Let's be honest - I'm a weakling when it comes to horror games. Even something mildly creepy will be plenty to give me nightmares, and I actively shy away from most titles that have "horror" in either the description or the name. So it's not really surprising that the supernatural elements in The Room series were plenty to give me a good scare, particularly one scene in The Room 2.

One thing The Room series excels at is creating a vaguely unsettling vibe throughout the various environments and puzzles within the game. As you piece together the storyline from letters and other clues left for you to find, you'll slowly start to understand the surreal plotline that underscores the puzzles you're solving.

In the second iteration of The Room, one of the locations you'll encounter is a room with a table and a variety of devices or objects to interact with, including tarot cards and a box that contains a spirit slate, on which words appear as a message from the other side. The entire layout evokes a Victorian-esque séance. It's a vibe that only grows stronger as you solve puzzles, and the spirits appear to grow angry, causing lights to flicker and objects to break.

The Room 2 iOS screenshot - An early box-based puzzle

It's unsettling to say the least, and the crux of the tension lies in the fact that you don't know what, exactly, you're going to be finding – only that whatever force is behind the room seems to be getting more and more upset. As it turns out, your séance is incredibly successful, as towards the end of the chapter a dead man appears in a chair at the table.

He's not a particularly gruesome dead man, just one who looks like he's been dead and dried up for a while. Nor does he jump out at you – he simply appears in a chair. None of this made a difference to me. During my first playthrough, intensely waiting to see what puzzle was next, as soon as he appeared I screamed loud enough to send the cat running and dropped my tablet. A good quarter of an hour went by before I went back into the game to retrieve the pocket watch he offered me, though I resolved to play the rest of the game in a well-lit space after that.

It is, perhaps, a testament to the puzzles in the Room series that I was not only willing, but eager to play the sequels that came after The Room 2. They continue to be one of my favorite puzzle games, and while I haven't encountered any more scenes that make me scream, I do still play them with the lights on.

Posted in: News, Opinion
Tagged With: The Room 2, scariest games
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