This week at the Oculus Connect 6 (OC6) conference in San Jose, CA I got the chance to try out a brief demo of The Room VR: A Dark Matter from Fireproof Games, a newly announced entry in the long-running puzzle series.
The Room VR was announced during OC6 and they had two demo pods with Oculus Quest headsets set up for attendees to try out. During my demo Tatjana did a short interview with Barry Meade, Co-Founder and Director of Fireproof Games, with me playing in the background.
You can watch the interview here:
My demo took place mostly inside the London police station you can see in the gameplay footage sprinkled throughout the interview as well as in the trailer (embedded below) as I was tasked with trying to figure out what’s going on with some new evidence at the station.
If you’ve ever played an interaction-heavy puzzle-based game in VR before, the flow of The Room VR will be very familiar. I basically spent my time teleporting between various nodes in the police station that each had a bunch of objects and items for me to tinker with. For example, near the front was a project that I could use to flip through slides that had evidence and historical details, or I could go to the evidence locker and retrieve items.
Similar to the mobile line of The Room games, or even just physical Escape Rooms and VR-themed Escape games you might have played, it’s just as much about interpreting the objects you’re given as it is filling in the blanks. One of the key puzzles in the demo was figuring out which evidence locker had the item I needed to break into a safe. The safe I was trying to open was overrun by the titular “dark matter” and made it impossible to open normally.
Over at the evidence locker I can see that someone was arrested for safe cracking but their storage number is erased — naturally. So if I look down the list I could tell that each number was listed sequentially and the letter associated was (spoilers) assigned to the criminal’s last name. After realizing that I grabbed the item, opened the safe, and then used that item to solve another puzzle later on.
What stood out to me most though is that this demo was running on an Oculus Quest and it looked absolutely great. Visually all of the environments were sharp, I could go out on the balcony outside and look over the city at nighttime, and all of the physical interactions felt really, really good.
I didn’t get a sense too much of what the narrative is about exactly, but it certainly has a strong mysterious flavor that should hook existing fans of the genre.
We’ll be keeping an eye on Fireproof Games and The Room VR for more details as the months move on. The Room VR is slated to release within the first few months of 2020 and is coming to every major VR device included SteamVR headsets, Oculus Rift via Home, Oculus Quest, and PSVR. Check out the official website for Fireproof Games for more details.