Two Rooms is a new action/puzzle game from Lilley Design that will test your skills of both logic and finger agility. Two cubical robots (or possibly microwaves, or sub-woofers, or watch faces, I'm not sure) are stuck in a room, and your job is to free them. Or rather, I should say that they are stuck in two rooms, one on the right and one on the left, and they must work together to escape. Between them and freedom, you will encounter a variety of walls, switches, crates and other obstacles you must manipulate so that at least one microwave can reach the checkered patch of floor that marks the exit.
Control your boxy twin escape artists with the [arrow keys] and switch control from one to the other with [space]. Walls decorated with a streak of color can be set in motion by moving a 'bot over the corresponding switch, which is of course usually located in the opposite room. If you get stuck, or if one of your characters gets crushed by moving walls, restart the level with [B] or [N]. Pressing [P] brings up the Pause Screen, which also contains an hint for each level.
Analysis: Two Rooms is a classy production in many ways, from the title menu screen, which is like a mini-puzzle of its own; to the way you can instantly flip between levels you've completed with the [Q] and [W] keys, to try for better completion times. However, there are a few options only accessible by mouse, and I'd prefer never to have to jump from the keyboard to the mouse, since the game does require two hands to play normally.
Later on, there get to be a lot of differently colored walls and switches, and the subtle color choices can be almost indistiguishable. In other respects, the visual presentation is readable and handsome, if somewhat charmless. I'm no huge fan of random googly eyes on game characters, but I would have liked at least a blinking red eye on my lifeless protagonists here, just so I could identify more strongly with them than I do with the surrounding walls.
I want to make special mention of the musical score here, since Lilley Design take obvious pride in it, and offer you an unusual amount of control over the background tunes. Besides the option to turn off the music or sound effects, the Sound section on the pause menu allows you to choose between cycling through all five available tracks or repeating your favorite one. The Credits screen, a model example of how the credits for Flash games should be done, links each individual song to its composer's page on Newgrounds. The generous selections here do give this a long load time for a game of its type, but it's worth it for music this entertaining.
The overall game length feels a little skimpy, but there's no shortage of variety. Almost every one of the game's 30 stages teaches you something new, and the final stretch of challenges combines everything you've learned into a meaty stew of complex chain reactions. It's just about perfect for an hour's worth of puzzle solving, and because most levels require both speed and smarts, your whole brain gets a light but refreshing workout.
Two Rooms gets especially interesting once it starts hiding switches and other game objects inside crates, or putting entire maze sections within movable walls, but there's far too little of that kind of thing. The unexplored potential there could make for an excellent sequel ("Two Rooms Two" is pretty catchy), but this is already a satisfying chunk of blocky shifting puzzle action.
Thanks for sending this one in, Treniac, Theprogram00, and Sarah!