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Video Game / The Room (Mobile Game)

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"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 by Fireproof Games, available for iOS and Android devices, and later ported to Steam and Nintendo Switch. 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 in December of 2013, followed by the Android version in February of 2014. The Room Two continues the story where 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 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.

On March 6th, 2017, Fireproof revealed the fourth in the series, entitled The Room: Old Sins. It was released on the 25th January 2018 on iOS, and on Steam on February 11th, 2021. It has its own page because the game has its own storyline.

On September 25th, 2019, it was announced that the fifth game in the series was a VR game, entitled The Room VR: A Dark Matter. It was released on all major VR platforms on March 26th, 2020.

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

This game provides examples of:

  • Absurdly Short Level: While most chapters offer about 45 minutes of complex puzzle solving, The Room Two's chapter "The Crossing", set on a rowboat, consists of literally one puzzle (pick up a crank, insert it into the slot and turn). It can be completed in less than 45 seconds, including the closing cutscene.
  • Acme Products: Most of the objects in the games are made by the mysterious Talisman Company. This includes safes, pocket watches, diving helmets, generators, fuses, whatever you name, the company almost certainly makes it. In the third game, you even get to visit the Craftsman's workshop where he first founded the company.
  • Affably Evil: The Craftsman in Three 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 out to be a lot more complicated than that.
  • Always Someone Better: A.S. outright admits that De Montfaucon's research on the Null makes his "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 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. We're not shown the extent of what happened to A.S. until we see his corpse in the second game, but it's clear from the start that it's not good.
  • Arc Symbol: The hexagonal Null symbol and its variants, scattered throughout the series on some of the puzzles, notes, and objects.
  • Batman Gambit: In A Dark Matter, the detective (aka. the player character) stumbles across the Hedgewitch's hut and has to solve all the puzzles. After that's done, the Hedgewitch deliberately traps her own soul in an artefact that the Craftsman wants to collect. After placing all of the artefacts on an altar that the Craftsman presented, the Craftsman remarks in a note that it was foolish for the Hedgewitch to make use of the artefact and betrays the Detective. The Hedgewitch's soul breaks out of one of the artefacts and guides the detective to an Egyptian temple where they can trap the Craftsman's soul in an artefact.
  • 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 and save his 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.
  • Book Ends: A Dark Matter begins and ends on the balcony of Bloomsbury Police Station, befitting the detective theme of this game as detailed in the behind the scenes material. Thematically speaking, it's representative of closing a case.
  • 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 bolts for the door and escapes from the Room before he or she can be pulled back in.
    • 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 Séance 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 ambiance heard in the first game makes a return in the third game's final chapter.
    • Happens twice in the course of the final proper stage of A Dark Matter, via the portal door in the Hedgewitch's cottage. The second location you visit via this door is the Attic of Waldegrave Manor from Old Sins, complete with a simplified dollhouse you have to solve a few puzzles in, and the artefact you gain from there is a wooden figure of Edward Lockwood, while the third is the ruins of Grey Holm. This one in particular seems to suggest that either the "Escape" or "Release" ending from 3 is considered canon by the series, though it's not clear which.
  • 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.
    • One of the endings in 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 Three, 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.
  • Diegetic Soundtrack Usage:
    • The first game includes a puzzle where the player is taught how to play the game's theme tune on a piano.
    • The third game reprises it on a music box, with a metal ballerina the player has to guide to its center. It even gets a faster remix when a second ballerina is added.
  • Double-Meaning Title: A Dark Matter is not only is a reference to the detective scenario in this game, but also refers to the Null, which is often interpreted as some sort of dark matter.
  • 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, Thecirclenote , Crowley, 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.
  • Element No. 5: The plot focuses around one of these, referred to as "Null"; it's apparently a kind of base matter of reality, described as giving meaning to the other elements the way that zero gives meaning to other numbers. It tends to manifest intermittently as either a glowing green crystal or a pool of dark gray liquid; it also may or may not be alive, and the primary method of extracting it comes from trapping human souls.
  • Featureless Protagonist: Your character is one, referred to only as "you" in the notes.
  • Finally Found the Body: Your mentor A.S. is missing in the first game and you find his decomposed body in the second.
  • Forced Perspective: Some puzzles involving the eyepiece require you to shift your perspective along with some things you need to fiddle to align them to form patterns to progress.
  • Foreshadowing: Within the lighthouse in The Room 3, the player will find a phial within the mouth of an 'aquanaut's' skull, who had either died on the island or at the hands of the Craftsman. This phial bears resemblance to the phylactery, an amulet which contains ones life force and has become synonymous with Liches in fantasy settings. After the phial is crushed, the player gains a golden orb which is used to 'light' the lighthouse first metaphorically, then literally..which plentifully foreshadows how The Craftsman is using the Null to harvest the lives of others to power his home and creations.
  • Formula-Breaking Episode: Old Sins plays very differently from other games in the series in that, instead of using self-contained levels or rooms, you're exploring a dollhouse, which is one large puzzle box, and the rooms are all interconnected to each other. It's not uncommon for puzzles or items from one room to impact or be useful in a completely different room, leading it to feel more like a puzzle Metroidvania of sorts. Also, the game's plot seems to be merely tangential to the rest of the series, containing some common thematic elements but otherwise not tying to the other games in any way. The events of Old Sins get referenced in the Hedgewitch's Cottage in A Dark Matter where you have to solve a puzzle in the same dollhouse to get an artefact to advance on a puzzle.
  • 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 Séance, first seen framed above the desk in the Seance chapter. Beside it is a newspaper clipping about A.S.'s manor that was destroyed in the second 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 '90s: The time period of the setting. Some letters in the second game are dated on 1883, a passage from the epilogue is from 1903, and in A Dark Matter it explicitly states that it takes place in 1908 at the beginning.
  • 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.
  • Hammerspace: An early hint that something genuinely-supernatural is going on in the first game is when the unfolding components of the first puzzle box prove too large for all of them to have fit into its casing at once.
  • 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 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.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The Craftsman had a habit of sacrificing people to the Null Entity in order to increase his own power. This gets flipped on its head in A Dark Matter, however; while it seems like he'd intended to do the same to you inside the Egyptian pyramid, you and the Hedgewitch end up flipping the script so that he gets consumed instead.
  • The Insomniac: People trapped in the Rooms are explicitly stated to not feel hunger and unable to fall asleep. 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.
  • Karmic Death: The Craftsman himself getting devoured by the same Null Entity he callously sacrificed so many others to at the end of A Dark Matter.
  • Killed Off for Real: The Craftsman at the end of A Dark Matter, being consumed by the Null Entity in the heart of an Egyptian pyramid.
  • Lighthouse Point: The third game's first stage takes place in a lighthouse called the Pyre, with the goal to solve enough puzzles to reach the top and light it. The Craftsman notes that the rocks of Grey Holm's island were so deadly that the lighthouse wasn't used much.
  • Lightning Can Do Anything: Prof. de Montfaucon experimented with electricity to reanimate dead beetles. Then his methods got more and more refined...
  • The Man Behind the Man: Whatever the entity that created the Null and the Rooms is, it does not have your best interests at heart. Exaggerated in Three 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?
  • 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: Several of these are present in the game.
  • Multiple Endings: Present in the third game:
    • Imprisoned: The protagonist finds themselves back in the train they were in at the start of the game... along with a taunting note from the Craftsman claiming they are 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 that 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 them. A journal entry written by them 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. This can be considered the Golden Ending, since the protagonist figured out how to escape the Craftman's trap and doesn't end up in an asylum.
    • 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 on Mars, implied to be the source of the Null.
    • Interestingly, they're divided so that there's two Good and two Bad endings, two that provide Sequel Hooks and two that bring the saga to a close, overlapping so there's one of each combination.
  • Notice This: Surfaces that have an iridescence to them are those that you need to use the eyepiece on. Small openings that have small crystals floating around them are entrances to Pocket Dimensions, and you need to use the eyepiece to access them.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: 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...
  • Painting the Medium: The UI in A Dark Matter takes on a more hand drawn aesthetic to tie in with the fact that you are playing as a detective in this game.
  • Pocket Dimension:
    • Most of the puzzles in the third game and beyond 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.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: Several puzzles in the original mobile versions of the games take advantage of smartphones' multi-touch screens to have you drag or press in multiple places are once. The PC ports tweak the puzzles to no longer require this.
  • "Psycho" Strings: In the first game, this plays while the player examines the orrery in the third chapter.
  • Puzzle Box: The series itself has multiple puzzle boxes throughout the games. Some rooms have multiple of these, each containing items that help you progress through the games.
  • Ret-Gone: Null can retroactively erase things from history. People whose souls are converted into Null are erased from history and any photographs of them have their faces scratched out; similarly, in two endings of the third game Grey Holm is erased from history when the Null entity destroys it.
  • 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.
  • Rube Goldberg Device: Many, many of these as puzzles throughout the series, too many to list individually.
  • 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..., and that's only the first game.
  • 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.
    • Three'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.
  • Skeleton Key: Several keys have bits that can be rotated to form different configurations. This allows a single key to open multiple locks with different keyholes often as a Once per Episode kind of puzzle.
  • Slow Electricity: Played straight in the third game when power is supplied to the buildings around the hub.
  • Spooky Séance: 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 Two.
  • Stock Video Game Puzzle: Well, it is a Puzzle Game...
    • Control Room Puzzle: Later games in the series have you explore whole rooms; most of those puzzles have technological elements.
    • Enter Solution Here: A good number of puzzles in the games involve doing this, with clues you can find around the areas.
    • Light and Mirrors Puzzle: One of the first game's puzzles has a light pathway that can only be seen with the eyepiece.
    • Lock and Key Puzzle: MANY of these. In an interesting variation, some keys must be reconfigured to work with more than one lock, and at least one lock changes itself to require a second key. Other variations include seemingly innocuous objects being able to be turned into keys by fiddling with them.
    • Mad Marble Maze: complete with a rotating center path in the first game.
    • Pixel Hunt: Half of the challenge to the games is identifying every interactable area on the screen as each one of them is important.
    • Set Piece Puzzle: Every puzzle in the series consists of complex machinery you need to manipulate to solve them.
    • "Simon Says" Mini-Game: 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 Séance one puzzle involves a custom deck of tarot cards, illustrated in a Gay 90s/Steampunk style. You have to lay them down on a table to conduct a Spooky Séance. 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.
    • In the third game, each time the player activates Mystical Maggie, a Tarot card is shown depicting one of the game's four endings.
    • In A Dark Matter, three more get introduced, one depicting Egyptian Motifs, another being Waldgrave Manor and the third one being Grey Holm.
  • 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."
  • Wham Shot:
    • A two-hit combo from Chapter 4 of the second game, The Seance; at last, you unlock the cabinet and find a photo of A.S. where he isn't scratched out...and all that's left is a skeleton. And once you turn around, you see that he's sitting at the table behind you.
    • The fifth game has one: When the detective places the artifact the Craftman's soul is imprisoned in onto its own altar, releasing all the other souls he captured. However, the altar where you put the other artifacts isn't the only one in the black void it's in, there are tens of thousands of souls being released.
  • Where It All Began:
    • The second game ends with the protagonist arriving to the same room where the safe was opened. Once realization sets in, the protagonist runs for it before the Room can detach from normal space again.
    • In the third game the player starts in a cabin aboard a train and, on completing the final puzzle the standard way, opens a door leading back to the same cabin. Subverted when it's revealed the cabin was merely bait to lure the player into the heart of the Craftsman's prison.
    • A Dark Matter begins and ends on the balcony of Bloomsbury Police Station as a way to tie the detective theme of that game as if closing a case.

Alternative Title(s): The Room Two, The Room Three