Save Room is a simple puzzle game for fans of Resident Evil. It’s niche, but no less fun for it.
Survival horror and RPG fans will have had that moment in which their inventory is almost full, and just maybe if you rearrange things correctly you might free up enough space for that new weapon you’ve just found. It’s not true for every game in the genres, but often a grid based inventory system can be manipulated just right to allow for more space that you thought you had. Then again, maybe you’re just kidding yourself and you’ve spent 10 minutes trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. Either way, Save Room takes this idea and turns it into a full-blown, albeit short, game.
The premise is simple. You are in a safe room in a Resident Evil adjacent survival horror game, and you need to fit all the items from your box into your inventory whilst also topping off your health and reloading your weapons. There’s no story here, but there are some fun item descriptions that harken back to survival horrors of old.
Each of the forty stages gives you a grid, and a set of items. In most instances, the items will fit into the grid perfectly, meaning you don’t have any wiggle room and will need to get things in the precise position. You can rotate items, but not flip them in order to get the job done, as well as use some objects, and even combine them in order to free up some room.
A knowledge of the Resident Evil games helps quite a bit in Save Room, as many of the items are used in a similar way to the famous franchise. If you have too many herbs, you can combine them in suitable ways. Green plus red make a single item, but red plus red doesn’t, so you might want to recall your item combinations from your childhood if you want to make headway here.
You’re also able to use ammo to reload your weapons and combine different types of gunpowder to make new ammunition that can then be put into those guns. This is a game with a very simple premise, but it does more with it then you might expect. You can even cause yourself harm to then use healing items to reduce how many objects you need to work with even further.
In spite of there being a lot of possible combinations in each stage, Save Room isn’t too difficult. There isn’t a hint system, but I didn’t really feel I needed one, as very few of the levels were super challenging. Yes, I’d have to experiment a fair bit with a few of them before hitting on the solution, but I was able to clear out the whole thing in under two hours.
That’s the one criticism I really have here. This is a pretty short game, and once you’re through it there’s really no reason to go back. With that said, the price is right at under £3 for a couple of hours of entertainment, so I don’t feel I can complain too much about it as those two hours are enjoyable.
There’s been a good amount of care and attention put into the presentation. All the weapons and items look as though they would fit right into Resident Evil 4, and everything also has an item description which is completely superfluous but actually gives the game far more theme than it would otherwise have. The visuals are simplistic and effective, whilst the sound is excellent. There’s some basic music that fits the theme, but the ambient sound it really very good, to the point I went to check if it was raining outside whilst playing. A game this simple would not normally receive this much attention, so I commend Fractal Projects for going the extra mile to make Save Room more than the sum of its parts.
Save Room is a fun little puzzle game that has been put together by a development team that seems to really care about what they’ve put together. Whilst it’s incredibly niche, those that enjoy puzzle games will certainly get some fun out of it. The short run time means that the new mechanics it introduces every few levels don’t get stale, and with a price point to match, it’s hard to argue against giving this a chance.