Save Room Review

Best $4.99 platinum, stranger!

Save Room game on PS5

By Paul Hunter

There's been a lot of chatter recently about the number of cheap trophy games flooding the PlayStation Store recently, and Save Room by Brazilian indie studio Fractal Project absolutely fits that mould. It's $4.99, has 27 trophies and can be platinumed in about 90 minutes. But this game stands head and shoulders above other trophy games because it's totally hilarious, offers great puzzles and is the best stopgap before next year's Resident Evil 4 Remake. That's because Save Room has taken RE4's Attache case item Tetris mechanic and turned it into an actual puzzle video game.

Save Room is such a brilliant experience. It turns the most frustrating part of Resident Evil games into an addictive brain-tickling puzzler that'll test your spatial skills and your item knowledge of Capcom's classic horror series. I never fathomed playing a Resident Evil inventory management game, and never knew that rotating, combining and consuming items could be this much fun, but here we are and now I can't get enough. Let's enter the save room, stranger, here are three things I liked about the game...and one I didn't.

Liked: It's Stupid Fun

Save Room makes it crystal clear from Level 01 that this is a parody comedy game. Your first puzzle has five squares where you must place an obviously Resident Evil-inspired Handgun. You'll also notice that the top-left corner has a cardiograph health bar showing your character has green health. And you can even Examine the handgun to get its description along with a 3D rotating image of the gun, again just like in RE games.

The puzzler quickly escalates the difficulty by tasking you with positioning a variety of guns, ammo, grenades and health items into Attache cases of varying shapes. I don't ever remember 'enjoying' inventory management in Resident Evil 4 but Save Room makes the experience so fun because of the comedy. Some Attache cases are weirdly shaped, which is already amusing, but then trying to slot in odd-shaped guns like the DMP machine pistol becomes an exercise in hilarity.

In the later levels you have to start figuring out how to manage silly items like huge Sardines that take up five squares, or Green and Brown Eggs that take up a single square—clearly included just to make you laugh. Soon into the game, you'll have to put your Resident Evil knowledge to the test because you'll have too many items and not enough squares to slot them into. Fans will quickly realize your life bar is flashing yellow and you can consume the Sardine to boost your health, freeing up five squares in the process. You can also make inventory space by consuming ammo to reload your guns or combining ammo, and you can use Green Herbs, Brown Eggs or First-Aid Sprays. Save Room offers 40 levels to challenge you, a decent number given the $4.99 price point, but I really wish the game had more. I easily would have played through 100 levels!

Liked: It's Strategic

By the midpoint of the game you really need to put your Resident Evil thinking cap on. The game will introduce Red, Green and Blue gunpowder that can be mixed to create Handgun, DMP, Shotgun, Rifle and Magnum ammo. You'll need to remember recipes, such as red and red creates Handgun ammo, while red and green make Magnum ammo. Likewise, green and green make Shotgun ammo, blue and blue mix into DMP ammo, and green and blue create Rifle ammo. The levels also introduce Green, Red and Yellow herbs with the traditional mixing recipes like green/green/green, yellow and red, or green/yellow/red. You'll need to carefully consider the item mix you have in each level versus the space you have available to decide which items to combine. It gets strategic fast!

There are other strategic factors to take note of that I stumbled upon by accident. For example, you have to complete each level with green health. There was one level where I consumed one too many Green Eggs, which lowers your health and had to redo the level since I completed it with yellow health. Arg! But also pretty funny. I also discovered that every gun needs to have ammo for you to successfully complete a level. There was one level where I combined Blue and Blue gunpowder twice, to load my DMP with 20 ammo, but then after attempting to complete the level I got a message saying a gun wasn't reloaded. Turns out it was my Rifle and I needed to mix Green and Blue gunpowder to create Rifle ammo. The lesson I learned: the first task for each level is to combine the right gunpowder to ensure all weapons get reloaded!

The biggest revelation I had when playing Save Room is how impossible inventory management puzzles can be solved with ingenuity. It makes me wonder how many times I was playing Resident Evil 4 and perhaps could have fit newly acquired items if I spent more time strategically rotating, combining and consuming items. I enjoyed Save Room's level of difficulty as well—it certainly makes you think, but levels are doable if you persist and carefully plan your steps. You'll also likely stumble upon a few level solutions by dumb luck, but that's all part of the fun.

Liked: The Difficulty Curve

Save Room does an excellent job of introducing new gameplay elements needed to beat levels. There are specific levels designed to get you familiar with herb mixing, ammo combining, Green and Brown Egg consumption, and gunpowder mixing. Then once you've practiced a new skill, the next few levels will test your mastery of the said skill. I thought the difficulty pacing was excellent; I gradually built up my abilities as puzzles became increasingly more complex. There's an immense feeling of satisfaction getting a mess of herbs, gunpowder, ammo and awkwardly shaped guns to contend with, only to successfully inventory manage the entire lot.

Didn't Like: Game Length

How dare Save Room tease me with 40 excellent levels and then end the party! Joke aside, it's a fair value for the game's low, low price, but now I need more of these hilarious and fun inventory management levels. The last ten levels, where you finally have all the skills you need and really put them to the test, are just so exciting to figure out. And then the game abruptly ends with no additional end-game super-challenging puzzles and no reason to replay earlier levels. Quite literally this is a game you'll probably plunk an hour or two into, gleefully secure the platinum trophy, and then not feel a reason to revisit it. And it's such a shame given that the gameplay is such a blast!

The Verdict

Save Room is one of those games I didn't know I needed until I played it. It takes the most tedious part of Resident Evil games and turns it into a comedy puzzler with 40 levels that'll test your mental muscle and RE item management mechanics. I wish the game was longer, but given its budget price, it's hard to complain. This game is quite possibly the most fun you can get for the price of a sardine sandwich. What are you waiting for, stranger?

Final Score: 8/10 - Great

Save Room details

Platform: PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC
Developer: Fractal Project
Publisher: Ratalaika Games
Genre: Puzzle
Modes: Single-player
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)

A key was provided by the publisher.