Fireproof Games – The Room VR: A Dark Matter [Hivemind Review]

Update 3/30/21: If you enjoy The Room VR: A Dark Matter, we hope you’ll check out our interview with co-creator Barry Meade of Fireproof Studios on The Reality Escape Pod.

The Room VR: A Dark Matter is a escape room-esque VR game created by Fireproof Games.

The Room VR - A Dark Matter title screen shows a police badge.

Format

Style of Play: Escape room-style puzzle game in VR

Required Equipment: VR headset – available for Oculus, Steam VR, Viveport, and PlayStation VR

Recommended Team Size: 1

Play Time: 4-6 hours

Price: $30

Description

You will be placed in a series of increasingly challenging scenarios with intricate rooms to explore and devices to unlock. Pick up objects, examine objects, place objects to solve puzzles, teleport, observe environment, and watch cut scenes.

VR: a dramatically lit chapel with ornate wood work.

Cara Mandel’s Reaction

The Room VR: A Dark Matter is, quite simply put, excellent. Anyone who has played the mobile app versions of this game would likely agree that these are the gold standard in mobile escape/ puzzle games. When I first heard this game was coming to VR, I was thrilled. I have to say, the game far exceeded my expectations. Each level was a new and intriguing environment filled with clever and challenging puzzles. The storyline was engaging. The graphics were beautiful. I found myself trying to savor the game because I didn’t want it to end. Overall, an excellent game and I highly recommend it as a must-play if you are looking for VR recommendations.

VR: a hand opening a drawer with a large key inside.

Matthew Stein’s Reaction

The Room VR: A Dark Matter is a sublime masterpiece. It manages to translate the magical style and innovative diegetic puzzle design of the previous four The Room mobile games into an even more immersive boundary-pushing adventure which expertly takes advantage of the strengths of the VR medium. The game transports you to six distinctive, vividly rendered worlds, each of which contains numerous interactive objects and a healthy balance of mechanical and magical wonder. If you have a VR headset, this is a must-play. If you don’t, buy or borrow one so you can play this – it’s so worth it! Of course, all the normal VR disclaimers still apply: jump-based navigation may be dizzying to some, and I’d recommend taking breaks at least every 30-40 minutes.

VR: an Egyptian sarcophagus with a puzzle on its chest.

David Spira’s Reaction

I am a huge fan of The Room series. The first installment predated room escape games in North America. When I first heard of the escape room concept, my hope was that it would be like The Room.

A Dark Matter was the fifth installment in the series, and its first foray into VR. With each episode, the title “The Room” has felt increasingly less accurate, as the settings continue to sprawl, and the scale shifts towards grandeur. I’ll be blunt and curmudgeonly admit that I didn’t want to play the next The Room game in VR… but I’ll also admit that it was fantastic. It was worth struggling through motion sickness and having to play the game in short segments to get through it.

All of that being said, I still yearn for the intimacy of that first installment. A Dark Matter was at its best when things narrowed and it was less about traversing a big, epic set, and instead focused in on fiddling with a cool contraption.

VR: a room in an imposing chapel with a large clock and several medival statues.

Finally, if you made it this far – you’ll probably want to take a moment to help make an official The Room LEGO set a reality. It’s a cool project and supporting it costs nothing but a minute or 2 of your time.

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