Video Game: The Room
All must be aligned, but to what purpose?The Room is a 2012 Puzzle Game available for Apple and Android devices. You enter a Room containing a large safe with an envelope on top. The envelope contains a note from "A.S." addressed to you and mentions a key, which gets you started solving a series of puzzles (many of which involve the use of an eyepiece with a strange lens) that get more complicated as you go further into the safes contained within the safe. You also discover more notes from A.S. detailing his research into a mysterious element called Null.A sequel called simply The Room Two was released on December, 2013, followed by the Android version on February, 2014. The Room Two continues the story were its predecessor left it, taking the protagonist from one room to the next as the puzzles are solved with a trail of letters from A.S. as a guide. The protagonist uncovers in the process that A.S.'s experiments on the Null are by no means the first or the only one.Not to be confused with the terrible movie of the same name, the game based on it, or a certain other game.Available here. Fireproof also came out and said that The Room 3 is in development and will be released in 2015.
Am I the explorer? The prisoner? Or the rat in the maze?
Am I the explorer? The prisoner? Or the rat in the maze?
A.S., The Room Two.
This game provides examples of:
- Alchemy Is Magic: It's mentioned in the first game that the Null could be a catalyst for alchemical phenomena. The truth turns to be a lot more complicated than that.
- All There in the Manual: If you don't bother to read the notes, you could be forgiven for thinking the game has no story. Not that it makes a lot of sense even if you do.
- Always Someone Better: A.S. outright admits that De Montfaucon's research on the Null makes his/her "appear that of a child". The big difference is that De Montfaucon was too professional and careful handling his sample of Null, never making the same mistake that allowed A.S. to delve further into its secrets and that finally got him/her trapped in the rooms.
- Apocalyptic Log: The notes arguably qualify. We're not totally sure what happened to him, but it's probably not good.
- Back from the Dead: The protagonist comes across a laboratory where someone called Prof. de Montfaucon tried to achieve this with the help of the Null and electricity to try save moribund sister Lucy. He was partially successful, just too late.
- Beat Still, My Heart: In the final puzzle of The Lab chapter in the second game, the protagonist finds a human heart connected to machine and still capable of beating as long as electricity goes through it.
- Call Back: The first thing visible in the final room of the second game is the same safe from the first one. Noticing this, the protagonist runs for the door and escapes from the room before he or she can be trapped again.
- Eldritch Abomination: Not directly, but A.S. mentions using the Null device to try to summon the ancient deity Astaroth/Ishtar. He initially feels he didn't succeed, but the rest of the log suggests something happened.
- Cliff Hanger: The ending of the first game. Specifically, solving the penultimate puzzle transports you to a Stonehenge-looking place, possibly in another dimension. Solving the final one opens a mysterious door that you then walk through. You're then informed you're trapped with no way back and there are many more rooms to explore.
- Combinatorial Explosion: Averted. You do have an inventory, but there's no mechanism to combine items in your inventory besides the obvious ones like attaching a lens to the eyepiece. Additionally, most items you get are pieces or keys that only fit into one puzzle since the keyholes/pegs/etc. are all different shapes and sizes.
- Featureless Protagonist: Your character is one, referred to only as "you" in the notes.
- The Gay Nineties: The time period of the setting. Some letters in the second game are dated on 1883 and a passage from the epilogue is from 1903.
- Genius Loci: An open question of the setting. It's never clear whether there is a will behind the events or the rooms are just a part of more complex and spatially distributed machinery.
- Goggles Do Something Unusual: The eyepiece you get has a special lens that allows you to see otherwise-invisible things that are needed to solve some puzzles. It also provides a limited form of X-Ray Vision at certain points. Near the end of the game it apparently lets you see into another dimension.
- Guide Dang It: Two puzzles in the first game require you to tilt the actual device you're playing the game on. Might not be so bad, except that these are the only two puzzles in the game that need it, the Hint System doesn't explicitly say it until you get to the very last hint, and unlike all the other puzzles in the game it's Leaning on the Fourth Wall.
- Hearing Voices: A.S. mentions that he starts having hallucinations and hearing things. As the game progresses, you will too. After stepping through the door, the voices stop. A.S. speculates they were intended only to draw him/her there.
- Heroic Sacrifice: A.S., as revealed at the end of The Seance room in the sequel. Reading the note in the corpse's breast pocket reveals that he had finally succeeded in setting up everything to escape the Room dimension, but felt he owed it to you to help you escape since he is the one that roped you into it. Unfortunately, due to the way that time works in the Room dimension, he died before you ever arrived and became the withered husk holding the pocket watch with the key inside that is revealed at the end of The Seance.
- Hint System: Three to four clues are available for any given puzzle. However, it can be difficult to get it to advance to the next hint at times.
- The Insomniac: People trapped in the rooms are explicitly stated to not feel hunger and unable to fall sleep. That and the Time Dilation doesn't make an environment where people can stay sane for long. A.S. and the protagonist fend off this by keeping themselves mentally occupied.
- Lightning Can Do Anything: Prof. de Montfaucon experimented with electricity to reanimate dead beetles. Then his methods got more and more refined...
- Matryoshka Object: The Game.
- Powered by a Forsaken Child: The notes state that the Null element is somehow directly connected to the human soul. A.S. is only able to get a working sample when he accidentally exposes his body to his active machinery.
- Room Full of Crazy: The titular room is covered in scrawled arcane symbols visible only through the eyepiece. The last room in the sequel is covered by mathematical symbols.
- Rule of Three: The big safe holds a smaller one, which holds a still smaller one. There are also three missing cogs in the clockwork, three seals on the second box...
- Sanity Slippage: A.S. definitely seems to have been experiencing this as his experiments continued.
- Sequel Hook: Part of the ending of the first game informs you that there are more rooms to explore.
- Shout-Out: One of the puzzles involves opening a small intricate puzzle box.
- Spooky Seance: In the sequel, one of the rooms is a London residence where fake sťance sessions were staged by a Phony Psychic who calls himself "Khan". A fraud, that's it, until he decided to include the Null in his performances.
- Spooky Photographs: Most of the pictures the protagonist can find are this. Especially after using the eyepiece on them.
- Stock Video Game Puzzle: Well, it is a Puzzle Game...
- Control Room Puzzle
- Enter Solution Here
- Light and Mirrors Puzzle: And the light can only be seen with the eyepiece.
- Lock and Key Puzzle: MANY of these. In an interesting variation, some of the keys must be reconfigured to work with more than one lock, and at least one lock changes itself to require a second key.
- Mad Marble Maze: complete with a rotating center path.
- Set Piece Puzzle
- Simon Says Puzzle: Combined with Songs in the Key of Lock, a small piano in the last area of the first game is this. If one listens carefully, the whole piece played is the game's theme.
- Tarot Troubles: In The Sťance chapter, part of one puzzle involves a custom desk of tarot cards.
- Wham Line: "I can no longer enter the wine cellar." Near the end of the game you get the even creepier "There are rooms EVERYWHERE."
- Where It All Began: The second game ends with the protagonist arriving to the same room where the safe was opened. Once realization sets, the protagonist runs for it before the room can detach from normal space again.