Explore puzzles within contraptions within otherworldly apparatuses in The Room 4: Old Sins.
Format: PC via Steam
First playthrough time: 3.5 hours
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The Room 4: Old Sins is a 3D puzzle exploration game. Players must investigate their surroundings, to find pieces to progressively more intricate contraptions. Very much like prior games in the series, The Room 4 can be thought of as a digital puzzle box that manipulates the scale of human perception until physics no longer makes sense yet players still crave to find an even smaller contraption under the next lid.
One of the main features of The Room series is featured prominently within The Room 4, and that is the physical feeling of turn gears, pulling levers, opening panels, and other tactical interactions of manipulating the contraptions. Where other games say ‘press E to use’, The Room allows to reach out and manipulate all the tiny details of a contraption without feeling clunky or overly sensitive. This provides an incredible level of engagement. Turned the key the wrong way? Players will see and hear it jiggle and stop in the lock just as they might when trying to unlock a door in real life. This breathes an immense amount of realism into the bizarre contraptions that seem to use every ounce of interior space to fit more foldout panels, boxes, and drawers.
Despite the seemingly impossible mechanical marvels featured in The Room 4, the game provides a very realistic and detailed world. The Room 4 goes back to the original roots of the first The Room game, focusing entirely on a single mechanical dollhouse that contains more and more secrets. Using the advances from the story of the prior games, players can shrink their perspective and move deeper and deeper into the dollhouse and the contraptions therein, examining machines of impossibly small size while feeling full scale. The environment is fleshed out with details to the point that the player has to investigate each new room thoroughly to see all the things they can interact with. The detail, textures, and lighting of these spaces work wonders to make the surroundings feel realistic and make it easy for players to identify how what they’re looking at all fits and folds together.
The one thing I was a little iffy on in The Room 4 was some of the film-based sections. In contrast with the typical 3D rendering of The Room series, The Room 4 had a few effects that were clearly filmed or adapted from film. These were pretty rare, but I didn’t feel like they lived up to the quality of the rest of the game. This was a pretty minor thing and very rarely used, but I think the same story could have been communicated with the traditional notes and letters typical of The Room series.
Overall, I greatly enjoy The Room 4: Old Sins. I thought it was another great installment in the series and it continued to dazzle me with the intricate contraptions and tactical detail of manipulating them. I liked the little breadcrumbs of the background story to bring the world to life and the realistic visuals. I did find the film-based effects out-of-place, but this was a pretty minor thing. I recommend The Room 4: Old Sins to fans of the series and new players interested in investigative puzzles.