Epic’s Next Free Game Offers Colorful Puzzling Intrigue

You know what price is better than “low low low”? It’s “free”! That’s the amount you’ll need to pay for a copy of Doors: Paradox on the Epic Games Store from February 1.

When it comes to EGS freebies, Doors is perhaps less of an immediately enticing big name. The current free game, until February 1, is the widely adored indie puzzler Infinifactory from the renowned Zachtronics, and you should definitely grab that too. Previous titles have included Saints Row, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, and Death Stranding. Doors feels like a more esoteric pick, much less likely to drag in eyeballs, and yet it’s entirely worth a look.

Doors is very much a child of breakthrough escape game The Room. (Not a licensed game based on the Tommy Wiseau film, tragically, but the 2012 puzzle game from Fireproof Games.) It became a colossal mobile hit, and spawned a gruesome number of copycat games, immediately identifiable by their deliberate attempt to ape The Room’s distinctive logo. (Doors was also first released on mobile in 2021, before coming to PC in 2022.)

Wait, what’s this in Doors: Paradox developer Big Loop Studios’ forthcoming games list? Why, it’s Boxes: Lost Fragments, and gosh, what a familiar-appearing logo.

Room 3 and Boxes logos side by side.

Image: Fireproof / Big Loop Studios / Kotaku

You get the idea.

But 2022’s Doors: Paradox—while clearly still inspired by the legion of games that followed The Room—strikes a far more distinct style of its own.

More than anything else, it’s bright and colorful—elements that are vanishingly rare in the escape genre, where we’re more usually kept in dank dungeons or dimly lit castles. The principle remains exactly the same: you scour a scene for objects that can be pulled, poked, or twisted, reveal keys and crowbars that open locks and planks, and interact with mechanisms that must be figured out in order to solve puzzles. Do so and the machinery beneath clunks and clinks and rotates to reveal new elements to explore. It’s Fireproof’s model, and you’ve likely encountered it in all manner of mobile games.

But Doors does a good job with the format, if nothing overwhelmingly special. And it’s nice to have it remade for a far bigger screen, so you don’t have to scuff about with your fingertips on the tiniest details. And, look, it’s free. You don’t even get to complain.

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By asm3a