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Fireproof Games - "The Room VR: A Dark Matter"

Updated: Apr 24


Photo above is property of Fireproof Games

Company: Fireproof Games

Game: The Room VR: A Dark Matter

Country: United Kingdom 🇬🇧

Language: English

Type of Game: Video Escape Game 📱

Genre: Supernatural Mystery, Suspense

Date Played: September 2, 2021

Difficulty (based on 1 player): 8/10

Price: $29.99 - The Room VR - Dark Matter (available for purchase & download - Oculus, Steam VR, PSVR)


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You are a detective in a relatively drab office, assigned to solve the mystery of a missing scientist. The initial search quickly takes an unexpected turn, and you learn there is far more to this than a simple missing person case. In fact, the circumstances behind the scientist's disappearance are far more nefarious and otherworldly than you ever would've imagined.

Video above is property of Fireproof Games


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In a word, ENTHRALLING. The set design is consistently intricate and beautifully rendered, making it easy to get sucked into the virtual world that Fireproof has created. As the mystery unfolds, the set design continues to impress. Take your time to look around - attention to detail will serve you well when solving the various puzzles and challenges, and will also do justice to the work the designers put into both the game-related elements as well as general set decoration.

Photos above are properties of Fireproof Games


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Initially, the game guides you through exactly what to do, and it may feel a bit simplistic. Fear not! It will become complex soon enough, and the clear explanations of how to move, manipulate objects, and interact with the world are quite helpful in getting started. The movement is station-to-station in that there are certain areas in the room that you can move to (clearly indicated), and the mode of movement is smoothly implemented. As someone who occasionally gets nauseous in VR games with a lot of movement, I was pleased that the motion is smooth enough that I could play for an hour-plus at a stretch without a hint of nausea.


You collect objects to an inventory, and they will disappear when they have outlived their usefulness, preventing needless clutter. You will also manipulate many of the real-world objects in the game space. For the most part, I found the grasping and object manipulation to be consistent and relatively stable. Also, while the puzzles are initially sequential, you can move where you want to, when you want to, and as the game unfolds you will have more freedom.


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A Dark Matter contains a variety of puzzles. Some require simple physical manipulation based on standard laws of physics, some require following instructions that may not be immediately obvious, some require pairing items together, and some require a blend of all these concepts. There is a sequential hint system that is simple to use (a component of the inventory) and provides both basic clues ('Did you see a thing somewhere?) and more direct instructions ('Check over there'), in case the initial nudges aren't sufficient. As some of the puzzles require revisiting objects and areas that seemed to be previously 'solved', these clues can be helpful signposts, without giving away the actual solution or mechanism.


This last detail was initially a source of minor frustration, simply due to my being in the habit of 'solve it and forget it'. It soon became a source of excitement - 'hmmm, I bet that will have more layers', and as I became more and more comfortable with the game's internal logic and modus operandi, this element became more and more enticing.

Photos above are properties of Fireproof Games

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Playing "The Room VR: A Dark Matter" was a wondrous experience. It sucked me in and kept me wondering how it would develop further. There were enough twists and turns to keep the gameplay fresh and exciting, with just enough returns to consistent elements to give an occasional sense of comfort. Additionally, the complexity of the game evolved such that just as I felt like I had things in hand, the game turned things up a notch to draw me in even more. If you are a bit frustrated in the early going (as I admittedly was) stick with it - believe me, it is well worth working through that and getting in sync with the rhythm of The Room. The eventual mastery of how to operate things is well-balanced with the escalating difficulty. As it becomes more intricate, it becomes more satisfying as well. It uses the VR capability to blend real and surreal incredibly well, providing a great mix of 'That's how it would work in real life' and 'Yeah, I get to do that!'


Although many puzzle games and rooms are one and done, I am excited to play A Dark Matter

a second time. While many of the puzzles will obviously be simpler, I will be better Positioned to savor the set design and have fun with the myriad challenges that are posed. As The Room (original) was something I downloaded on an older phone but never played, A Dark Matter has me very excited to explore that app, as well as any other offerings from Fireproof.

 


(If you do decide to try this game, give us a shoutout or tag us on social media so we know you heard it from "ESCAPETHEROOMers"!)


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