There are few mobile games that I would equate the words “blockbuster franchise” with when compared to the midnight launch lines stretched around the corner for your favorite console game. There is one series, however, that could be regarded as the biggest kept secret in mobile gaming. The Room 3 dropped sometime last week in a flurry of hushed gestures and whispers between friends. I only had to speak its name in passing to one friend to send her running home to her iPad. There are only three things you really need to know about the newest installment of The Room franchise.
- The game strings together a series of puzzles wrapped around boxes with one puzzle seamlessly opening up to the next.
- It’s out right now.
- The Room 3 is one of the best mobile games you’ll play all year if not one of the best games all around.
You don’t have to have played the first two installments of the series to be able to jump into the third, but you should anyway since each one eases you into this beautiful world of puzzles that slowly unfold with each puzzle you solve. Fireproof Studios understands putting something on an iPad means that you want to touch it, spin it around, and often feel the blocks snap into place as you solve the final piece of the puzzle. The game is simply visceral, filled with hidden nooks to poke at and buttons to press. With each game, the puzzles find a way to move from outside the box to spread to other areas in The Room 2 or in the case of our newest game, across the world.
After surviving the outcome of the previous game, we find ourselves back to prodding puzzles and leaping through dimensions thanks to the elusive Craftsman, who is somehow tied into all the boxes and manages to leave you mysterious notes all along the way. As I mentioned before, the puzzles this time feel more like a connected world as you move from a central hub to solve puzzles in other rooms. That means that there will be a little backtracking involved, but movement is as easy as tapping on the screen to move from point to point.
The hint system makes its return in order to keep players in the world and off the YouTube walkthroughs. Puzzles can be tricky. Sometimes they’re just too smart. Other times, they’re just evil. The game blinks a question mark to give you a small hint when it feels like you’re just poking around for no good reason. With enough time, the game will supply a more detailed second hint before simply telling you what to do next. It’s clever but you feel a little dumb as soon as that question mark starts to pop up. Even the trickiest puzzles won’t be tearing you apart any time soon.
The new continuous world allows for puzzles to move across areas, give the theme more of a solid feeling, and give players the chance to check out some alternative endings, if you’re smart enough to figure them out. With amazing visuals, clever puzzles, and a world seeped in mystery; The Room 3 is the kind of game I would wait in line for–but I don’t have to.
Feature Image Credit: Fireproof Studios