Imagine one day you woke up in a house and couldn’t get out. As you investigate you find that some of the rooms are exquisitely furnished while others are spartan and mysterious, containing equally strange stone carvings. Aside from your decadent surroundings, not only do you find that are completely alone but you also discover that the only way to the only way to escape is by solving the mystery of the house and the many puzzles within.
If after reading the above scenario you haven’t closed the article out of boredom or begun to descend into a claustrophobic panic attack, then Fireproof Games’ latest release may just be right up your alley.
The Room 2 is a follow up to the highly acclaimed puzzle game The Room which, much like its predecessor which began life as a mobile game, has received a complete revamp in its graphics for the port to PC. Overall the change has done much to improve the game’s appearance, replacing the cheap and outdated look seen in the originals with smoother, higher detailed textures and improved lighting.
The game, much like the scenario above, is set within a mysterious crypt the player finds themselves in after following a trail of cryptic letters left by the enigmatic scientist known as “AS”. Trapped within the crypt and with no way out but forward players will have to rely on their wits and ingenuity in order to solve the puzzles and escape.
Story wise, The Room 2 differs little from the first game, with a focus on gameplay and overarching themes based on science and alchemy with hint of lovecraftian inspiration. However, there’s a definite level of improvement over the quality of gameplay established by its predecessor, with a greater range of puzzles and bizarre contraptions to disassemble, modify and experiment with. In particular and without spoiling too much I really enjoyed the puzzles based around the changing of the camera’s perspective, not an original idea by any means but still something that I enjoyed.
In addition to the improved gameplay and enhanced graphics the PC version of The Room 2 also boasts an excellent soundtrack filled with foreboding and ethereal instrumental compositions which successfully build an atmosphere of horror around what would otherwise be a mundane series of puzzles.
Personally I tend to shy away from games such as this in favour of those with a focus on story and world building. However, having spent a good amount of time helping my mother with the many puzzles found in the hidden item games she plays, plus my own experience with games such as Yumemi Mystery Mansion on the Sega CD, I have to say I was intrigued.
After spending a few moments on the initial puzzles and familiarising myself with the in-game surroundings I couldn’t but help be impressed by the level of work put into the game. The level of dedication in designing and constructing the game’s many puzzles was surprising from a game I had written off as a mobile time-killer and the atmosphere the developers have attempted to evoke was something that I really appreciated. Despite its apparent simplicity the gameplay of The Room 2 is surprisingly complex with some puzzles leaving me stumped for quite a while.
The Room 2 is more than meets the eye. Though slim in story, it more than makes up for it with a foreboding atmosphere and addictive and engrossing gameplay that is sure to entertain even the most jaded gamer.
The Room 2 is now available for purchase on Steam. You can also find it on iOS and Android.
Chris Senz is a freelance journalist and contributor to PN2.