Maybe it was the tweets I saw promoting the game’s launch on Android. Maybe it was the reminder to myself about unfinished games that I put in my bio beneath my articles. Maybe it was just the fact I was sick last week and looking for a distraction, but I finally finished The Room: Old Sins on my iPad. It remains highly recommended.
What I’ve covered about earlier Room games and even for this one still holds: Room games are very fun, somewhat easy, extremely attractive puzzle games, all based on the idea of figuring out how to unlock boxes and other contraptions.
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Old Sins has a Lovecraftian story told across some cutscenes and several pages of lore text, but the main story, as with any good puzzle game, is your jousts with the game’s challenges.
Previous Room games were divided into chapters, each chapter involving a room full of locked boxes, chests and other objects. Using touch controls, you swipe at the objects, looking for hidden knobs and levers, figuring out the intricacies of how to get everything apart. This newer game moves that concept to a model house full of rooms you can gradually access. Each room is full of puzzles, but the rooms are not meant to be solved one at a time. Puzzles sometimes span multiple rooms. More often, objects you obtain while solving puzzles in one room will lead to another.
Solutions are not always hard to come by. You can often just brute force your way to solutions by tapping and twisting every possible thing. But solutions are nearly always a visual pleasure, as boxes unfold and tables transform, as mechanical submarines tilt and complex fountains roll their gears and spit water.
The Room: Old Sins has been part of a growing pile of supposedly short games that I’ve not managed to finish, my time getting sucked into one console epic after another. Logically, I should be able to knock through the rest of the Dandaras and SteamWorld Digs of the world in a few more commutes or nighttime sessions, but the gravitational pull of one epic after another has proven too strong. Finishing Old Sins was the rare positive of being sick last week that at least kept me, briefly bed-ridden, from God of War and Assassin’s Creed Origins so I could dabble with a short game and solve my way to an enjoyable conclusion.