Monday, March 10, 2014

The Room: A Gorgeous, Spooky Puzzle for Your Mobile Device

Imagine receiving a note from a friend who urges you to come over at once. When you arrive, you find that your friend has disappeared, leaving behind only a safe and a mysterious note. You open the safe to find a beautiful, handcrafted box inside, with intricate locks and mechanisms built into it. As you begin the task of opening the box, you start to wonder what sort of research your friend was engaged in...

If that description captures your interest, and if you own a mobile device or tablet, I recommend checking out The Room by Fireproof games. It is, simply put, the best mobile game I have ever played, and I cannot recommend it enough.

What makes The Room so amazing is the tactile nature of the controls, combined with the gorgeous design of the puzzles and mechanisms. The touchscreen controls mean that the player can interact with the devices naturally. Keys can be turned, sliding pieces can be slid, latches can be flipped open, buttons can be pushed. The graphics and animations are beautiful, and the sound design is excellent as well, from the soft, smooth slide of a wooden plate to the chorus of ticking, ratcheting mechanisms as a new part of the box opens up.

The Room creates a unique atmosphere of quiet dread. There are no monsters that jump out at you, there is no time limit, and yet the game manages to create a sense of increasing tension through subtle, eerie sounds and spooky graphics.

There are several boxes within boxes, but the game does not take too long to play, perhaps a couple of hours. The total game length will depend on how quickly you solve the puzzles, of course, and how much you would like to use the game's built-in hint system when you are stuck. Personally, I enjoyed poring over the box as I tried to find the thing I had missed, prodding this, poking that, until I finally discovered how to move forward.

You can get The Room for a few dollars, and there is now a sequel. I bought The Room 2 a while ago but haven't gotten around to playing it yet. The original was such a great game, I don't want to rush it!


  1. Can we get a hint about the theme of the mystery? Is it secret societies? Ancient esoteric secrets? Cthulhu cultists?