CRIMSON ROOM: DECADE

 

Genre:    Puzzle adventure 

Developer & Publisher: Dream Holdings; Tagagism Inc.               

Released:  June 2016              

Requirements (minimum):

  • OS: Windows 8.1 32bit
  • Processor: Intel Core i5 or better
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA Geforce GTX 570 or better
  • Storage: 2 GB available space

 

 

By flotsam

 

Crimson Room: Decade

Dream Holdings

I never played the original, but no matter. Here we are a decade later, in a crimson room, with little  purpose other than to get out.

Itís a small room, not much bigger than the single bed and bureau that occupy the space. A curtained window, a box on the floor, a calendar on the wall Ė these and a few more things are all there is to help you.

At least at first.

Look around, find things, play with things, pay attention. Lots of it. Think laterally, even weirdly, try using things in places. Poke things, pull things, and do it again. Watch and perhaps learn. Pause and think, ponder. Pick things up, turn them over, take them apart. Bits and pieces have all sorts of uses.

Eventually your world might (literally) turn. Things have moved on, but some things will have to start again.

I spent a lot of time in the room. I eventually got out, albeit with a little help from my (on-line) friends.

I confess to being frustrated more than once, but never bored. Which is a hard thing to achieve in a tiny room. Yes, some of the puzzle solves are obtuse. Yes, some of the hotspots almost impossibly tiny and hard to find. But the stark, contained, simplicity of the room drove me to want to conquer it. Clearly everything I needed was right there in front of me. I just had to work it out. I didnít have to retrace my steps over numerous screens looking for stuff. I didnít have to revisit everyone I had talked to in order to see if they had any new information. What I had to do was look again at the same four walls, the same handful of items, and figure out what to do.

When you do, it's pats on the back all round. Some solves are diabolically clever.

You will find letters which will provide a back story and an insight into the previous occupant/s of the room, which you can ignore if you want, but which add an interesting layer. Disappointingly I only found nine of the ten, all the more so because the missing one was an important link in the chain. A reason to do it again.

I also only triggered about half of the achievements. More reason perhaps to do it again.

You explore your small world and manipulate objects with the mouse, and you move around using the keyboard. About the only other thing you do is crouch, which is essential to look under things and get close to objects. Played in the first person, the game saves on exit and drops you back where you left off.

While there is a reasonable amount of detail in the visuals, there is also a spartan quality to the presentation. Sound effects are present, but there is no spoken word (you will eventually play a song however). Clicking in the game world might elicit a written comment, and while I found manipulating the small number of items fiddly at first, once I got the hang it was smooth sailing.

You can choose to play in a number of languages, tweak your graphics, resolution and illumination settings, and play windowed if you want (though I donít know why you would). A grainy film starts things, and a cut scene ends them. In between its just you and that room.

There is a lot to like about Crimson Room: Decade.

I played on:

OS: Windows 10

Processor: Intel i7-3820 4GHz

RAM: 16GB DDR3

Video card: AMD Radeon HD 7800 2048MB

 

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