It seems we have returned to the realm of the obscure. I have reviewed a game from this company before, and ever since I have been yearning for another of their games. Commavid is one of THOSE companies, none of their games ever had a wide release despite their overall quality and are as such rather rare today, two more companies I would define as one of THOSE companies are Tigervision, and Avalon Hill. AS I was browsing through Ebay, as one does, I found a listing for Room of Doom by Commavid in the box no manual, I rarely jump on auctions but I jumped on this one. I won the action, which we all know is an amazing feeling, and several days later IT arrived. What immediately struck me was how short the box is, Commavid carts are some of the tallest for the system, but they also have the shortest boxes being about a centimeter shorter than a Mythicon box and a centimeter taller than a Xonox double ended cartridge. The artwork on the box is absolutely fantastic, whoever the artist was for these Commavid boxes (I can’t make out the signature) I hope they were successful; all around the packaging is A+ material. If the box is enough to make me exited then what about the game? Let’s begin.
This game barely has any graphcs, you, the player, as well as the dudes shooting into the titular Room of Doom are a lumpy bubble headed blokes with long guns of sorts, and it looks really awkward when you’re shooting up or down. There are a small variety of monster locked in the room with you, but they are very abstract at best, and I couldn’t tell you off-hand what they are meant to be. Otherwise you have a HUD that displays your remaining lives, score, and the timer. All around the graphics are kinda terrible; I wish I could say simplistic like with Alien Swarm but nothing here actually looks good it all just seems sort of low effort.
This game also has the barest minimum of sounds; there are a few beeps at the beginning, and then there are just more beeps, there aren’t even any good explosion sounds, and what explosion sounds are there sound more like lasers than anything else. It all just seems so bare, there is almost no substance to this game so far, I really hope the gameplay can save this game.
Guess what! It can! Your objective in Room of Doom is to shoot all the gunmen surrounding the titular room whilst avoiding gunfire, obstacles, and a monster that will chase you around. The early rooms are easy but I was finally stopped in my tracks at room six, this game gets incredibly difficult. As you progress the monster gets faster, the gunmen will shoot faster ultimately leading to rapid fire, there will be more gunmen, there will be rotating knives acting as obstacles, it gets hectic. Also this game has 64 game variations… That’s like Apollo levels of game variations, and they all add something new so you’ll never get bored of the game.
Honestly I really like this game, the ‘Avoid it’ gameplay has always been one of my favorites, I cannot begin to describe how rewarding it is to weave through gunfire taking potshots at the gunmen behind their opening and closing doors, finally taking out the final guy just before the timer hits zero and the monster becomes invincible. This game is addicting and fun, and despite not being a visual or auditory marvel it makes up for it with solid gameplay, the problem is though, this is a Commavid game, and there is no way people are selling these things for cheap, the only loose listing I say on Ebay was for 40$ for a loose cart and 290$ for a complete copy minus the warranty slip. So I must unfortunately condemn Room of Doom to the Collector’s Zone for being too expensive for its own good, quite an unfortunate vice that many great game fall into.