Weekly Gaming: The Room Three (iOS)

It’s been a mighty long time since I played The Room Two, and since (from what I can recall) I remember thoroughly enjoying the game I decided to give the latest instalment a download. From the offset I can say that The Room three’s price tag certainly helps in making that purchasing decision quick and painless. At a measly price of £3.99, I was stumped at how cheap it was considering how expensive indie games are getting these days on other platforms. Fireproof Games should be commended for keeping such a low price point when others in the industry are deciding to charge through the nose for the latest and greatest.

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Anyway, onto the game itself. Fans of the series should note that nothings really changed from the previous two games’ formula. You’re in a weird world where puzzles are hidden within puzzles, and must find your way between rooms to solve more puzzles before eventually reaching the games climax. I know that’s a massive over-simplification if there ever was one, but that’s seriously 100% of the game. A typical 5 minutes of the game plays out as follows:

“ooo, there’s a new link on the box I’ve been staring at. I wonder what will happen if I move it”

*Box proceeds to open, revealing a new item to collect*

“okie dokey, I’ll be having that. Ooo there’s a puzzle here… hmmm, lets move all the gold things around”

*Box shifts into itself again, revealing another puzzle with a suspicious shaped hole that seems to match the item I collected*

“lets put the item in there then”

*Box reveals yet another puzzle which expands on the first puzzle*

Continue ad infinitum until the game is complete.

That over-simplification isn’t to detract from the game, and for what it’s worth, Fireproof games do a bloody good job of keeping this formula varied enough that you’re constantly being pushed to solve the problem at hand. They do this through changing the style and feel of each area, changing up the art and the items you collect .

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Each chapter looks and feels distinctly varied, with each item you collect keeping with the general theme of your current location. My favourite chapter was easily one which played out in an outhouse that had a saw, a furnace, and all manner of other items spread throughout the area. It was here where you had to meld a key to use on the box in the centre of the room, which may sound simple on the surface, but when you have 16+ possible key types you could make, it soon becomes difficult. It was also here where I enjoyed the flexibility of the puzzles on offer; whilst most of the time puzzles are quite linear and have no fail states (they just require you to solve the puzzle at hand), the key modelling puzzle allowed you to rinse and repeat the puzzle until it was solved. Even when you’ve solved it once, it give the key back to you to use in several other puzzles. It was awesome to see such flexibility and consistency from one little gimmick.

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As for story, there’s not much expansion on previous games. You’ll get notes throughout the chapters explaining how you’re helping someone uncover a great mystery, but in the grand scheme of things you’re still left relatively clueless on what exactly happens throughout the last three games. There are multiple endings should you find and solve sub-puzzles throughout the games’ “hub” world, and whilst i didn’t personally play any further to experience them, I’m sure they’ll still leave a lot of questions hanging about just so Fireproof Games have the chance to make a fourth room should they desire. Not that this is going to be a detriment to the vast majority of players of The Room: most people are here for the puzzles alone.

I’ve always praised Fireproof Games for their stellar work on presentation, and that holds up here in The Room Three. All manner of different textures are stunningly rendered on an iPad, and it’s genuinely insane how the devs can glean this much polish from a mobile platform. Regardless of how they do it, whichever device you use to play The Room Three, you’ll have a pleasant viewing experience.

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So, after 4 hours and 21 minutes of playing the game in one day, am I glad I finally finished the trilogy of Room games? Most definitely. Whilst the third game doesn’t add much original content to the tried and tested formula, it’s still a great way to sit down and waste some time. Fans of the original 2 games should definitely give it a go, and at only £3.99 (that’s its RRP, it’ll be cheaper on sales), you have no excuse not to invest your time into the game.

3/5

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