For lovers of escape rooms
When we’re not running games here at Stuck In The Riddle, we’re probably out-and-about playing an escape room. And when we’re not doing that, we like to dabble with different versions of our favourite hobby. Welcome to the first “Stuck In The Riddle Plays…” where we’ll look at some of the other experiences available to lovers of escape rooms.
I first became aware of The Room during a conversation with a group who had come to play our Murder-Mystery room. They mentioned how good the game was, and were ploughing on with the sequels at the time. Being a huge game nerd, I decided it was worth my while to have a look and see what all the fuss was about. And I’m very glad I did.
The Room is not a new game. Originally released in 2012 for iOS, with an Android version the following year and an enhanced PC version in 2014, The Room has sold over 6.5 million copies, and spawned three well-received sequels. I picked up my copy on the Kindle Fire, where it was free of charge.
The game itself sees you tasked with opening four boxes. The boxes contain a variety of puzzles – key holes, buttons, codes, moveable objects. Each box is an escape room in its own right, and offers a different experience to the preceding box. You need to apply different skills to solve each puzzle, manipulating the items on screen – sometimes even manipulating the device you’re playing on – in order to solve your way to the next part of the puzzle.
The first chapter of the game walks you through the various game mechanics as you open the first box including the use of a special lens. The lens allows you to see hidden elements created using a mysterious element called “null” . It has a similar effect to finding a UV torch in a physical room, but playing in the virtual world allows for some clever applications of this mechanic.
The graphics are beautiful. The enhanced PC version is absolutely stunning, but, for a six year old game, the original graphics have aged well. Everything looks very functional and there’s a healthy dose of steampunk design to the construction of both the boxes and the mechanisms you’ll discover within.
The puzzles provide a healthy challenge and there is a hint system available which will gently nudge you in the right direction – exactly as you would get in a real escape room. And, of course, how far you go down that particular rabbit hole is entirely up to you. I needed a couple of hints during my game, and could probably have managed without if I’d been more observant!
The game sounds fantastic. A haunting soundtrack sets the atmosphere and everything you interact with makes a satisfying noise. Playing the game with sound on is a must to make sure you don’t miss anything unlocking.
If, like me, you need to regularly scratch that escape room itch, you should pick this one up. The Room provides an excellent escape room experience and adds elements we couldn’t recreate in the real world.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, the sequel is calling my name.