No word of a lie, I have been desperately, impatiently and eagerly awaiting the latest episode of The Room app series.
The Room Three was originally due to be released in early summer, but as the designers wanted to test it to death and ensure all was working before they unleashed it on the world, it ended up being delayed. Finally, last week, I got the word – it was in the App Store!
I could not wait to download it and the timing couldn’t have been better. With the long weekend stretching out before me, what better way to spend it than by immersing myself in a whole new set of rooms, courtesy of Fireproof Games?
Even though you can start with The Room Three, I would highly recommend that you play from the beginning with The Room and The Room Two. Beyond the fact that they give you some more background to the story, it also means you get to savor an even longer experience. I envy you.
How it works
I’ll assume that you haven’t seen any of The Room games when I write this part of the review. Hopefully it will be enough to stir your curiosity.
Like many puzzle games, The Room Three expects you to explore all of your surroundings, zoom in on points of interest, and pick up items that will prove useful at some point in the future. These go into your inventory and can be inspected at any time. The inspection process is a good idea, as a few of the items you pick up contain secrets of their own.
Just as its predecessors did, The Room Three gives you an eyepiece early in the game, which reveals hidden diagrams and messages. You are taken to room after room of models, apparatuses, machines and letters, each with the ability to unlock doors, reveal keys and help you on your way.
The letters, written by The Craftsman, speak of dire consequences, give warnings, and yet applaud you for your successes as you move through the rooms.
This third episode is probably the darkest of the series with a couple of mild scares, but nothing traumatic. The atmosphere is creepy with a vaguely insidious sound track. It’s very well done.
Something at which The Room has always excelled is its hint system. You can choose to ignore the hints altogether and try to go it alone, but if you get stuck, you’ll find them mighty helpful.
Each task has a specific number of hints that receive themselves over time. You’ll get hint number one, and if that doesn’t give you enough, hint number two will come up a few minutes later, and so on.
The hints are just that – hints. They don’t tell you exactly what to do; they just gently push you in the right direction.
Another great design element is the way the app closes down a section or puzzle once you’ve solved it. It stops the second-guessing of retracing your steps and wondering if you’ve missed something. Yes, sometimes you have to revisit a case, box or workbench, but if you tap on it and the buttons, lights and switches no longer operate, you know they’ve done their bit.
The graphics and mechanics are simply beautiful, just as they were with the previous episodes. You’ll be as enchanted with the design as you are challenged by the puzzles.
There are a number of chapters within the episode, each requiring you to capture a pyramid to take back to the entrance room. Once you’ve captured them all, it’s time for the finale.
When I played it
I found myself in the awful position of wanting to make this long-awaited app last, but impatiently dying to see it all in one go. The impatient side of me won; I had it finished in less than two days. I just couldn’t help myself.
The Room Three is as addictive as I’d hoped it would be, and it offered lots of game play for the money. I also discovered at the end that it gives a bonus of alternate endings. I haven’t gone through those yet. I’ll save something for tomorrow.
You’ll probably find, as I did, that you’ll be faced with puzzles from time to time that look so complicated, you can’t even imagine where to start. I’m here to tell you that you’ll be just fine. Those hints will get you through. The more experience you have with this kind of game, the better off you’ll be.
Again, if you haven’t yet tried them, I can’t recommend The Room and The Room Two enough. They’re both fantastic and they’ll get you into the rhythm of how The Room Three works.
So here I am, with the game I’ve been anticipating for months, already finished. It’s like getting to the end of a great book, or a TV series; you’ve loved every minute but you wish there was more. Now you have to wait for at least another year before anything new comes down the pike.
I felt this way about the Harry Potter books and Downton Abbey. Don’t judge me.
If you haven’t gathered by now, I am a huge fan of this game and its predecessors. When I think of the dreck that’s out there for so much more money, I weep for the younger generation.
The Room Three is worth every penny you’ll spend on it. It’s one of my top choices for the year.
Brilliant design. Great value for money. Wonderful puzzles.
- You’ll wish there was more.
- The Room Three Cost: $4.99
- Seller: Fireproof Games
- Devices: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch (Android launched later)
- Rating: E10+ (Everyone 10 and older)