Save Room is incredibly basic, but we can hardly criticise it for it. This inventory management puzzle game does exactly what it sets out to do.
Anyone who has played Resident Evil 4 or its ilk will be very familiar with the joys of manual inventory management. With a limited number of slots to store weapons, ammo and health items, you’re forever juggling them around, rearranging and combining to get the most optimal arrangement. Well, Save Room from Fractal Projects and published by Ratalaika Games has taken that concept and turned it into a game all of its own.
To glance at Save Room you’d be forgiven for thinking you were looking at an inventory screen from any number of generic horror games. It’s purposefully retro-designed, and there’s a foreboding soundtrack playing away in the background. You’ve even got a health meter at the top, for no other reason than to set the scene. It really is a Resident Evil inventory rip-off in just about every way.
And so, the gameplay itself is exactly as you’d imagine it to be. You’re given a number of items, and it’s your job to move, rotate and swap them around until you can fit everything in. Save Room is level-based, and so each new level throws a differently-shaped inventory at you, and a different selection of items. You’ll typically have guns of various shapes and sizes, ammo boxes, health items and, er, eggs.
Ammo can be combined with other boxes of the same type, or can be loaded into guns. You’ll need to do that to clear extra space sometimes. Everything else simply needs to be optimally placed. Consider the largest items first, then move everything else around it. Those eggs which only take up one square? They can go in last, slotting into any empty space you have.
There are no bonus rewards on offer in Save Room for completing a level quickly, or doing it super-efficiently. You simply need to finish the level by moving everything from the right of the screen – the holding area – to the inventory on the left. This is simply a tick-sheet of levels, and you’ll mindlessly go from one to another, rinsing and repeating the same actions over and over again.
That, then, means Save Room isn’t the most exciting game in the world. But was it ever going to be? It’s inventory management – it’s a dull and repetitive task by its very nature. We can’t even really criticise Save Room‘s somewhat bland presentation, because it perfectly captures the genre it’s trying to ape.
Yes, it’s very basic, but it does exactly what we expected it to do, in exactly the right fashion. And so in that sense, Save Room is a roaring success. It’s also dirt cheap. You might not have the patience to complete all 40 levels in one go, but if sorting and rotating objects is your jam, this is the game for you.