Murder Room gives players a horror-themed room escape challenge

Murder Room is a new iOS and Android game from Japanese developer Ateam Inc. The game is a first-person perspective “room escape” adventure game, and is set for release today on the App Store and Google Play.

In Murder Room, players are cast in the role of an anonymous character who finds themself trapped in a room with what appears to be a murderer defiling a body with a chainsaw. Through interacting with various elements around the game world, the player must do their best to escape from the dangerous situation.

Controlling Murder Room is similar to the many other Japanese “room escape” games available on mobile devices. Tapping on objects in the game world examines or interacts with them, and collectible items will be automatically picked up when tapped on. If an appropriate item is put “in hand” before interacting with something, the item will be used accordingly. Swiping left and right on the screen rotates the player’s viewpoint to different perspectives on the room, and swiping from top to bottom allows the player to leave any “zoomed in” views they may have triggered by tapping on an interactive item.

Puzzles vary from simply figuring out which items might be helpful in a given situation to elaborate cryptic clues that may be scattered across several objects. There is a set order in which the player is expected to complete the various tasks, and this can, at times, lead to confusion — for example, early in the game there is a newspaper article sitting atop a cooker, and examining it before one is “supposed to” it triggers the confusing comment “I don’t have time to read it now. I should give it a read.”

The game features a hint system whereby players may purchase clues for their given situation using in-game currency. The player is provided with a limited amount of these coins upon starting the game for the first time, and following the expenditure of this allowance they may get additional coins for free by downloading another Ateam game called Ellie, making use of a Tapjoy offer wall, downloading cross-promoted apps via Flurry, sharing a link to the game on Twitter or Liking it on Facebook. Coins may also be acquired through in-app purchase, as may an additional story once the player has completed the first challenge.

Murder Room is an atmospheric game with moody sound, impressive (though non-animated) graphic novel-style visuals and a palpable sense of menace. The game appears to use its supposed “extreme horror” as a selling point, which is arguably somewhat questionable, but its unabashed goriness will likely appeal to a particular demographic. As with most other Japanese-developed room escape games, it is enormously challenging and not always obvious exactly what the player is supposed to do, but for fans of the genre this is part of the charm. For those more used to getting helpful feedback from their adventure games, however, Murder Room may prove to be a little too obtuse.

Murder Room is set for release later today. Check back shortly to follow its progress through the App Store and Google Play charts with AppData, our tracking service for mobile and social apps and developers.