Video Game / The Room Mobile Game
aka: The Room

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/theroom_5202.jpg

All must be aligned, but to what purpose?
Am I the explorer? The prisoner? Or the rat in the maze?
A.S., The Room Two.

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.

Available here. The Room Three was released on November 4, 2015. Again, it picks up where the story has left in The Room Two where the Player's investigations into the Null leads to Grey Holm, the home of the aptly named The Craftsman. It is he that created the intricate puzzle boxes that infuriates the many, including you, who fall into his trap.

Not to be confused with the terrible movie of the same name, the game based on it, or a certain other game.

This game provides examples of:

  • Acme Products: Most of the objects in the games are made by the mysterious Talisman Company. This includes safes, diving helmets, generators, fuses, whatever you name, the company almost certainly makes it. It is implied in the third game that the Company is owned by the Craftsman, judging by the objects in his workshop and the fact that he created the universes in the second game.
  • Affably Evil: The Craftsman in 3 gives off this vibe, since he's very cordial in his notes despite getting you further and further involved with the Null and what it entails. He only becomes truly evil in the "Imprisonment" ending when it is revealed that he has you trapped in a Pocket Dimension that he has offered up to whatever forces command the Null and the Rooms.
  • 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 in 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.
  • Ambiguous Gender: The protagonist. A.S. too, in the first game. The second game confirms that he's male.
  • And I Must Scream: Maggie Cox's soul was imprisoned in a fortune-telling machine after she tried to defy the Craftsman. She's aware of the protagonist and what's going on around her, but she's trapped there forever, unless you decide to go for the alternative endings.
  • 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 a machine and still capable of beating as long as electricity goes through it.
  • Bigger Bad: Whatever the entity that created the Null and the Rooms is, it does not have your best interests at heart. Taken Up to Eleven in 3 with the reveal that it has tasked the Craftsman with harnessing a brilliant soul and mind (i.e. you) to offer up in sacrifice for some nebulous reason.
    The Craftsman: Who pulls the string of the puppetmaster?.
  • 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.
    • In the very beginning of the third game, if you look closely at the contents of your suitcase, you'll see Margaret Cox's publicity flyer and a news clipping about a mysteriously destroyed house, callbacks to the Spooky Seance and the ending of The Room Two.
    • The box the Craftsman entraps you in at the Imprisoned ending looks similar to the box he gave you at the start of the game.
    • The ominous background ambience heard in the first game makes a return in the third game's final chapter.
  • Call Forward: In the second game, Margaret has a painting of Grey Holm on her apartment wall.
  • Chekhov's Boomerang: In the third game of the series. In the first major puzzle of the game you have to work with a self-constructing model map of the island. Every location you build on the map you end up physically visiting later. One piece of it is a model boat you have to place on the map and move into position by hand, next to a boathouse. For the entire game, you never have to think about the boat again...unless you get either the Escape or the Release endings, because it's how you get off the island.
  • Cliffhanger: 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 that there are many more rooms to explore.
    • The Golden Ending of the third game has the protagonist transported to some temples in Mars, hinted to be the source of the Null.
  • Clock Tower: Grey Holm has one and it becomes a setting for one of the chapters.
  • 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. Averted twice in the Room 3, because you have separate inventories for the rooms you can physically walk into, and the rooms that require changing dimensions to enter. Figuring which items you can take to the top of the tower to change the ending may lead to a case of Guide Dang It.
  • Deader Than Dead: This is what happens when your soul is turned into Null. All traces of your actual existence is erased, including your face in photographs or pictures.
  • Easter Egg: It is possible to write other things in the typewriter in the Seance chapter in the second game that adds to the plot but does not advance the game. The words are: Null, Death, Life, Light, Truth, Home, Science, Knowledge, Power, AS, Prey, Others, Maggy, Grayson, Rigby, Baia, and Hirst
  • 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. In the third game's "Release" ending, one seems to be, well, released into the world.
  • Featureless Protagonist: Your character is one, referred to only as "you" in the notes.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: The many diagrams and pictures in the third game are call backs from the first two games.
    • The suitcase at the beginning contains a clipping for Maggie Cox's Spooky Seance, first seen framed above the desk in the Seance chapter. Beside it is a newspaper clipping about AS's manor that was destroyed in the first game.
    • Many diagrams for the big safe in the first game can be seen, such as the book that opens the hidden lift in the Library.
  • 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.
    • In the third game, one of the puzzles necessary to unlock the Multiple Endings requires you to flip a switch in a grandfather clock that only appears if the minute hand is pointing to 0, 3, 6 or 9... and said clock is tied to your system time. While you might be able to figure it out on multiple viewings of the puzzles, it is the only puzzle in the game with a meta solution, whereas every other puzzle derives from internal mechanics.
      • Building off of this, getting any of the multiple endings aside from the obvious one is going to be a serious test of your patience and ability to Pixel Hunt. They require solving a series of puzzles all around the hub area of Grey Holm to get a set of specific items that change the parameters of the Very Definitely Final Puzzle but with the delightful bonus of no hints! Fortunately a lot of the items that are directly related to each other are pretty obvious, but there's going to be a few parts where you'll feel like smashing your fist through your tablet.
  • 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.
    • Maggie Cox presumably pulls this one off as well for you in the third game. After collecting all four silver tokens, a large compartment of the seance booth her soul is trapped in opens to reveal a small box. Once you take this box, the Seance booth breaks down implying Maggie's soul has left the machine. The box she gives you is needed to gain the Escape ending. Furthermore, not only does the box contain a crystal Null that is very likely made from her soul, the box also has probably the easiest puzzle in the whole game. In other words, Maggie really wants you to escape Grey Holms and is even willing to sacrifice her very soul for you to do so.
  • 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 this off 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...
  • Man in the Machine: Maggie Cox in the third game. Imprisoned by the Craftsman in a mechanical fortune teller booth, she still finds ways to be useful to you. She was mentioned in the previous game during The Seance. Her mentor The Great Khan/Simon Grayson is trapped in the paper theatre in the upstairs portion of the Library.
  • Matryoshka Object: The Game.
  • Multiple Endings: Present in the third game:
    • Imprisoned: The protagonist finds himself back in the train he was in at the start of the game... along with a taunting note from the Craftsman claiming he is now trapped. The train then crosses a tunnel into a surreal maze filled landscape with a temple in the center which is then revealed to be contained in an orb than is then locked in a puzzle box by the Craftsman.
    • Escape: The protagonist is transported to a boathouse and escapes on a rowboat while the Null entity completely destroys Grey Holm behind him. A journal entry from him is shown at the end claiming that Grey Holm is not only gone but has apparently been wiped from existence entirely. The protagonist also vows to never have anything to do with the Null again.
    • Release: Nearly identical to Escape with the difference that the entity is seen disappearing into the clouds. The journal entry is replaced with a letter from the incarcerated protagonist to another person asking for their help and requesting that they find the protagonist in Bethlehem...most likely referring to the Bethlehem Royal Hospital, an asylum for the mentally ill that's existed in England for centuries.
    • Lost: The protagonist is transported to a group of ancient temples in Mars, implied to be the source of the Null.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: Justified. The Royal Society in the third game definitely does not want you to know anything about the Null, but considering how dangerous a substance it is, it is quite justified.
  • Ontological Mystery: You are locked in a room. With lots of puzzles to keep you company. Which you must solve in order to escape the room. Maybe. But good luck finding who placed you there, and why...
  • Pocket Dimension:
    • Most of the puzzles in the third game are in one and can only be accessed with the special eyepiece.
    • The Craftsman traps you in one within an orb in the Imprisoned ending.
  • 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. In the third game, you'll see them scrawled around the mechanical fortune teller booth. The number of symbols increases as the game goes on.
  • 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 Escalation: The gameplay gets noticeably more complex with each game: The first one was pretty much dedicated to solving one single (if ever-expanding) puzzle-box with your movement limited to spinning around it. The sequel introduced the ability to move around in the room and work on multiple and sometimes interconnected puzzles in numerous distinct levels, and the third drops you into a large hub mansion where you're now able to move between many separate rooms, your eye-glass also gaining the ability to let you enter the puzzles themselves for even more puzzles.
    • The initially quite peripheral story also gets more and more acknowledged in-game with each sequel, the third one even featuring an introductory sequence and an on-screen character for the first time.
  • 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.
    • 3's first puzzle after the tutorial involves a self-assembling clockwork topographical map with buildings and landmarks rising from the table before locking into place. Apparently someone's been watching a lot of Game of Thrones.
  • Spooky Seance: In the sequel, one of the rooms is the London residence for Margaret Cox, a Phony Psychic who included the Null in her seances after teaming up with someone who calls himself "The Great Khan". As you solve the puzzles, flickering lights and flying objects let you know when you've hit a solution.
  • Spooky Photographs: Most of the pictures the protagonist can find are this. Especially after using the eyepiece on them.
    • It would also seem that the old adage of photographs stealing your soul is at least partially true in this series; whenever a soul is converted into Null all traces of the unfortunate victim's existence are eliminated from reality, including scratching their faces out of pictures and photos. Thus it could be safe to say that a portion of that person's soul was in the photo and got eliminated in the conversion process. This is the first hint you get (a whole game early to boot) that A.S. is dead by the events of The Room 2.
  • Stock Video Game Puzzle: Well, it is a Puzzle Game...
  • Tarot Troubles: In The Séance one puzzle involves a custom deck of tarot cards, illustrated in a Gay 90s/Steam Punk style. You have to lay them down on a table to conduct a Spooky Seance. Since the cards are designed specifically for the game, illustrations on the cards don't match those of a standard tarot deck, and include a card for the Null.
  • Unobtainium: The Null. It is what the eyepiece is made of to allow you to see things that are invisible to the naked eye and travel across time and space in the second game. It is created with the souls of people; the more brilliant the person, the more energy the resultant Null Crystal will have. The Craftsman needed more Null to power his creations, which is why he tries to entrap the soul of you, the Player, in the third game. There are also hints that an unknown being wants him to sacrifice you, for whatever reason.
  • 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.
  • You Wake Up in a Room: Of course. With a title like that, who would have guessed?

Alternative Title(s): The Room

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/VideoGame/TheRoomMobileGame?from=VideoGame.TheRoom