The Room: Old Sins review
App Reviewed on: iPad Air 2
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I’ll preface this review by saying that one of my biggest gaps in mobile gaming experiences is The Room games. Now that that’s out of the way, let me say that playing The Room: Old Sins as a new player to the series feels like an absolute revelation. This game is incredibly detailed, well paced, and immaculately designed. Do yourself a favor and pick it up.
For the uninitiated, The Room series can best be described as physical puzzle games. Instead of manipulating abstract shapes or interacting with people, these games are all about exploring a space and interacting with the objects within them to solve puzzles and uncover a mystery.
In the case of Old Sins, you play as a character that is investigating a dollhouse with a magical eyepiece that lets them shrink down and explore each individual scaled-down room and space. Along the way, you’ll learn the secrets of this house, which involves a lot of wandering from room to room to gather, combine, and manipulate objects that then give you access to new areas.
There are games like The Room, and some of them are quite good (see Agent A), but Old Sins sets the bar of quality for this kind of experience ridiculously high. The dollhouse you explore is incredibly detailed, and the rooms and objects you come across are not only varied, but feel completely unique.
Every location in Old Sins feels bursting with possibility, but the game never feels aimless. It’s relatively easy to maintain forward progress in the game because all of the objects and rooms in the game have a logic to them that is clear to figure out through careful observation and a little persistence. In the rare occasions where a puzzle isn’t so clear, Old Sins has a great and clever hint system that can give you just enough of a nudge in the right direction to get you back on track.
Slight room for improvement
Solving puzzles and discovering new areas in Old Sins is immensely satisfying, and the game lets you experience this early and often throughout. That said, there are times when Old Sins isn’t quite firing on all cylinders, which can take you out of the experience.
Specifically, there are some objects in Old Sins that don’t respond to inputs the way you’d expect. In some cases, you have to manipulate certain things using control methods that feel a bit unintuitive, which might not even be immediately apparent. Because of this, you can find yourself in situations where you know exactly how to solve a puzzle, but you feel like you don’t just because you don’t know the right way to tap or drag on something to make it do what you want it to do.
The bottom line
The Room: Old Sins is an incredible game. It creates an amazing sense of place, peppers it with uniquely detailed objects and puzzles, and paces it all out in a way that makes playing it a pure delight. There may be some times where it isn’t so easy to understand how you are supposed to move forward, but these moments are so few and far between that they’re easy to look past.