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Review: Crimson Room Decade

by on June 28, 2016
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“My memories came back. I’ve been here before…” Jean-Jacques Gordot, French inspector all the way from Paris is on a quest to solve the 10-year-old mystery of the infamous Red Room. A decade after the release of the original Crimson Room Flash game, we find ourselves in this beautiful sequel delivered to us by Dream Holdings and TAGAKISM Inc.

Now I personally never played the original, but I am not the one to turn down a challenging game. Like its predecessor, Crimson Room: Decade, is an escape room game with a fairly simple gameplay. You play the role of Jean-Jacque Gordot, a French inspector who finds himself awoken in a bizarre red room. At first glance, all you see are an old bed bolted down to the ground, a dresser, a confusing looking calendar, a small window that flashes lightning occasionally, wine bottles and the blue locked metal door as your only form of exit. It is only when you get up that you start discovering little items scattered around the room. The entire first scene is built around giving Jean a sense of Déjà vu. His Goal, to escape this room.

Now for those of you that are new to the Crimson Room, no need to worry. The opening sequence in the game gives you all you need to understand the backstory. I must admit, the video is not very pleasant to watch as it has a lot of text and some annoying flickering. Let me take some time here to talk about the story as I am still very troubled and confused by it. To sum things up, back in the 20’s, Leon Trotsky was brainwashing people into accepting communism by locking them in a room on the ship. One man, was on his way to Japan to reunite with his wife and unborn child when the ship sank. Now as his grandson you get to explore the wreck and find yourself imprisoned in the room for some unknown reason. Towards the end, and this is where they lost me completely, the story escalates to some weird mushroom hallucinogenic experience which remains unresolved.

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The game starts the second you wake up. The objective is to search for anything that might help you escape the room. Your inventory system is on a yellow rusty looking dresser; it is a good way to display everything all at once but kind of annoying since you had to go back drop what you are holding to pick up the next item. If you are one of those lore lovers, then you can go ahead and search the room to find diary entries left by your grandfather as you progress. I enjoyed those to be honest, it added some depth to the story. Going back to the main story, items are your key to escaping. Every piece you find has a purpose and are usually combined with other items and objects. Throughout the game, you will feel overwhelmed until all hope is lost and then … there it is something that you have not seen before and the journey continues … Very frustrating but fun at the same time. The Crimson Room is one paradox of a game and 90% of it is based on figuring out what you need to do with the items you find. It is really all about the items, you never know if you missed anything or if you have all you need. It is a great way to keep the mystery. Actually, it took me a good 45 minutes to figure out that there was even a time system in the game and as expected, it is related to the calendar and can be manually manipulated. This only works during the first phase. The game has several phases while you progress and each phase puts the room in a different position. Sometimes it even shakes things up for you having you look for all the items that you initially had on that dresser. Perhaps it is for the best and you might actually end up finding new ones.

In terms of gameplay, the graphics are nice overall but could be better. It was made using Unity and is far more detailed than the original. I noticed several flaws, for instance, the movement seems forced and heavy and the texture seems flat. The sound does its job well. Although you do not have the quirky mystery soundtrack in the background, the developer made sure to stay true to the nature of the room with the sound effects put in place. A good example is when you interact with the bed you clearly hear the squeakiness and rustiness of the bed giving you an idea of how old and worn out it could be.

Crimson Room Decade was reviewed using a PC downloadable code of the game provided by Degica Games. The review was done on a PC running a Windows 10 Home, Intel Core i7-6700HQ processor set at 2.6 GHz, 4 GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M and 16GB of DDR4 Ram. We don’t discuss review scores with publishers or developers prior to the review being published.

What we liked

• Story
• Sense of mystery
• Sound effect

What is not fun

• Lifespan of the game
• Graphically outdated

Editor Rating
 
Concept
7.0

 
Graphics
6.0

 
Sound
5.6

 
Playability
8.0

 
Entertainment
8.0

 
Replay Value
5.0

Final Score
6.6


Our final verdict
 

Crimson Room was a lot of fun for a quick short game. Surprised they didn’t release it 10 years ago. It is an enjoyable story with real head scratching moments. Puzzling at most times, the mystery remains from the second you start till you finish the game. The replay value is low but still there, since once you beat the game, you can return in order to get all the achievements. At the price of $9.99 this game is might not be worth buying since you can actually finish it in an hour.

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