You’re low on ammo. Injured. Desperate. But you made it through the level and now you can breathe a deep sigh of relief and get ready for the next one. Time to heal, reload your weapons, and organize your backpack so you can fit all your gear inside.
That last part is what you do in Save room – organization puzzle. That’s all you do, really. This inventory management puzzle game eliminates the gunfire, monsters and hazards and literally everything else except the very act of healing, reloading weapons and making all your weapons, grenades and gear fit neatly in your backpack. grid based.
And is it… very good?
Probably the best-known ‘Inventory Tetris’ game is Resident Evil 4, but many other games have grid-style inventories, from Deus Ex to DayZ. I think at one time or another we’ve all sat there carefully trying to optimize the placement of gear in a backpack or briefcase so we don’t have to leave a single item behind. Save Room starts with some simple puzzles to make it easier for you to understand – fit a shotgun, pistol and some ammo crates on a grid – but the puzzles get more complex and the grid changes shape as you progress.
It’s such a familiar feeling. Who wouldn’t want to avoid discarding a weapon just because there isn’t enough space in our inventory? We can certainly find room for everything: the long rifle, the long shotgun, the two pistols, and the damn awkwardly shaped uzi that is annoyingly square instead of rectangular. Place some grenades and ammo boxes and a food item which, luckily, only takes up a small square and it looks like you’re a master of efficiency. Like Tetris, you can rotate each item in the Save Room, but unlike Tetris, you can combine some of them to optimize the spike.
When you have multiple ammo boxes, for example, you can sometimes combine them to fit all your bullets in one box instead of two. And don’t forget to load as much ammo as possible in the weapons themselves. (Guns, if you think about it, are just small backpacks for bullets.)
The gif above is sped up so you don’t grind your teeth in frustration watching me try to fit four guns into a bag.
And keep an eye on your character’s health – you never see what happens before entering the save room, but sometimes your HP has been reduced, giving you a chance to use a healing item. Yes, it restores your health, but more importantly, using a health kit means it’s one less thing you need to find space in your backpack.
Save Room adds puzzles within its puzzles, like when you start crafting: using different gunpowder flasks to craft specific types of ammo, combining herbs to make healing items. Sometimes you will need to use consumables in the correct order to efficiently eliminate them from your equipment inventory. Did I poison myself by eating a rotten fish just so I could use a health flask? You bet. Is this a ridiculous thing to do? That’s it. But it’s two less items that I now have to find space for. A little salmonella is worth it.
The game also made me laugh a little. A puzzle has multiple weapons plus an RPG without rockets, and if I got a dime for every time I carried a powerful weapon that I couldn’t use for hours in a game, just with the chance to finally find some ammo for it, I would would have enough coins to fill a second backpack. I can’t help it. Games with inventory grids have turned us into packrats, and as my dad advised me on my wedding day: “If you find a weapon that can take down a helicopter, never leave it behind.”
Save Room contains 40 puzzles and it will probably only take you a few hours to go through all of them. But it’s a lot of fun, the background music is excellent, and costs less than two dollars on Steam.