Fireproof Games’ award-winning The Room is a successful Switch port that just needed to happen. Originally released for mobile devices, it’s been a popular title among IOS and Android users alike for a few years now. I first played The Room when it initially released and it’s just as mystical an experience now as it was then.
With all the wonderment of an escape room experience, The Room is a wonderfully put together, intuitive puzzle game that will make you feel genuinely like a genius when you solve one of its tactile and engaging conundrums. Before you start playing, the game asks you to choose which mode you want to play in; TV mode or handheld mode. Having played through the whole game before using touch-screen controls, I was interested to see what difference it would make to play in TV mode with point-and-click style gameplay. In all honesty, it does lose a little bit of that tangibility that makes The Room so fun and intriguing, but it’s fairly smooth and intuitive all the same.
As far as gameplay goes, all the puzzles are unique. The Room uses a wide variety of puzzle styles, ranging from visual to physical to memory puzzles. Each idea is presented in such a unique and original way. I never felt like I got into a pattern of pushing buttons or turning levers and I certainly never got bored. Everything builds up nicely and, while the difficulty doesn’t necessarily increase, there are moments throughout every stage that are more challenging where you can, by all means, use a hint. The hints are actually very helpful and get more obvious the more you use so you can have as much or as little help as you want. It’s a nice touch and makes for a more seamless playthrough without hours of being stuck or frustrated.
Sometimes you’ll find items throughout the course of a level that are stored in your inventory slots. Some of these items need to be interacted with in order to help you, or can just have straight up answers etched on the side. The dynamic of the eyepiece is a really cool addition to the gameplay as well, giving you plenty of ideas to exhaust before you consult any hints. It’s always a safe bet that if you’re stuck, equipping your eyepiece can reveal a hidden cypher or some suspicious fingerprints that give away a hidden button.
After playing the Switch version in both TV mode and handheld mode, I can safely say that, although it does feel a little more physically removed, the controls in TV mode are a lot less finicky. The touch controls leave a little to be desired in terms of zooming in and out with some of your taps and pinches not registering properly. This is by no means game breaking in the slightest and is such a minor issue that you may not even notice it. It’s also entirely a matter of preference and the big screen does The Room’s lovely graphics justice.
The whole game is oozing with classy, suave steampunk vibes with its moody colour palette, sleek, solid wood puzzle boxes with brass details, and its unmistakably mysterious soundscape. The sound effects add a lot to the experience as well. Everything makes the exact noise you expect and want it to. Buttons click, keys clunk, dials creak as you twist them. It’s what drives the gameplay forward and it does it in such a seamless way, really making The Room’s puzzle boxes come to life.
The attention to detail is excellent and, alongside the atmospheric music, will keep you immersed and intrigued throughout the whole game. My playthrough lasted me around 2 ½ to 3 hours so it’s a fairly short and sweet title, but I’m almost certain that The Room 2 will be popping up on the Nintendo Switch eShop sometime soon. Make sure you have the pleasure of solving this wonderful little mystery on Nintendo Switch!