The Room 4: Old Sins PC Review
If you’ve ever done an escape room in real life, you’ll understand that they cater towards the average person; you often don’t have to be a genius at puzzles or understand things that aren’t common knowledge to complete them in time. Fireproof Games have always used that idea and implemented them into their games so everyone can enjoy them; The Room 4: Old Sins is no different. Once again, Fireproof Games continue to deliver some of the best escape room games I’ve played.
The first thing you notice upon starting The Room 4 is the design, more specifically that it is completely different from the previous games instead of having lockboxes inside lockboxes you have a doll house to explore. Most rooms are locked at the start and you must investigate the current rooms and discover items to unlock new areas, meaning switching between the different rooms is a vital part of solving other areas puzzles. The dollhouse can be a bit intimidating at first because there are so many things you can interact with, however, once you realise most of it can’t be touched right now you start to pinpoint what you’re supposed to be doing next.
As mentioned previously, the puzzles in this game cater towards all levels, so if you’re looking for genius level puzzles only, then The Room series might not be for you. All the puzzles can be completed by trial and error and the only time you’d really get stuck is if you didn’t initially realise that you can interact with something. This, however, doesn’t dampen the overwhelming feeling of accomplishment when you complete a room, and the puzzles are still enjoyable and interactive.
Entering a new room could easily become frustrating because you’re met with so many things you could interact with, yet Fireproof Games did a great job at using lighting, sound/visual effects, and the environment to direct the player to the next puzzle. Once you enter a room all the main things you can interact with are brightly lit, while the background is dimmed out to stop the player from endlessly clicking where they’re not supposed to when trying to find the next puzzle.
Even though these things are in place to stop the player from wondering where to go too much, there are still a few times where I found myself getting lost. Luckily, you’re given hints after a certain amount of time that also help with guiding the player to the next puzzle. There are 3 hints for every puzzle; the first guiding you to the puzzle, the second hinting at what to do, and the third pretty much tells you what to do. I only used the first hint a couple of times and it was nice to have them there, so I didn’t spend 2 hours frantically clicking on everything to no avail.
The dollhouse design provides that feeling of a creepy abandoned location where even the story is shrouded only to be uncovered piece by piece as you make progress. Whilst the story, as is to be expected of a puzzle game, is loosely present, the realistic ambient sounds make the game more relaxing while also immersing the player fully into the experience making completing the game in a single playthrough an easy task.
The Room games have always initially been released as phone games and are then ported over to PC later. While they continue to deliver great ports that are rebuilt from the ground up, it would also be nice to see some exclusive additions for PC users. For example, the whole game is played with your mouse and the left click button, however, this sometimes causes issues when trying to move the camera or interact with something. I found myself many times trying to interact with things and instead it moved the camera around. I understand that on phones there might not be a solution to this, however for the port they could’ve made the left mouse button move the camera and the right mouse button interact with objects.
I’ve played every game in The Room series so far and I just can’t get enough, Fireproof Games have delivered yet another great port built from the ground up for PC. The Room 4: Old Sins is by far the best one to date; the story, gameplay, and atmosphere all tie together perfectly to create a mysterious story and Lovecraftian vibe. I hope for the next instalment they will push the series even further giving us a deeper look into this world and its mysteries.