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The Room, the video game

I saw this posted to Twitter eight gajillion times yesterday, and I never even got to play it until only just now, because I was on my goddamn iPhone, far from a laptop computer with all its Flash capabilities. But! The story is this. The Behemoth’s Tom Fulp (Alien Hominid, Castle Crashers) has created a playable version of The Room for Newgrounds, and it is so amazing.

I watched Tommy Wiseau’s cinematic masterpiece The Room last month, and for weeks it was all I could think or talk about (and sorry for the protracted absence, but, The Room, people). The movie, though: it is incredible. My friend Robyn’s DVD player is all messed up, so we had to watch the movie with subtitles. Believe me, you should watch with subtitles. The disc even subtitles all the R&B songs that play during the lovemaking scenes! And there are myriad lovemaking scenes, so. Subtitles!

From its very introduction, the point-and-click adventure game establishes a number of familiar themes you’ll likely remember from the film: Johnny’s martyrdom; the implausible San Francisco vista; the music. As you play on, you’ll discover that the flower shoppe is meticulously recreated, as is Johnny’s apartment’s rooftop and spiral staircase and bowl-full-of-apples table centerpiece, and the dialogue. If you’ve never seen The Room, you might think the game dialogue’s utter lack of punctuation isn’t deliberate, but you’d be wrong. Perhaps the game reproduces the film almost to a fault—as a fairly straightforward adaptation, it does bill itself as a “tribute”—and yet there are other creative licenses taken. For instance, the interior of Denny’s apartment, heretofore unseen, rings sociopathically true. Other cinematic plotholes, like whatever happened to Chris the Thug, are kindly cemented in by Mr. Fulp (“Thanks Johnny, you’re our favorite citizen!”). And most impressively, within the adventure game’s limited narrative framework, the characters and their intentions make a lot more sense here than they do in the movie version. Which is weird.

The game is, by most standards, NSFW, as it includes cartoon nudity, as well as—true to its source material!—cartoon sex. In the end, The Room The Game is a labor of love by a guy who has seen the movie far too many times, and who absolutely gets it. The adaptation of The Room, absurdly, works better as a game than it ever did as a movie, if only for Mr. Fulp’s competence as a designer.

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