Mark’s Rooms is an atmospheric room escape game where you must collect items, find clues, and solve puzzles to help Mark regain his lost memories.
The demo for Mark’s Rooms presents the first room of eight and serves as the prologue to Mark’s story. The bits of scrap paper hidden throughout his bedroom reveal a sad childhood, one of neglect, abuse, and untimely death. Much like in other games of the genre, the objects you discover can be used, combined, or dismantled to uncover more secrets or to solve the game’s myriad of puzzles. The puzzles themselves are balanced quite well, with each step following logically from the other. Mark’s Rooms doesn’t feel the need to add unnecessary levels of complexity or to hide objects in pixel-precise areas of the room, which makes for a fun and smooth puzzle solving experience.
Artistically, Mark’s Rooms knows exactly what it wants to convey. Its grimy illustrative style evokes the feeling that you might be exploring the pages of some sinister children’s book. And while there is an element of photorealism with its woodgrain textures and clippings of newsprints, the heavy shadows and thick lining on objects add a necessary touch of the fantastical. The sound effects are kept minimal and appropriately abrupt, ringing a soft chime of congratulations when discovering a new object or creaking uneasily when a wooden drawer slides open.
Being that the game was intended for mobile, the browser-based demo has a couple of issues. For instance, it is not immediately apparent that you can click and drag to look around the room. While this system of movement feels natural on a mobile device, it is definitely awkward in a desktop environment. But outside this one very minor annoyance, Mark’s Rooms delivers everything you’d expect from a room escape game. So if you’re a fan of games like the Crimson Room, take a moment now and explore Mark’s Rooms; you won’t regret it.
Note: If you find yourself stuck, make sure you remember the order of operations for algebra equations!