• Add Review
  • Subscribe
  • Nominate
  • Submit Media
  • RSS

What happens in the Room stays in the Room. Or not?

No, today I cannot use again the reference to Tommy Wiseau's movie since I've already used it in my review of RMN The Room by YDS, that I did some months ago. That game was a surreal comedy adventure, unlike this one that can be described as a sort of horror visual novel (the "puzzle" aspect is extremely simplifies). Soul_Hacker made this sort game in 2015, using RPG Maker VX Ace, and it starts with a long introductive cutscene.

Our protagonist is a student that is walking back at night to the new apartment, that he got for a very cheap price. Everything went well for days, but tonight it's a dark, strange night... and something will happen!
The narrative is well complemented by some real-life first person photos taken at night, that really enforce the sense of loneliness in a gloomy dark night. Then real game starts when we're finally arrived at the apartment, that's composed of just three different maps or rooms: living room/entrance, bedroom and bathroom, and these will be all the locations visitable in our game, but since the title is "the room", that was not really surprising.

Hey, this is clearly a mapping error, or the game is bugged. Isn't it? No? Uhmm ok then!

Anyway how is the gameplay? It's a sort of interactive story in which we can select our actions or explore the environment and interact with the different items in the apartment. Simple and easy, and also very short since for example the good ending can be earned in just one minute!
I'm serious! Anyway there are lots of endings, some are really easy to obtain and others are more complex and require even solving a puzzle or initiating a combat encounter. Some choices are dumb and will clearly lead to death, others instead are more complex and will lead to a more complex and interesting outcome. And you may even be able to discover the truth about the secret of the apartment. To do this, you just have to investigate (walk around and press the key to interact), make the right choices, collect items and use them at the right time. My only gripe is that there is ONE interaction that leads to certain death without even a warning or explanation (even just a "are you sure to do this?), BUT if you do the same and you have found a particular item, it will be possible to progress the story. And that's not too well implemented since I had no reason to believe that now, after dying every time, this same action would have resulted in a different outcome!
But uhm ok!

The assets of this game are mostly Rtps, but they're used well, mapping is decent and coherent, only problem is that some more interactions and descriptions of the environment would have improved the game even more.
Anyway it's still good, very atmospheric and with a good use of lights (at a certain point you will have to use a flashlight) and darkness, plus some special effects, because this is a horror game based on the occult and so weird events and effects are expected, but do not worry, there is no gore or jumpscares, just some unnerving situations and scenes on the pixelated level. But this is not all: there are also some nice cutscenes, that are not limited to the initial lonely walk in the city at night, but there are also some parts with drawings that I think are custom made, but in any case they fit the adventure.

At first I believed this was an average game, but after playing, replaying, getting the awesome true ending, and the pretty cool special ending, I must admit that despite the initial simplicity and banal beginning, game kept me interested for more than one playthrough.
On the other hand it's true that this is a game you can complete in a really short time, so there's not a lot I can say if I want to avoid spoilers. There aren't lots of characters, events or locations, not at all! So let's finish here... ok?

The Unholy Soul is here! Fight for your life, mind and world! (ok I wanted to say also "soul" but a repetition was not cool!)

Final Verdict
The Room is a short and simple but interesting dark game. It's surely better that Tommy Wiseau's movie but unfortunately it's also shorter, but on the other hand I felt compelled to examine in depth the story and find every ending and detail about the story.
Ok, it's probably me, but if you like horror stories, you may find this game interesting for at least an hour. Or less. But still interesting, because despite the few tasks and actions possible (anyway the password puzzle and combat were an unexpected but nice surprise! Still I wanted more interactions) the story is pretty good. Being a sort of visual novel (or a monologue-adventure for the most part) it's heavy on writing, you are warned, but I did not mind this for a change, also I do not remember bugs, errors or typos!
Not really memorable but still a nice and well crafted game very enjoyable for those players who like horror stories!