I was browsing the app store idly last night to see what I needed to add to my wish list (I have a self imposed rule about buying new games till I finish the ones I’ve already downloaded) when I saw a banner ad slide by for Fireproof Games’ The Room Three. Pavlov’s dog-like, I hit buy before I even fully registered what I was seeing. Yes, I broke my rule for about the thirtieth time, but I don’t regret a thing.
The Room series of games all take a similar path: you (the invisible protagonist) are stuck in a room/a series of rooms/some odd dream state/inside of objects and you must manipulate those objects/rooms/your environment/your line of sight to solve puzzles and advance the story. There’s a tactile sense to this game that’s rare in games: you are twisting and turning objects to peer at every corner of them, tugging at drawers and flipping open tops. It makes the game as immersive as any iOS game I’ve played.
Like the two previous versions of the game, there’s a story involved. Generally, stories are my favorite part of games, and I am kind of surprised to find myself typing this but in this game the story feels very secondary. I have a vague idea of what’s going on, but I’m too busy looking for clues in every written word to really pay close attention to it. I don’t think it’s necessary to play the games in order: it does give you a slight edge when solving puzzles because you have a general sense of how things work, but it doesn’t take long to pick it up. And if you get completely stuck, there’s a series of hints that unlock to guide you — starting with a very vague one to point you in the right direction and growing in detail.
Halloween may be over, but with the end of daylight savings time and the beginning of cold dark nights, this is exactly the type of game I want to curl up with and play.
The Room Three is available for $4.99 on the app store and is recommended for the iPhone 5 and above, iPad 3 & above.