You are the next test subject in “An Apparently Normal Room.” This is a first person experience, where yes indeed you are stuck in a white room. Imprisoned by a talking voice that is using you as an experiment. There isn’t much to do here, walk forward, backward, select from choices when asked questions and interact with objects when they appear in the normal room. You use your mouse to look, but there’s also a mouse pointer on screen. So if you want to look at something in the middle of the screen and your mouse is on the right side, you’ll have to do a full 360 body rotation for your cursor to be in the center. I think the real experiment in this 10 minute long experience are the startling moments. Not jump scares, but it takes you from highs to lows. Seeing something happy to seeing something horrible. Getting joy, then having it robbed from you.
To get your feet wet, you’re asked what number is on a wall. Do you remember your name? Go over and push that button. Eventually it progresses into disturbing imagery when you are forced to turn a television to one of three channels. News, cartoons or horror. The news footage is a plane from 9/11 exploding into the World Trade Centers which I didn’t enjoy, but hey its an experiment right? Then the game progresses deeper down the rabbit hole as it changes the room around for a minor jump scare. I’m trying not to ruin what little there is to what feels like a tech demo. A designer learning to crawl in Unity3D.
I wouldn’t be surprised if this program is hijacking my web cam to watch me react. There are at least two endings, but they all lead you to just one thing and I won’t spoil it. Again, there’s not much to this game and while I don’t care for experiences like Proteus, Dear Esther and Gone Home, they feel like better experiences. It is an easy experience that anyone can go through with no challenge at all.
When going into this experience, you should ask yourself…. what do you enjoy? Something new? Something fresh and different? You’ll find it here. If you prefer situations where you can lose or explore. Take a pass on An Apparently Normal Room.