Rooms: The Main Building
Rooms: The Main Building is an upgraded full version of the Flash game Rooms released early last year. Created by HandMade Game, Rooms: The Main Building is a clever combination of puzzle and adventure elements. Bored with simple sliding puzzles, the main character receives a strange gift that transports him to another world. Here, rooms are broken into a series of spaces that can be moved around a grid like a sliding puzzle. Gather items to unlock more rooms as you search for puzzle pieces that lead the way out of this bizarre realm.
Everything in Rooms: The Main Building is mouse-driven, a somewhat welcome change from the Flash version's keyboard/mouse hybrid controls. Your goal is to move the character to the exit in each room by sliding squares to create a path. To slide a piece of a room, make sure your character is standing in it and move the mouse to an empty space. Arrows appear on the side where that piece can be moved; simply click one and off you go. Your character can walk from room to room provided there's a path that isn't blocked by a wall or other obstacle. You'll even encounter teleporters, wardrobes, hydrants and other elements that — well, I'll let you discover their uses on your own. Suffice it to say, Rooms only gets better and more interesting as you play!
The sliding room puzzles take place on the Room Board, a central map that connects much of the game. From here you'll take key items you find in treasure chests back to Rooms Street where more riddles wait to be solved. Here, side-view scenes function much like a classic adventure game where you click and navigate your way around rooms to gather clues to solve a specific puzzle. Items you find from the Rooms Board will be necessary to solve these puzzles, so they rarely pose much of a brain teaser.
A great bonus feature in Rooms: The Main Building is the ability to create and share custom, user-created levels. As you play through the game new elements are unlocked in the editor. Play with the building blocks to your heart's content, utilizing everything you've seen in the game however you see fit.
Analysis: When the Flash iteration of Rooms hit in early 2007, we were impressed with its intelligent design and fresh ideas. Rooms: The Main Building doesn't deviate from that great genre-crossing formula and improves on every aspect of the original, adding loads of extra rooms to solve, additional content, and smoothing over the rough edges at every corner. The visuals are much cleaner, the music and sound effects richer, and tons of small graphical effects (such as the screen shaking when you slide a room) make the entire experience smooth and enjoyable.
With a better presentation, more coherent gameplay, 80 new levels, and the ability to create and share puzzles, Rooms: The Main Building is everything you want it to be and much, much more.