It's a very, very, very fine house

Review: The Room-Old Sins

iOS Universal •

The Room: Old Sins is the fourth title in the vaunted The Room series of puzzle games, the first of which came out way back when the iPad 3 and iPhone 4S were the pinnacles of mobile gaming. The first game was a revelation, mixing cutting edge and realistic graphics with a tactile feel that you could only get from a touchscreen. The next two games in the series offered more of the same touchy-feely puzzles while expanding the size and scope of the world in which the puzzles existed. The Room: Old Sins doesn’t do anything new to change the well worn formula, feeling much like every other game in the series. Luckily, that’s exactly what we were hoping for.

Instead of entire mansions or estates as in the previous two versions, The Room: Old Sins goes back to basics and sticks you in one room, a musty old attic. Luckily, this attic is the resting place for a creepy old doll house, and it’s in this diminutive manse that you’ll spend your time unraveling all of the game’s new secrets and Old Sins.

Puzzles, puzzles everywhere and not a place to think…

Gameplay is exactly what you’d expect if you’re a The Room veteran, with the exception that you’re not stuck in one location at a time. In the past, you’d go to a location and unravel all its secrets before moving onto the next puzzle-filled set piece. In Old Sins, dollhouse rooms remain locked until you find the key, but you’re free to exit and enter any of the rooms you’ve opened. You’re not just free to do this, it’s required, as parts for puzzles can be found here, there, and everywhere. In an early puzzle, I had to find a piece in the kitchen which opened something in the study which then allowed me to go back to the kitchen and, eventually, unravel all the study’s mysteries. This back-and-forth makes Old Sins feel more lived in than the other games in the series. [To be fair, this may have been the case in The Room 3, but Dave played it so long ago and he has the memory of Leonard Shelby mixed in with a little Dory, so there’s no way he’s remembering. -ed.]

Eye wonder what eye’m looking for in this puzzle? [Hint: it’s the eye]
Old Sins also has a bit of story mixed in, continuing whatever tale Fireproof was trying to convey in the previous games. Honestly, I have no idea what any of it means nor do I really care. Something about a new element, tentacles, insanity, and more tentacles. That’s really all you need to know, and you’re free to ignore the story bits and simply concentrate on the puzzles.

Speaking of puzzles, there are a lot of them. Each room is filled with doodads and contraptions begging to be pushed, pulled, and twisted. You still have your eyepiece from the earlier games, which open up hidden worlds inside of many of these items as well, revealing puzzles inside of puzzles.

Speaking of puzzles within puzzles…

If you’ve been a fan of the previous The Room game, this is a no-brainer. It’s everything you’ve loved about the earlier games, only new. If you haven’t dabbled in The Room yet, why not start here? There’s no real story to worry about, so feel free to pick this one up and then go back and play through the others when you realize how fantastic The Room can be. The only people who wouldn’t enjoy this romp through puzzle-box heaven would be those that failed to enjoy any of the previous games. There’s nothing new here to change your mind, but, that said, if you don’t like The Room games, just what the hell is wrong with you?

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