'The Room' - Best Android, iOS apps from 2012

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The Room

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The Room 
(Developed by Fireproof Games)
Available for: iPad 
Released: September
Price: $4.99

Not to be confused with filmmaker Tommy Wiseau's infamous cult classic of the same name--and light years ahead of it in terms of storytelling coherence and creative accomplishment--The Room is an ingeniously crafted puzzle game distinguished by its jaw-dropping 3D graphics and palpable sense of doom and gloom.

A riddle wrapped in an enigma and smothered in secret sauce, The Room presents gamers with a series of locked boxes and safes alongside a string of clues to help you determine what's inside. Every object is rendered with stunningly lifelike tactile precision--each key must be turned and each dial must be spun, and with each code you crack, the closer you come to deciphering the secrets powering the narrative. A magical eyeglass gives you the perspective necessary to make sense of it all, but comprehension is fleeting--each solution poses even more questions, immersing you deeper and deeper into The Room's dark, foreboding world. 

Although it works beautifully as an exercise in mental gymnastics, The Room is above all a triumph of mood and atmosphere: Its gothic color palette and eerie, ambient soundtrack contrast sharply with the photo-realistic textures and lighting, conjuring a dimension somewhere between reality and fantasy. Forget cult-classic status: This is a classic, period, and there's nothing else in the App Store quite like it.