Some of the biggest budget console titles flap around trying to create a mood, pouring millions of pounds into building believable, breathing worlds in order to make us accept that we're doing something new and special.
The Room does the same thing with boxes. It creates an eerie atmosphere through ingenious design, more suspense than a thousand bullet-riddled shooters, a haunting soundtrack, and a magical eyeglass that lets you see the world differently.
Doors are all locked
The game is essentially a small scale point-and-click adventure. You're presented with a series of boxes, and you need to solve clues in order to find out what's inside each of them. As you crack the codes and puzzles, you'll find out more about the mysterious "null element" that the narrative revolves around.
You're watching from a first-person perspective, swiping around the screen to change your view and tapping on objects of interest to zoom-in. Handling objects is a tactile experience - keys need to be twisted, dials turned, and letters slipped out of envelopes.
It's a clever way of dragging you in, allowing you to fiddle and pull at the boxes as you try and work out what you have to do next. Other than your fingers and your brain, your strongest tool is your eyeglass.
You pick this up early on in the first level, and slipping it on by tapping an icon on the right of the screen gives you a glimpse into a different dimension. More often than not, if you're stuck your eyeglass will reveal a way to continue.
Room at the top
The Room is an exercise in puzzle design, always gently pushing you in the right direction while making sure the "eureka" moment is as sweet as it should be.
Searching for the next clue, which could take the form of a piece of the box that's out of place, or a symbol scratched into a plate that can only be viewed through your eyeglass, is as entertaining as figuring out the riddles that the game drops on you.
If you love lateral thinking, puzzles, or point-and-click adventures then The Room will be an absolute treat. It's tough, but its atmosphere of unease, and the feeling you get when you solve one of its trials, are more than enough reward.
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