Earlier in 2022, Save Room appeared as a budget, PC puzzle game that doubles as essentially a Resident Evil inventory management simulator. Your character possess a certain amount of room on-hand. Your goal is to get everything you own into the space you have so you can leave. Now that Save Room is on the Switch, it offers the shockingly zen experience everywhere, but oddly enough lacks touchscreen support.
In games like Resident Evil, players tend to be able to rely on certain rooms which are 100% safe. Nothing can get you there. You can manage your inventory. You might even find additional items. Save Room is a puzzle game built around that notion. Each level sees you entering a safe room. Your inventory is a certain size each time. You might even already be holding some items. The room’s storage offers additional things you can add to your inventory. Your goal is to fit everything into your “pockets” so you can finish the level and head right out. Since each item or piece of equipment takes up a certain number of “blocks” of space and can be rotated, it becomes about properly managing your inventory.
Like the rooms in games it is based on, Save Room features a number of the same mechanics. To start, there is no time limit. You can spend as much time as you’d like organizing things. However, other elements directly pull from the games inspired by it and gradually appear. For example, guns and boxes of ammo are a frequent addition to the inventory. This means if a gun is empty, you can load ammunition into it to conserve space. As you go on, you may notice your “character’s” health bar is red and low. You could then use items like eggs or sardines. That “heals” you, but more importantly gives you more room to work with. Eventually, herbs come into play. This means you can head into the item menu to combine them to make medicine.
Also, yes, this is basically a routine confirmation at this point, but Save Room is great on the Switch. It’s a tidy little download that doesn’t take up much room. It’s only 40 puzzles long, but it is meant to be a budget title after all. It doesn’t wear out the gimmick. Things are easy to read on the system, even though you’re dealing with a smaller screen in Handheld mode. The controls function well, so there are no placement issues as you play. As it is a puzzle game with very little pressure, it means it works well as a palate cleanser or quick diversion.
The downside is, lack of touchscreen support in Switch version of Save Room kept nagging at me. I almost always play in Handheld mode. There are many times I wanted to drag and drop items into place. Even if it meant rotating or going through the usage or combining item menus with them, that’d be fine. Just that extra accent would have been lovely. Though, given this is a $5 budget game, it’s an understandable omission.
Save Room is a puzzle definitely wears its heart on its sleeve. It clearly shows love for the games it is inspired by. Save Room also is a perfect fit on the Switch, with it being clear, easy to play, and a fantastic pick-up-and-play title. The downside is, I feel like a little more could have been done with this port. It seems made for touchscreen controls, but doesn’t take advantage of it. It is definitely worth someone’s time, but could have been a bit better.
Save Room is available for the Nintendo Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and PC.