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Save Room – Review

When you’re on the run from a horde of zombies, every gamer loves a good save room, that small area of respite that gives you a chance to take a breather, reload your weapons, heal and save your progress.

One aspect of the iconic save room is inventory management, and the chance to stash away some weapons you might need later, as the game progresses, the micro-management of the items you wish to store and the space available becomes a challenge of its own.

And this brings us to today’s review of the game called “Save Room”, Developed by Fractal Projects and published by Ratalaika Games, Save Room is a nod to the nostalgic safe haven in titles like Resident Evil and is available from the 11th of November for only $4.99.

Each level gives you the task of organising the available items into the pre-designated spaces on the left, level 1 starts off nice and simple with a small pistol in the space on the right, with the available space on the left a perfect size, so you pick up the pistol with the A button and move it over to the space and press A to place the item.

Controls are straightforward, The left stick moves your cursor around, the A button picks up and drops items, RB rotates the held item, X jumps between the two sides of the screen, and Y opens up the available menu for the highlighted item and B is a back-button to deselect or back out of a menu, the only other button you are likely to need is the View button (though we still call it Select), which will automatically restart the current level.

Initially, the challenge is minimal, you have a handful of items and just the right amount of slots to put everything in place, but as you progress past this first handful of puzzles, Save Room has a few ways to introduce a little more complexity. Health, ammo, and combinations..
Firstly, you’re not allowed to waste items, everything must be saved or used, so if you start off with low health (shown in the top-left with a familiar heart monitor screen), you’ll be able to press Y and select “use” on a first aid spray, or maybe eat a fish to recover your health and get rid of some space-hogging items.
This goes further by introducing rotten eggs and fish, which you can consume to intentionally reduce your health, in order to use more items to refill your health once again.

Next is ammo, any weapon that can hold ammo, needs to be reloaded, so using the “Y” menu, you’ll combine available ammo with the relevant weapons, to reload your guns and create more space.
Finally, Combinations…
Whether you’re combining multiple packs of ammo into one, or green, red and yellow herbs into a vial, there are numerous ways to condense your items so they’ll all fit into place.

as well as the herbs, eggs and fish, you’ll come across a wide range of weapons from pistols and magnums to shotguns and rifles, as well as grenades and gunpowder.
The main challenge is working out what each item can do, for instance, red gunpowder can be combined with another red to make handgun ammo, or green to create magnum ammo.

As you approach the later levels, it’s worth remembering that all weapons must be reloaded, it’s often easiest to work out what ammo you require and then create it, before worrying about trying to squeeze all of your items into the limited space.

There’s a nice steady learning-curve with things getting progressively more difficult, but never impossible. Through the entirety of my playthrough, I reset a level probably 4 or 5 times, as I combined the wrong items or reloaded weapons wrong.

In total there are 40 levels, which took me 90 minutes to complete, I can’t deny I would have loved to see more levels, as it was really only the last 5-6 which started to test that grey matter, I dare say the developers have played it a little safe with the overall challenge and maybe underestimated just how engaging the game is because I could have quite happily continued for at least another 10 levels.

Obviously, 90 minutes is incredibly short, but there are two things which almost make amends for such a short time frame, Firstly the price, at only $4.99, it’s the sort of game you can pick up without too much worry, heck a good week or two on Microsoft rewards will pay for it for you, but I think the area that’s going to make it appealing to a lot of people are the achievements.

I didn’t check what achievements I had until I’d finished playing but did notice one or two which some people might not get automatically, thankfully these are things which are very easy to redo if you do miss them, otherwise you can expect the full 1000 gamerscore by the time the final credits roll.

Graphically while it promises to run up to 4K resolution and 60fps+ the screenshots show you all there is to see, Save Room isn’t trying to modernise the concept with fancy bells and whistles, it aims to recreate those nostalgic Save locations, and for that, it does a very good job. I just wish there’d been a little variety and varnish, maybe a small cutscene of the actual Save room between levels or a little more animation on the combinations.

Likewise, the background music and sound effects are pretty basic, the music is smooth, and relaxing and doesn’t distract from the game, but once again, there’s a bit of a missed opportunity for adding detail and immersion, such as the sound of ammunition being loaded into a weapon, or the sound of the case opening or closing between levels.

Save Room

Review by Lee Palmer

Gameplay
80%
Engagement
80%
Graphics
50%
Sound
50%
Value
70%

Summary

Save Room is a game that leaves you wishing it had just a little more, but if you’re after a low-cost, unique puzzle game or an enjoyable 90-minute stretch to 1000 gamerscore, it is well worth checking out.

66%


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