Oxide Room 104 Review

After having recently spent a good several evenings binge-watching through the multiple seasons of Bates Motel and having already seen a ton of all-time classic Forensic Files, there is one thing that always strikes an obvious red flag to me these days; that being American Motels, and how if I were to ever trek across the sea to visit the land of opportunity I would probably be checking every corner and every crevice before I agreed to even think about staying in one. The reason for this is that they seem to be the perfect place to commit all manner of gruesome murders or freaky activity and if my recent time with Oxide Room 104 is anything to go by, this is something that is only translated all too well from TV to gaming.

Oxide Room 104 is one of the latest titles to arrive in the somewhat new-found season of horror that has arrived on Xbox consoles in recent weeks, and in this tale, players take on the role of Matt, a seemingly lone traveler who after arriving at a motel and relaxing with a whiskey appears to wake up locked within the confines of a bathroom. There’s blood on the door spelling out your name and you have no knowledge of what is going on. With a head injury causing you to feel weak, survival mode kicks in and it’s up to you to figure out how to escape.

Escape is no easy task however as each room is a puzzle and you’ll need to work out how to make your way through each one to finally break free from this motel of horrors whilst progress is met with unusual memory-like flashbacks and creatures that will kill you in an instant should you fail to escape their face full of horrible gnashers, and did I mention the presence of a psychopathic doctor who can be found enjoying some rather disturbing limb-lopping.

One key aspect of progress is the unique items that can be collected. Once you’ve found your way out of the bathroom, additional rooms can be unlocked through the locating of various keys, and with these, you can enter additional rooms and collect all manner of supplies, additional slots for your inventory, and files that shed a little extra light as to what is going on and even a gun and valuable ammunition to fight back against the creatures hunting you down.

Whilst there is a story to be found within Oxide Room 104, the writing isn’t the best. Instead, the real attraction here is the puzzling nature of escaping each room, with progress somewhat slow unless you know exactly where to look.

What can make things even slower is that should you find yourself making a mistake and on the wrong side of one of the abominations that occupy this grisly motel, you’ll find yourself going through a rather interesting death mechanic in which you’ll wake up back in the same bathtub, however this time things are not same. Items may have moved to new locations; enemies may now be in areas in which you could run freely before, or puzzles may be simpler to solve this time around. It’s an interesting concept that ensures the game feels a little more refreshing and dynamic than simply backtracking over everything you’ve already seen and done before and whilst it may slow things down, it’s definitely a welcome feature that we need to see more of in horror games.

The enemies themselves are also a dynamic feature within the game as the enemies you see will depend on the room you are currently exploring and the number of times you have died, but with common enemies taking multiple shots to kill, you’ll need to spend your efforts trying to sneak past the majority of them anyway should you wish to avoid running into an untimely demise and an entire reset of the game, with too many deaths enough to see you need to start from the beginning.

For the most part, gameplay within Oxide Room 104 is very enjoyable. Puzzles are clever, enemies are creepy and I’m yet to find another game besides perhaps Dark Souls and those pesky mimics that make me cautious to even open a door or interact with an item through fear of what might happen to my character, but Oxide Room 104 manages to reintroduce a lot of the things you hope to find when you jump into a new horror game. Even with the naturally low budget of indie horror, things still mostly look great visually, and whilst you won’t find this title up there as an award winner for best visuals, the creepy setting, hideous creatures, and even the attention to detail on various items is certainly impressive.

The letdown if there has to be one comes down to the voice acting. From Matt’s first interaction with horrific enemies to pretty much the majority of vocals delivered, it almost feels as if the character is entirely disconnected from the reality of what is going on around him. That’s not to say it ruins the gameplay as Oxide Room 104 is well worth a play even with no vocals, however, it can be slightly immersion-breaking when you’re sat feeling uneasy at the thought of entering the next room as the music ramps up and delivers a tone of fear into you as a player, only to find the protagonist sounding like he’s seen it all before.


Overall, if you like horror but are fed up with the same overused tropes and want something a little re-energizing then this survival horror/escape room thrill is certainly one to add to your collection. With impressive gameplay ideas, a creepy setting, and some horrific enemies, this is a game that stands out amongst the countless horror titles available on Xbox and it’s one that is well worth a playthrough.

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This game was reviewed based on Xbox S|X review code, using an Xbox S|X console. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version. Game provided by publisher.

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  • Things are different each time you die
  • Enemies are creepy and a real threat to the player
  • Atmospheric tension has a real sense of dread
  • Voice acting doesn't match the situations of the protagonist
Written by
After many years of dabbling and failing in Dark Souls and many other equally brutal gaming adventures, I can now be found in a state of relaxation, merely hunting for a little extra gamerscore or frightening myself with the latest Resident Evil - Sometimes I write about it too!

1 Comment

  1. Thank You for an enjoyable and informative post. (If You Think our motels are scary you should see our politicians.)


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