The Room Tribute is is a retro-style point n’ click adventure game that allows the player to step into Johnny’s shoes and really LIVE the story of The Room! Who among us hasn’t aspired to be that greasy-haired, lumpy-armed banker? I know I certainly have.
With a face like that, who wouldn’t want to be him?
There’s no doubting it; the creators of this game are hardcore fans of the film. This is a beat-for-beat, word-for-word recreation of The Room, with a lot of hilarious creative touches thrown in along the way. There’s a true dedication and attention to detail, with scenes, characters, and costumes recreated with meticulous accuracy. As a text-based game, reading the ridiculous dialogue one line at a time can be even funnier than hearing it. The music is brilliant, too. Chris O’Neil has added an 8-bit flourish to the original score of the film that sets the tone perfectly from the outset. The bumbling ‘Denny theme’ had me grinning like a moron every time it came on.
Denny’s room. With the right timing, you can see what he uses the bucket for.
Depending on what the player is in the mood for, you can simply experience the story of The Room in a different medium, or you can explore the world these guys have created. There are lots of little Easter eggs and achievements hidden throughout the game, including Denny’s daily diary entries and ten hidden spoons. Can you find them all?
One of the strengths of the game is that it actually improves the story of the film by filling in a lot of plot holes. There’s a fun attempt made to clarify all of The Room‘s failings. During the Chris-R scene, for example, the game explains how Johnny can travel to the police station and back so quickly, since it’s right next door. Peter’s true fate is also revealed, rather than the unexplained disappearance the movie leaves us with. Most importantly though, Johnny is directly accused of physical abuse!
In the film, Johnny knows Lisa’s been accusing him of violence, though it’s not clear how since no one ever told him about it. If we accept the game as canon, we now know that Claudette spoke to him, right before the ‘I did not hit her’ rooftop scene.
The game provides a certain amount of perspective, too. The first time I played, I remember sitting back at the end and thinking, ‘Huh. Maybe, to Johnny, Lisa’s affair could have been a surprise.’ There are a lot of big scenes in the film that don’t make it into the game, since we’re viewing the story from Johnny’s point of view. Johnny wasn’t there when Peter confronted Mark on the roof (“You’re having an affair with Lisa, aren’t you!“). Nor was he around for Lisa’s confession to Michelle (“You’re living with one guy and sleeping with another?“). The movie beats you over the head with the fact that Lisa is cheating, but rarely is Johnny around for these scenes. There’s one exception, of course: when Johnny hides behind the stairs while Lisa tells Claudette about Mark. If the editor of The Room had cut that one scene, Johnny’s inability to see Lisa’s affair would be completely understandable. The game actually changed my interpretation of the film: Johnny doesn’t seem as blind as I had originally thought. He didn’t know about his wayward future wife because the evidence wasn’t there. Without that scene though, Johnny wouldn’t have any motivation to record everything, so they had to leave it in.
Since the game is as long as the movie, the creators found ways to keep things fresh and interesting throughout. In addition to side missions and collectible items, gameplay becomes a turn-based fighting system during the battle with Chris-R.
Later, When Johnny and Mark have a footrace in the park, a sort of mini game begins. It doesn’t matter if you win or lose, it’s just a fun little break from constantly clicking and reading the film’s dialogue.
This is more like Mario Brothers than the Super Mario Brothers movie was.
The Room Tribute is five years old, so I’m sure if you’re a fan of the movie, you’ve already played it by now. And if you’re anything like me, you’ve done it enough times that you have every quirk memorized. The amount of work that went into making this thing is exceptional really shows how much people care about this movie. I love this game, but as someone obsessed with all things Tommy Wiseau, I’m pretty much their target demographic. So I may be a little biased.