Rooms: the Main Building is a new puzzle game from Hudson. It has several different modes and options to choose from to allow for variety in game play, but donâ€™t be fooled. Rooms is easy to get into, but surprisingly difficult to put down.
In story mode, you are Mr. X. You receive a mysterious gift: entrance into the Rooms Mansion. But as they say, getting in is the easy part. You slide sections of the room around to get to the exit. In the DS version, there are 100 rooms to explore and the puzzles get progressively harder, as you would expect. There are also hazards youâ€™ll encounter when moving through the room. At first, it reminded me of those plastic slide-a-block puzzles you get as a party favor. But in Rooms they take it to another level, with one way entrances and exits, ladders, teleporters, room swappers and other fun tricks that make play more and more challenging without making you want to throw your DS across the room (like most of us did to those stupid plastic puzzles). And the sections are easier to move too, since all it takes is a tap on the screen to move them. You can also unlock achievements by completing certain tasks within the game.
For challenge mode, you have to solve the puzzle with restrictions. For example, you may have a time limit or some of the sections can only move a certain amount of times then youâ€™re stuck. This is good for those times you want â€œquick and dirtyâ€ gameplay; no story, just a puzzle.
You also have the option of building and exchanging levels with other players. You can create and store up to 10 different levels. Itâ€™s pretty easy to use; just drag and drop the elements you want in the room onto a grid. You have a running preview of what your room looks like as you build it, so itâ€™s very user friendly.
Graphically, Rooms is quite nice. On the DS, the images are predictably small, but not so small you canâ€™t make them out. The background illustrations are great, with impressive detail on certain items. I was pleasantly surprised at the look of the wood-grain on the ladders. All in all, the graphics enhance your play time.
The background music is also good. It sets the mood very well, but doesnâ€™t get annoying. Instead, itâ€™s mild and soft enough that you donâ€™t mind it running as background noise.
Overall, I really enjoy playing this game. I was surprised at how easily I was sucked into the world. I played through the tutorial and planned on playing a level or two. You can imagine my shock when I realized Iâ€™d put in another hour of play before I could pull myself away. Itâ€™s a deceptively simple game to play, but as they say, getting in is the easy part.