Ludum Dare is a long-running game jam, in which thousands of game designers all come together to produce a short interactive experience around a similar theme over the course of just a couple days. The result is a volcanic outpouring of creativity, the constraints forcing scrappy innovation that sometimes leads to larger projects and mainstream success.
The theme of last month’s Ludum Dare 37 was “One Room,” and, while winning entries riffing on that premise included the text-based Walkie Talkie and the terse, arcade Death Dash, it’s Noah Ratcliff’s You’re Tearing Me Apart that leans most directly into the “one room” concept—notably, by evoking The Room, the 2003 cult classic that can’t stop giving to pop culture. In the game, you walk into a spartan room full of everyday objects—not unlike the very room in which director Tommy Wiseau set his surreal melodrama—and then you throw shit all over the place. Audio clips from the movie play as you upend a computer, a lamp, a bookcase, and so on, all in an evocation of Wiseau’s legendary freakout at the end of the movie. It’s essentially Catlateral Damage, except you are Tommy Wiseau instead of a cat.
This is not the first interactive version of The Room. In 2010, a full top-down retro RPG was produced, which created a surprisingly elaborate mythology to explain the movie’s many oddities and tie up its loose ends. This version makes the most of its low stakes; its best joke may be its graphical settings, named after Room characters and seemingly scaling up according to Wiseau’s affection for them:
Woe unto the person whose computer can only run Claudette settings.