Rooms the Unsolvable Puzzle is a puzzle game that is designed to pick your brains! In it, you play as Anne, a child that finds herself drawn to a mysterious mansion full of rooms. The fate of the place’s owner and her connection to it all will slowly reveal itself as she solves the brain teasers on each room.
The game’s art style is very reminiscent of Tim Burton’s animated films. Slim, big headed characters that move with a slight hunch, and themes leaning on the eerie and supernatural. Still, this is not a scary game, therefore the palette is bright and any depiction of violence is played for laughs.
Color is a big part of the game, since it is used as one of the clues to figuring out the different puzzles. It is then important for each scene to pop, and the backdrops really come to life as you put each piece in its corresponding place.
The beginning cutscenes are made as if told by shadow puppets, using that as a difference between the past and the present. Still, whether in color or black and white, these cutscenes are made with beautiful illustrations and amazing design.
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The story begins with a tale of the Toymaker, a crafty individual who made his wealth by constructing innovative toys, yet he harbours a dark secret.
What it is we are not told yet, but we do know that one day he vanished alongside his mansion, as if they never existed. All of these are being read by Anne, a curious little child that is reading past her bedtime. As she puts the book down, a strange rumbling can be heard outside.
She goes to investigate, only to discover it is the mansion of the Toymaker; unmistakable because of its puzzle-like design. Anne musters up her courage to go in, and this is where we start the game.
The game, as its name suggests, is divided into rooms, each one a different puzzle. As you beat the levels, you unlock more, until you finish every room in the mansion. This is not your only goal; if you beat levels with as few moves as possible, you get jigsaw pieces. Collect enough and a whole new mansion is unlocked, with its own rooms and rules. What’s more, each mansion comes with a basement that has even more levels, and the hardest ones yet. They even come with unique outfits and powers for Anne to use.
Now what exactly do you do in these levels? Well, this whole building is a giant clockwork machine, making it so you can move the sections of a room around as long as you stand on it. Your goal is simple, but achieving it is a different matter: get to the exit.
At first, it is as simple as moving the place where you are towards the exit. But these rooms have multiple levels, and each section has its own walls and sometimes ladders. Understanding the order in which you have to do every move can be quite complicated, especially as the game keeps adding new things to mix it up. There are phones, for example, that when used teleport you to another section of the room that also has a phone, as long as it is the same color.
Opposite to them are the wardrobes, that when used switch the features of a section with that of another section with a similarly colored wardrobe, yet you stay where you are. As these mechanics switch and combine, levels get more and more complicated, making this a game for people really wanting to test their brains out.
The game does offer some assistance. Your companion, a light lamp, can illuminate how the room should look in the end, and if you pay attention to the background of each section you can see that they fit in particular ways. These are simply clues leading you to a correct answer, not the answer itself, so don’t expect any hand holding here.
Rooms the Unsolvable Puzzle is a fantastic game in its own right, and for puzzle fanatics even more so. Prepare to lose hours on end as you try to put the game down, only to try one more room.
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