“Save Room” Delivers What’s Expected as a Resident Evil 4 Inspired Inventory Puzzle Game – Review
Save Room is a Resident Evil 4-inspired inventory management puzzle game that offers what one would expect from it. While engaging, there’s definitely room to grow.
I was provided with a free code for Save Room on the Nintendo Switch for review. The opinions I have shared are my own.
Just a couple of days ago, I talked about Save Room coming to the Nintendo Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox X/S this month. As someone who remembers the inventory management system from the iconic Resident Evil 4, I was looking forward to playing a puzzle game following a similar mechanic.
As of writing this, the game offers 40 levels. Of course, the puzzles grow more complex as you progress through the game. The goal is to place every item in a pre-specified inventory space. The items and the inventory space are different at every level.
You begin by placing weapons and ammunition. As you progress, more layers are added to the main puzzle because you will need to combine herbs, ensure your health bar is okay, and reload weapons. Combining herbs, healing yourself, and reloading weapons help lower the number of items you have to place in the inventory space. Not only that but certain ammunition can be stacked, reminiscent of the RE games, to save more space.
The items can be rotated to help you figure out the proper placement. If you mess up, you can always restart a level to try again. Also, you can’t jump ahead as levels are unlocked as you complete them in numerical order.
The visuals are similar to the RE games. There’s even a voice saying ‘Save Room’ when you start the game, which brought back memories from my days playing the older RE games.
I had fun solving the puzzles. And yes, a couple of them made me really think. Also, I’m not sure if I couldn’t find it, but as far as I could tell, there’s no proper tutorial. You just have to figure things out yourself, which adds to the puzzle-solving aspect. For example, not combining all of the herbs together to heal my health bar left me with a couple of herbs I couldn’t fit in the inventory space. So, I had to restart the level.
Save Room offers what one would expect from such a game. You get the visuals, the inventory system, and the nostalgia from Resident Evil 4. For that, the development team gets points from me.
There are certain nitpicks I would like to share. I do feel that the gameplay mechanic could have been streamlined. Using the controls on my Nintendo Switch to move the items where I wanted to was slow. You can press a button to quickly jump between the inventory space and the 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’s touchscreen to move items around instead of completely relying on the controls.
And while the team offered variety when it came to the items that needed to be placed, I think more engagement could have been featured through some kind of character voice work. Resident Evil 4 is known for the mysterious Weapons Merchant and his quotes. I would have liked to hear the voice of a similar character encouraging the player or voicing disappointment when the puzzle couldn’t be solved.
Having said that, again, Save Room gives you what was advertised. Nothing more. Nothing less.
I do feel there’s room for growth. Let’s see if the creative team comes back with updates including gameplay improvements and more levels.
Also, I have a tip to share for those interested in playing this game. Try not to force yourself to solve all 40 levels in one go. Due to the repetitive nature of the game (it is an inventory management Tetris-style title, after all), I suggest only completing a few puzzles a day to keep frustrations at bay.
From Ratalaika Games and Fractal Projects, Save Room will be available to buy on the NS, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox X/S come November 11, 2022.
Have you played the PC version?
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Farid has a Double Masters 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. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.
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