When you’re watching The Room, have you ever thought about what the rest of this world is like? A place where people walk in and out of Really Great Guy’s condo without knocking? A place where
Tommy Wiseau Johnny is seemingly an incredible banker? How Johnny and Mark can subdue a violent drug dealer and enact a successful citizens arrest of a man with no evidence? Well, The Room Tribute does it’s absolute best to answer almost every single question.
It really tries to make the story more coherent and fill in the plot holes, back story and missing elements that led to the comedy of errors in the film. The game takes some of the “lore” of The Room from post popularity interviews and fan theories to just kick things up a notch. There is a lot of effort to answer a lot of the “Wait… why is ___?” or “Hold on a minute, what about ____?” questions the film leaves you with. Yet, it doesn’t make The Room any less fun as it captures the silly spirit of it all.
It probably won’t even take you a couple hours to play. It’s largely a pretty basic point and click game. I managed a thorough play-through in about 2 hours, give or take, and that was exploring everything fully, getting all the collectibles and side secrets. If you want to power through you can finish it in around half the time.
You play only as
Tommy Johnny and you only experience things from Johnny’s perspective. You take Johnny to work at the bank, you shake Johnny’s ass in the shower, you have Johnny make sandwiches for his friends and have awkward interactions with store owners.
The game opens with an earthquake that traps Johnny’s condo building and the surrounding three blocks in each direction off on their own island. Well, that explains why the world is so weird and small. They somehow managed to make sense of the layout in Johnny’s condo so that it seems like a real room and not just an Ikea demo set.
The sprite work is great. The digital sprites are all instantly recognizable. They capture the caricature of the characters well. Me UnderPants Mike is dopey looking. Denny has a pervy grin. Lisa somehow has resting bitch face in an 8-bit style game. Mark is all handsome. Tommy looks like the weird human alien we’ve all come to love. The environments all have an impressive amount of detail.
The gameplay and interaction is great. You’re given a bit of agency in the story which is really impressive when you consider you’re playing an incomprehensible film in a browser window. The game has a lot of interaction with the environment and characters. Different mini-games populate the story. From battle scenes to foot chases to sandwich making. There is a little achievement list put into the game to give you some extra incentive to explore all the areas, find all the spoons, read all the diaries, see all there is to see and talk to all the characters every chance you get.
The music and sound is great. There are a handful of themes that play throughout the game. The main piano riff is digitized. Denny has his own awkward song. The different gameplay elements all get their own songs whether it’s an original beat or a remix of the digitized piano riff.
It’s great fun to read all the dialogue as it comes on screen and do your best impression of each character. Maybe that’s just me, but give it a try if you dare. When you see the exact dialogue from the game being put in front of you in script it makes it even more hilarious. Whether it’s from having to actively read the lines or just how many of them contain random collections of words.
- “Rice, that was good.”
- “You’re the sparkle in my life.”
- “You don’t understand anything, man. Leave your stupid comments in your pocket!”
- “The bank saves money and they are using me and I am the fool.”
- “Anyway, how is your sex life?”
When I was talking about the detail and passion by the creators, this comes through in the effort put into the mini games and the behind the scenes to make sense of this version of San Francisco.
The battle sequences are straight out of Pokemon. The foot race is like a basic Mario level. RAGE mode Johnny feels like you punched in IDDQD to get your godmode on. You even get to play the crappy game of catch they portray in the film when you chuck a football around.
Spoon collecting is rewarding as not only are they a bit tricky to see, but they’re all named with a chuckle in mind. They camouflage them well into the environment but if you look for a spoon shaped texture, like really look, most of them become relatively obvious. There is a secret ending to the game for your favourite human alien if you collect all the spoons so keep your eyes peeled.
Focusing solely on Johnny in game creates a much stronger narrative than the film. In the film,
Tommy Johnny is a bit of a doormat, but once you focus only on Johnny’s scenes then it makes the twists and turns less obvious and more sympathetic.
The game is a great piece of work. It follows the movie beat by beat, note by note, word by word. The details are meticulously recreated. The plot and story of the game MAKES SENSE of The Room. That is not small feat. An exceptional amount of work went into this game and it really shows how much care there is amongst the fanbase of this film. You’re not going to get a better The Room experience on your own than this.
The Room Tribute is a game made by programmer Tom Phulp, artist Jeff Bandelin and composer Chris O’Neil. It is hosted and published by Newgrounds.com here.