Electron Dance
9Apr/170

Dabbling with… The Room: Old Sins

The tenth episode of a short series on games I discovered at EGX Rezzed 2017.

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I've had a funny old relationship with The Room series from Fireproof Games as newsletter subscribers may remember. While I love their intricate and tactile nature on touchscreens, I'm not sure the progression of the series played to its strengths, but rather weighed them down with the need to navigate larger areas. Regardless of my personal reservations, the series has continued to be popular.

Now somehow I had acquired the impression that, after three The Room titles, Fireproof Games were moving on to something else. Thus imagine my surprise while wandering the Indie Room at Rezzed to see the legend The Room: Old Sins splashed over an array of tablets and PCs. A tablet was available and I didn't need much coaxing to pick it up and run with it.

I played to the end of the first section of the demo, Foyer, and it appears to be as Roomy as every other Room title. If you haven't played with any of The Room titles, it goes like this: examine objects, find little knobs and switches to unlock surreal clockwork mechanisms, absorb Lovecrafian story, use eyeglass to see hidden weird stuff. Egad, I don't know why but I love the eyeglass but this probably goes back to initial experiences with Undying (Dreamworks Interactive, 2001) which had a similar ability called scrying that the game all but shouted at you "here is a place to use it!" Sometimes the most mechanically simple and untaxing button-pressing can be rewarding. Who knew.

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I spoke briefly to the developers on the Rezzed stand and it did not sound like there were any big departures from The Room template. The biggest change, it seems, is that there are no loading screens and everything is built into a single hub, a dollhouse. It also sounds like this is a story distinct from the previous titles.

If you were hoping the series was going to do something new and exciting, I'm not sure you're going to find that here. But if you're looking for more classic Room action, then you've probably only got a few months to wait.

The Room: Old Sins is planned for release on Android and iOS later this year.

Interested in other games I've dabbled with? Check out the series index!

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