Puzzle game

Save Room – Inventory Management Puzzle Game Review

Save the room (Image: Ratalaika Games/Fractal Projects/PR)

Backup room is a Resident Evil 4-inspired inventory management puzzle game that delivers what is expected of it. While engaging, there is certainly room to grow.

I received a free code for Backup room on the Nintendo Switch for review. The opinions I have shared are my own.

Just a few days ago I spoke about Backup room is coming to Nintendo Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox X/S this month. As someone who remembers the inventory management system of the iconic resident Evil 4, I was looking forward to playing a puzzle game following a similar mechanic.

As of this writing, the game features 40 levels. Of course, the puzzles become more complex as you progress through the game. The objective is to place each item in a predefined inventory space. Items and inventory space are different at each level.

You start by placing weapons and ammo. As you progress, more layers are added to the main puzzle as you will need to combine herbs, ensure your health bar is correct, and reload weapons. Combining herbs, healing, and reloading weapons helps reduce the number of items you need to place in inventory space. Not only that, but some ammo can be stacked, reminiscent of the RE games, to save more space.

Elements can be rotated to help you find the right location. If you mess up, you can always restart a level to try again. Also, you cannot jump forward as the levels are unlocked when you complete them in numerical order.

The visuals look like RE Games. There’s even a voice that says “Save Room” when you start the game, which brought back memories of my days playing the old RE Games.

I had fun solving the puzzles. And yes, a few of them really got me thinking. Also, I don’t know if I couldn’t find it, but as far as I know there is no proper tutorial. You just have to figure things out yourself, which adds to the puzzle-solving aspect. For example, not combining all the herbs together to heal my health bar left me with some herbs that I couldn’t put in inventory space. So I had to restart the level.

Backup room offers what is expected of such a game. You get the visuals, inventory system and nostalgia of resident Evil 4. For this, the development team gets points from me.

There are some quibbles I would like to share. I think the gameplay mechanic could have been streamlined. Using the controls on my Nintendo Switch to move items where I wanted was slow. You can press a button to quickly jump between inventory space and item space. However, the overall experience was still not as smooth as I would have liked. In my opinion, players should be able to use the Nintendo Switch touchscreen to move things around instead of relying entirely on the controls.

And while the team offered variety in terms of what elements needed to be placed, I think more engagement could have been presented through some sort of character voice work. Resident Evil 4 is known for the mysterious arms dealer and his quotes. I would have liked to hear the voice of a similar character encouraging the player or expressing disappointment when the puzzle could not be solved.

That said, again, Backup room gives you what was advertised. Nothing more. Nothing less.

I feel there is room for growth. Let’s see if the creative team comes back with any updates, including gameplay improvements and more levels.

Also, I have a tip to share for those who want to play this game. Try not to force yourself to solve all 40 levels in one go. Due to the repetitive nature of the game (this is inventory management Tetrisstyle title, after all), I suggest only completing a few puzzles a day to avoid frustration.

From Ratalaika Games and Fractal Projects, Backup room will be available for purchase on NS, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox X/S on November 11, 2022.

Have you played the PC version?

Feel free to share your ideas with us.

Author: Farid-ul-Haq

Farid holds a double master’s degree in psychology and biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in molecular genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville and The Game Master of Somerville. It gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.

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