Horror comes in all shapes and sizes, and WildSphere’s Oxide Room 104 thinks bigger is not always better. This self-published title takes cues from body horror and escape rooms to combine them into this neat, but short, horror-puzzler package.
Oxide Room 104 – It’s an Evil F***ing Room
Oxide Room 104 was released on June 16th, 2022 on all current consoles and PC. I love a good horror game as nothing has chilled me since Outlast. When I saw the trailer, it really gave me Saw (the movie) vibes and I immediately wanted to play it. So, let’s open the door to Oxide Room 104 and see what’s inside.
So after the intro where you, Matt, get knocked out at the gas station, you wake up in the bathtub of some dingy motel. You’re naked, injured, confused and have absolutely no idea how you got there, or why your name appears to be written in blood on the bathroom door, what a mystery! Obviously, you want to get out, but it is never as simple as just opening the gate. So you find your clothes in the bathroom, go for a wee, get a glimpse of Matt’s todger (what?) and look for a way out of the bathroom. PSA: Check the toilet bowl for clues before going for a wee, stay hygienic. So now you’re clothed and confused, it’s time to search for a way out.
Using all the common sense you can muster, you must solve puzzles to move from one area or room to the next. You will come across some grizzly miscreants on the way and you will find a gun. However, use it sparingly as it will alert nearby half-bodies and you’re screwed. You’ll then be treated to a lovely little cut scene where you have a little one-on-one time with a scientist. This usually involves you losing some fingers or an arm. As if you weren’t freaked out enough as it is. Afterward, you will find yourself back in that manky bathtub where the game started. This is essentially losing a life, and you’ll notice that the more your die, the more of your name is scrubbed off the bathroom door.
So, you’re naked again, feeling worse for wear but you now have an idea of what’s happening. The trick to this game is that there is an order in which to do things and the more you die, the more you know. Cheekily, each time you die, the environment around you changes. Ultimately, whatever you do determines your end, whether you escape or not.
If you find yourself in combat, this can come across as a little janky, to say the least. You are able to carry items to health yourself, but more often than not you’ll wind up in the bathtub to have your leg chopped off because you could not select them in time. Any combat will be in enclosed spaces so it’s not like you can even back away.
It is worth sticking with it though. It is a fairly short game with multiple endings all determined by the decisions you make.
Graphics & Audio
If Oxide Room 104 released 10 years ago, the graphics and animations would have been about par for the course. The abandoned motel setting is great, but it lacks atmosphere. The grotesque isn’t grotesque enough, and the jump scares aren’t jumpy enough.
Speaking of jump scares, this brings me on to the awfully comedic voice acting coupled with a poor Irish accent. The acting is so bad, that you just end up laughing when you should be hiding behind a pillow. For example, when facing a monster for the first time, you’re going to panic right? Well, he says ‘sh*t’ with such little enthusiasm and boredom that you would think the post office ran out of his favourite manila envelopes, rather than the fact he was staring death in the face.
If you have a spare four hours, depending on puzzle solving ability, you can get this completed. There are also four endings, again determined by your actions. So if you can put up with that voice acting again, then there is an incentive to keep playing to see them all.
Great ideas, sadly stifled by mediocre execution. Oxide Room 104 came off as a little confusing at times, lacking in direction. There are some really good ideas here, but it feels and plays like a mid-life PS3 game. It’s not a terrible game by any means and is good for a few hours. I would have appreciated this more if it played a little less cumbersome and if it looked a lot gorier than it was.
Oxide Room 104 gets the Thumb Culture Bronze Award.
Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.