The Room

LQ: 9.2


Brain grade: 9.4
Fun score: 9.0

Game Type: ESRB Rating: N/A Platform/Console: , LWK Recommended Age: 8+ Thinking Skills Used: , ,


In this meta-physical puzzle game your only objective is to unlock a large box presented in front of you. This is not as simple as it my seem, however: each step to unlocking the box presents new puzzles to the player. As players manipulate the box’s mechanisms and scour the box for clues the object itself shifts its form to reveal new mechanisms that can be manipulated. Other than the cryptic messages the box reveals to you at times there are no instructions provided to the player; the only way to progress is through exploration of the mysterious contraption itself. This game contains no inappropriate content, but the puzzles themselves may be tricky for players under 8.



Getting started and then maintaining attention and effort to tasks

mzl.yowwggvy.480x480-75The puzzles in The Room can be misleading to first-time players. In the first level the box has four sides, each with their own mechanisms and/or clues of how to progress towards opening the box. Players are given no hints as to how these pieces interact with one another nor are they aware of the order in which to solve them. In this initial state of bewilderment is where the player can systematically develop an understanding of the game. Only by being attentive to the details of the box and operating its mechanisms can you begin to see the consequences and effects of these mechanisms. The attention to detail is imperative for many puzzles and requires sustained attention and practice to solve.


Adapting and adjusting to changing conditions and expectations

mzl.bslgtlke.480x480-75As mentioned above: each level presents a new version of the box, each with more sides and therefore more puzzle elements to be juggled. Because almost all  mechanisms are effected by another their purpose may not be clear until the moment they are called for. This challenges the player's ability to think flexibly by imagining multiple functions for each mechanism as the box unfolds itself to the player. As the box itself changes, opening new compartments and revealing more manipulable parts, players must shift their strategies to these new situations. Also, the puzzles themselves are not straight-forward and require an abundant amount of experimentation and creative problem solving just to identify what it is the player must do. Players should not be discouraged to use trial-and-error as their primary means of dislodging themselves when they are stuck on a puzzle. Experimentation by seeing the puzzle from multiple perspectives is a key aspect of the Flexibility thinking skill and crucial for unlocking this game.

Working Memory

Recalling and retaining information in her mind while working

imgresAs the player progresses they will acquire several items such as keys, lenses, and levers that they can hold onto throughout the level. These items are often used in mechanisms present or yet to be unlocked in the box. Its up to the player to recall these items when the corresponding puzzle is revealed to them. This gets trickier in later levels when there can be as many as half a dozen puzzles simultaneously present on the box. The fact that there is a veiled order to these puzzles makes it even more necessary for players to be able to use their Working Memory skills to retain the vital information of each puzzle in order to determine the consequent step.

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