Today I thought I'd take a break from the whole diary thing and do a little review thing of a series of iOS games I've been playing on my iPad. These games are The Room, The Room Two, and The Room Three, by Fireproof Games.
The first game in the series starts you off with a short tutorial level. This introduces you to the mechanics of the games direct interaction style interface, the puzzles where you figure out hints of how the next step of the puzzle is done, and the games creepy occult vibe. The conceit of the game is that you're stuck in a room with more and more complex puzzles to solve to eventually try to discover what is going on.
The puzzles reminded me a lot of Myst, which I played back when it was originally a computer game. The main difference being that all the elements you are interacting with are much closer visually, making it easier (for me anyway) to figure out what you're supposed to be doing. I found the puzzles just challenging enough to be solvable while still providing a sense of delight and accomplishment as each one is completed and the next presents itself.
The second game in the series is the first one available as a universal binary for both iPhone and iPad. It builds on the world revealed in the first game, but includes a tutorial level again, introducing things you learned in the first game as well as the new interactions for navigating the multiple locations in each room. Letters left for you add to the immersion and atmosphere of the world the game operates in.
The level of difficulty of the puzzles is marginally harder than the first installment, but still solvable and satisfying. The letters you find add a nice sense of an evolving plot beyond just solving the next puzzle, which i really enjoyed.
The third game again picks up where you were left at the end of the previous one. This time you are navigating a more fleshed out series of locations, moving from one room to another as needed to solve the puzzles. The mysterious occult atmosphere is again present, more developed this time (it felt to me).
This time, instead of a simple linear single play through, multiple endings are offered. I have yet to dive in to see how this works or what the other endings entail, but I'm enthusiastic to try it out.
These games were a very entertaining and delightful experience, and I literally couldn't put them down. I highly recommend them to anyone who likes puzzle games that reward exploration and observation. And while they do have limited replay value, they are cheap enough to still be worth giving them a shot.