The Empty Room

by Matthew Alger profile

One room/Science Fiction
2010

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Number of Reviews: 6
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful:
Escape? One-room?, August 13, 2010
by tggdan3 (Michigan)

This game drops you in an empty room. Not only do you not know how you got there- you don't know who you are, which begs the question about why you're even trying to escape.

The game consists of examining various objects until something changes. The changes are arbitrary- sometimes if you touch a box it will turn into an arcade machine, or if you examine a panel, a switch will appear. The game basically has you examining various things until the next flag triggers and you have something new to mess with.

There is no real story to speak of, so anyone looking for any of that will be disappoined. The escape puzzle is random and arbitrary, being neither intuitive or hinted. Nor is this truly a one-room game. (Spoiler - click to show) At one point you go to an alternate "black room" . It's impossible to get stuck in this game, and the game isn't difficult at all, since there are not many things to interact with at any given time. Some things are cheap. (Spoiler - click to show) Examining a board says there's an indentation. Examining the indentation says "it's just big enough to fit the screwdriver in it." Though the game never tells you the screwdriver is there on it's own. . In fact, many of the changes in the room aren't reported by the parser until you examine the item that changed.

It's an experiment in evolving atmosphere, but perhaps if the atmosphere had some reason to evolve, or some point it was trying to make, it would be better. I use Shade as an example, becasue the atmosphere changes as well, except that at the end it starts to all make sense. This game never gets to the making sense point.

The help file is funny, as the menu options have humerous responses, but it isn't overly helpful.

The game seems more suited to a programmer than to a player. Surely it was an interesting endeavor to code, and if you think about the coding exercises, it might be interesting. But with no plot, a linear and arbitray solitary puzzle, and no personality to the protagonist, you have to wonder "what's the point?". I would reccommend putting some kind of explination as to who/what you are, and why you're in this room, what the room is, and why you need to escape, or at least a reason why everything is changing out of the blue.