The Room: Old Sins is best described as a Lovecraftian puzzle game. If you ever wanted to feel like Robert Langdon in The Da Vinci Code, this is the game for you. Old Sins, like all the other games in the series, is heavily inspired by Rube Goldberg machines.
Each puzzle is an elaborate mechanism that offers the player insight and items to solve the next puzzle. That said, none of the puzzles are overly difficult – each are a matter of patience, logic, and thinking outside the box.
It is easy to get stuck, however, as the player is required to keep a lot of minor details in mind. Or if the details don’t slip your mind, then a mistake gave you the false impression that you couldn’t solve a puzzle yet.
The in-game hints should straighten that out, but what you need to do isn’t always obvious. The roll top desk, for example, required the player to not only remember a small detail but to connect already solved puzzles with the current one. Thinking outside the box was certainly the key to that puzzle and it is a lesson that must be remembered as the player moves through the rest of the game.
So if you got stuck on the roll top desk too, or can’t seem to find the next step, here are a few The Room: Old Sins Tips and Tricks to play by:
When In Doubt Use Your Lens
It is good advice to use your lens the moment you enter a new room. The lens will tell you which objects you need to focus on, though you should never let it limit your exploration. If you can, find the book within the room first, it will save you a lot of confusion on where the lens is trying to lead you.
The lens will also help within puzzles to enter a new area or give you much-needed codes and clues. There are usually visual clues to show when you need to use the lens, like a shimmering surface or glowing emblem, but that won’t always be the case. The code to the automaton’s heart, for example, has no visual clue.
Find All The Empty Spaces
The next step is to find the empty spaces and memorize them. All around the outside of the dollhouse are missing pieces – find those spaces and remember them. Every time you solve a room, you will be given something to fill another space. This always opens up another room or area to solve.
Most puzzles within the rooms are missing pieces too, be sure to remember these too. The exact shape will be important as you discover new objects and solve other puzzles. To make the situation even more confusing, sometimes the item you pick up is not already in the shape you need it to be. A conundrum that leads us to the next The Room: Old Sins tip:
New Object = New Puzzle
This tip goes one of two ways: the object you picked up is a puzzle in itself that will transform into the piece you need, or it already is in the right form. As such, whenever you acquire a new item be sure to poke at it and fiddle with any moving parts until you’ve solved it. Most, if not all, objects are mini-puzzles and ignoring them will get you stuck and frustrated.
That said, there are some objects that you will need to hold onto for awhile, like the “enamel fragment.” You will need to hold onto that piece for about three rooms before you discover the right place. The pearl item is even longer. Such situations require the player to constantly try an old object against a new puzzle. It is usually fairly obvious when you need it, but it never hurts to try.
Explore and Memorize
As with all puzzle games, the key to solving puzzles is exploration. Whether or not the lens leads you to specific places, you must explore further. Look and touch everything, even if it doesn’t move or function properly. Take note of any missing pieces or what an objects overall function should be, this will help immensely when you need to know where a new object belongs.
If it helps, write down everything you discover and draw what puzzles might not have an obvious solution yet. If there are pieces missing, write those down too. Meticulous cataloging like this will ensure that you will very rarely need the in-game hints, if at all.
All Puzzles Are Connected
If missing pieces don’t connect puzzles together, their concepts and steps will. The roll top desk and automaton are early examples of this; the desk teaches the player that you don’t always need an object to move something and the automaton requires sound to be solved.
That is to say nothing of the objects the player must find in a variety of locations to solve many other puzzles. It is important to remember that almost all puzzles in The Room: Old Sins are connected and must be kept in mind as the player advances.
Think Outside The Box
Though all puzzles follow a kind of logic, there are always outside elements the players need to be aware of. The laws of physics, for example, apply within the world of Old Sins; if you see a bottle out of reach in kitchen drain, then it is only logical that raising the water level will help you. Steam and weights play a part in some puzzles too, so don’t always expect the answers to be within the puzzle itself – outside logic is important.
Furthermore, some puzzles require creative solutions. The most creative by far is the last puzzle within the roll top desk where even knowing the hints do not necessarily spell out what you need to do. The clue lies in wording and picking up details that are not within the usual sight line.
Some objects require a code that is not given and the player must connect the symbols on their own. All of these puzzles teach the player to think outside the box and they are important details that solve future more complex puzzles.
The Room: Old Sins Audio
Though you can play the majority of Old Sins without sound, there are some sections where hearing the consequences of your actions is the key element. There is tuning the radio, of course, but hearing what turning one gear or tapping on an object sounds like can be the key to solving a puzzle.
Even if the object just jangles helplessly in position, at least you know it is a movable part if you detach its restraints. Also, the sound of parts moving out of sight can help the player realize what needs to be moved where. You may not need headphones for it, just so long as you can pick up one metallic slide from another.
Frustrated? Take A Break.
Before you go running to a walkthrough or using the in-game hints, pause the game and take a break. Frustration will only result in fruitless fiddling. Take a break and think about the puzzle while doing something else, you’ll often find the solution will come to you in no time.
Think of it like ye olden days when folks had to figure out the Ocarina of Time’s water temple without the internet. If the solution doesn’t come to you, taking a break can give you a fresh mind with which to approach the puzzle.
The Room: Old Sins Japanese Gallery
The best advice for this room is patience and remember all the tricks above. The Japanese Gallery is what I would describe as a “center room,” much like The Study was. A center room is a room that requires the player to collect pieces from elsewhere and sometimes must solve one or two other rooms first.
As with everything in this game, gathering the essential pieces for the Japanese Gallery can be exhaustingly elaborate – this is what you came for after all – so remember your patience. You will get there eventually and the game’s hints should help.
The Room: Old Sins Walkthrough
Alright, if you have exhausted all of the above tips and tricks and you still can’t figure out the next step: here’s the walkthrough. It may not be the best walkthrough, but you can always skip to the part you need without having to watch someone else struggle like you did. Good luck and don’t forget to have fun! The Room: Old Sins is supposed to make the player feel clever as they solve one elaborate puzzle after the next.