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Review: The Room Two – An Atmospheric Masterpiece

by Wessel Minnie (Sillicur)  Posted Thursday, March 20, 2014 7:50:00 AM

 

The Room is seen as one of the best mobile games ever created, winning a British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) award, showing the world just how great mobile gaming can be. Fireproof Studios has done it again with The Room Two, delivering a sequel that improves on the original while maintaining the atmosphere and difficulty of the first game. The Room Two delivers a puzzle solving horror mobile game that is a brilliant and worthy successor to The Room.

And it succeeds in something only rarely achieved in a mobile game.

Scary as hell.

The World and its Story – A Wonderfully Eerie Experience

The story revolves around a mysterious scientist known only as “AS”, driven insane by unknown forces propelling him towards uncovering new, fascinating things about the world. The player jumps into the shoes of an unknown man, trapped and blinded in a crypt where he must solve a series of puzzles left by “AS”.

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As the game progresses, small parts of the story is uncovered via notes left by the mad scientist, further hinting at the Null element, which was introduced ever so briefly in the first game.

The story is told in chapters, of which The Room Two has six in total. These chapters are made unique by being set in fully formed, well crafted areas that are filled to the brim with their own personalities. The crypt is a dark, dusty tomb filled with mystery while an automated séance room full of automatic writing and spirit cabinets that sent chills down my spine.

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The game scared me, not because of bloody graphical deaths or horrendous creatures, but because of its subtle, eerie environments. All the areas have their own little twists and turns, so throughout the game I was always surprised, shocked or downright frightened. The beauty of The Room Two lies in the unknown, from coming across a disturbing message to opening a puzzle box, the game creates a sense of mystery and unease throughout its environments and story.

Gameplay – Satisfying Puzzle Solving

The Room Two is all about solving intricate puzzles to progress throughout the game and delivers with a satisfying puzzles solving experience through well thought out and unique scenarios. At the start of the game, you recover a special lens that is used to uncover hidden objects and messages that are otherwise not directly visible.

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Throughout the game you will be manipulating objects by swiping and tapping, pulling down handles, flicking switches, turning keys or opening boxes to name a few. Controlling these actions are made wonderfully easy with smooth and reliable touch-screen controls that did not fail me once during the 4 hours of gameplay.

These smooth controls foster a connection between the player and the puzzle objects they are trying to manipulate as each double-tap to zoom in, each swipe to look around and ever turn of a key brought me more and more in touch with the environment to the point where it felt so natural I forgot I was actually playing on a touch-screen.

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The puzzles are not only unique and difficult, but they are also well balanced. By that I mean that even though the difficulty becomes quite high and delivers an “eureka!” moment when you finally figured it out, it never becomes overly frustrating, which is a very hard balance to pull off in my opinion. This can, at least party, be attributed to the atmospheric brilliance the game creates via its outstanding graphics and sound.

Graphics and Sound – An Atmospheric Masterpiece

Graphically the game is plainly put gorgeous. The dimly lit environments with light shining through in small splashes create an atmosphere that I would not think possible on a mobile device. The detail in every object, dark corners that show an item or story element further create a sense of unknown fear. Objects, from a chest opening to a puzzle falling into place is perfectly animated to create the most satisfying experience when progressing throughout a puzzle.

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The sound is expertly done, as all the background noises, clicks, bangs, crashes and mechanical grinds of a puzzle device is just perfectly timed. Whispers in the dark are genuinely scary delivering a sense of urgency and fear I have not yet experienced in a mobile game. The music throughout the game finishes off a well rounded audio experience, letting you know when you are in a dire situation without ever becoming the centre of attention, which is just plainly said fantastic!

Closing Thoughts

The Room Two is an atmospheric masterpiece, difficult and just about everything a gamer would want from a mobile game. The game instills horror in the player without ever really showing anything too gruesome, which is an extremely difficult feat to pull off in itself while the puzzles are a joy to solve.

If I had to nitpick, I would say that the game is a bit too short with only 4 hours of gameplay, but that does depend on how fast you solve the puzzles. The hint system, although it can be turned off, is something that is so tempting to use that it spoils the fun of figuring out the puzzles yourself if you are easily swayed.

All in all, the game is a must play and even though it is early in the year, I can say with all honesty that it is a real contender for the top mobile game of 2014, so go download and play it right now!

The Room Two has been recently released for Android and iOS devices. The game is well worth the price of only R24,99 and can be found on the Playstore here and iTunes here. It requires an average download of around 279mb as well as Android OS version 3.2 and up to play. During my time with the game I used my Nexa Orion 10.1, a powerful yet affordable Quad Core 10 Inch Tablet to enjoy the four hours of puzzle solving brilliance the game provides.

Score: 9.5/10

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Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not MWEB Connect (Pty) Ltd  


 
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