, and it gives a very nice effect. There is also some soft music in the background that gives a wonderful ambiance. You can even hear the gears and mechanisms clicking each time you turn a key or flip a switch. The resulting effect compliments the game's style magnificently.

The entire game uses only the mouse: double click to zoom in, right click to zoom out, click and drag when you need to move something. As no further controls are really needed, this works fairly well. The game expects you to manually perform simple tasks like turning keys and opening lids, which, in my opinion, actually adds to the game. But the controls could do with a bit of calibration (which the gme doesn't provide). For example, if you drag an item from your inventory to the location where you desire to place it, it will follow about an inch behind your mouse, or even further if you move your mouse too quickly. While it isn't a huge problem, it does pull you out of the experience a bit, as you have to focus on where your mouse should be to make sure that the key is positioned correctly over the keyhole.

The Room
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 87%
Gameplay - 15/20
Graphics - 9/10
Sound - 10/10
Stability - 4.5/5
Controls - 5/5

Morality Score - 85%
Violence - 10/10
Language - 10/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 1.5/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

Unfortunately, for Christians, there is a major problem within the game, which is that it dives into the demonic and occult. The notes from A.S. start out describing what seems to be simple scientific research, but it later becomes apparent that his research includes ancient summoning rituals, which he intends to perform. Even if you choose not to read the notes, as they are not essential to game progression, it becomes very difficult, if not impossible, to ignore the supernatural turn of the latter puzzles. At the end of the tutorial level, you are given a lens which you must use to solve many of the puzzles. Originally, the lens seems to work in a manner similar to an ultraviolet light, but soon begins to expand in its abilities. It allows you to see through certain objects, likely into other dimensions. If you do choose to read the notes, you'll learn that the lens itself has demonic properties. The physics don't match up quite right either. More mechanisms fit into the boxes than is actually possible. Originally I discounted it as improper planning, and a focus more on the puzzle aspect than the physics aspect. But later, I realized that the physics don't work because they were never meant to work. The game delves further and further into the supernatural, to the point where you cannot deny it.

Overall, I found this game to have accomplished its purpose quite well. It had a pleasant style, graphics and music that matched up nicely, and puzzles that contained a balanced level of difficulty. Its shortcomings as a game were not nonexistent, but were certainly few and far between. It took me about four hours to complete, and while the game does have little to no replay value, the first time playing through is quite enjoyable, and were it not for the occult nature of the game, I would have ranked this among my favorites. The game does give a vague sense of “this was a mistake” at the end, but not a very strong one. As a puzzle game, The Room is very well done. But as a Christian, please do be careful if you choose to buy it- especially as most reviews that I've seen haven't mentioned the demonic nature of the game.

-Superstars111

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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