Ten years on since its first release, we look at The Room on Nintendo Switch and see if the enthralling puzzler holds up. Fireproof Games originally released the game on iPad back in 2012, but it’s now available on Switch, other mobile devices, and Steam alongside sequels and even a VR title.
Upon entering the game, you find yourself in a room, occupied by a gigantic safe with a note on top of it. Here, you’re told to crack the codes and piece together the puzzles in order to open the safe, then continue through the mind-bending mysteries to find the answers to your questions as you go.
There are four levels where your goal is to open the puzzle box in front of you – don’t worry, they’re not like the Hellraiser one. You find clues, codes, and keys as you go that slot into locks of all shapes and sizes, opening the way to more conundrums. Can’t find what you’re looking for? Try pressing buttons on the feet of the box in front of you. If you didn’t realize those symbols were buttons then don’t feel bad, because neither did I. That’s the beauty of this game – everything is hidden in plain sight so that it leaves you going “oh, of course” when you figure it out.
I think my favorite thing, other than the dark and almost steampunk aesthetics, is the puzzle where you need to figure out a code of numbers by rotating your view and picking them out between mixed-up pieces of each number. That probably made no sense at all, so here’s a screengrab of what I mean. I just think it’s an ingenious design that I’ve not seen before.
I will wholly admit I’m useless with puzzles, but I still rise to the challenge and am totally fascinated by the creativity that goes into them. This also leads me to safely say that working together with a partner to complete The Room is a great experience as well. There are (thankfully) clues available to lend a helping hand to those not adept at solving puzzles, too – it’s me. I’m not adept. Better puzzle solvers than I may not require them, but they’re there to help.
In terms of how long The Room is, it’ll only run you a couple of hours, perhaps a little more if you (like me) need a few head-scratching breaks to think about the situation at hand. But you know what? Short games are underrated. Give me more two- to three-hour completion times, please.
The only real drawback for me are the control options. I’m not a massive fan of touchscreen use on my Switch – mostly due to then having to clean it every five minutes – so after tackling The Room, I was left with a very fingerprinty screen. You can play it with a single Joy-Con, but this requires the console to be docked. Having two Joy-Cons attached to the Switch, but not being able to use them, feels quite odd.
If you’ve somehow not played The Room yet, then I highly recommend it. It’s often on sale on the eShop, but the paltry $9.99/£6.99 price tag is well worth the few hours of brain-teasing you get. There are no signs of aging despite this game being a decade old and it holds up as one of the best puzzle games of all time.
The Room Switch review
Ten years on, The Room remains a fantastic puzzler game with excellent design and plenty of head-scratching levels to tackle, all for a pocket-friendly price.