Rooms of Realities: Enjoy escape room fun in VR with friends
Rooms of Realities is a multiplayer Quest and SteamVR game with challenging but fun puzzles in large, detailed environments in exotic locales.
I tested Rooms of Realities on my Quest Pro, playing solo, and again with my wife on her Quest 2. We're both fans of puzzle games, having enjoyed two top VR escape room games, The Room VR: A Dark Matter and I Expect You To Die.
Rooms of Realities is in early access, so it currently has only one of the three scenarios planned for the full release in September. Here are my thoughts about what's available so far.
Escaping with friends
Every escape room VR game I tried before was a one-player puzzle. They were entertaining and sometimes quite difficult, but playing with friends is more fun.
A clever insight from another person can keep the momentum going and prevent frustration when I can't find a solution. It's nice to share those breakthrough moments and celebrate together.
The game starts at an Egyptian archeological site, where there are several clues to piece together and challenging puzzles to solve. The first chapter makes it clear that it won't always be easy to unlock the door to the next.
Some solutions are obvious, while others require looking and thinking. Unfortunately, my wife and I solved a couple of puzzles accidentally, but we were grateful in this case since we were stuck.
Overall, the multiplayer experience is very nice. When playing in this mode, some puzzles require at least two people to work together to align or trigger actions. This is a new element of VR gaming that we really enjoyed.
It's still in App Lab
Rooms of Realities is an interesting VR game that works with Meta's Quest 2, Quest Pro, and the upcoming Quest 3. That means there could be a few glitches, and the game needs more polish before launching in the Quest store. More content will be added this year.
To find Rooms of Realities via a search, scroll past the long list of unrelated games to the App Lab section and click View App to see the name. Then click to view more details. Alternatively, use the Quest Store link below.
There's also a free demo that lets you play one chapter of the first scene, which turned out to be chapter two. After buying the Rooms of Realities early access version, we had to solve chapter one and redo the familiar chapter two before moving on to the last chapter of this scene.
Demo fun and an early access problem
My wife and I each installed the demo. I hosted, and she joined. The lobby familiarized us with the controls with a simple puzzle to get into the right mindset.
We could see each other's Meta avatars and give a nice hug or handshake as a greeting. Launching into the game, it was immersive and intriguing, appearing inside an ancient Egyptian temple with a light ray shining in from above.
I won't share any spoilers, but the puzzles were the right mix of difficult and entertaining. It took about half an hour to solve the demo. We were hooked, so I bought the early access version.
In early access, we discovered a problem in the lobby. Our Meta avatars were missing. My avatar was a blank gray doll with arms in a T-shape. She had to pick from the game's preset avatars, but at least her arms matched the controllers.
I have app sharing on, so I don't have to buy two copies of a game. I don't know if that affected avatars, but it impeded our progress since she couldn't see where I was pointing or what I was doing to change objects within the environment.
Hopefully, this gets worked out in the final version. There is a mention in the roadmap that avatars improvement is coming. A few other glitches were aggravating, but the early access version is good enough that I'd recommend at least trying the demo, which seemed much more refined.
Completing the first scenario took about an hour and a half, even though we already knew how to solve chapter two. With two more scenes on the way, there's enough gameplay value to provide good value. If you can't stand a few glitches, you might want to wait for the developer to add more scenes and refine the game a bit more.
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