Rumu loves to scrub. Rumu loves subservience. Rumu loves the concept of subservience. He’s a wise vacuum full of affection and curiosity. Rumu’s able to cleanup all of the messes his absentee human house owners, who occur to be the vacuum’s creators, depart behind of their sensible residence. Sabrina, the house’s AI backend, units him to his job. But she’s hiding one thing.

That’s the essential setup for the brand new video recreation Rumu, a easy and exquisite puzzler from developer Robot House. It’s half Portal 2, half Roman Polanski thriller, and half Gone Home, with an emphasis on story and environment. Players take management of a vacuum who enjoys cleansing and tooling round the home of his people, attempting to choose up the items of their damaged lives. Sometimes actually.

I started my vacuum journey by cleansing up a collection of 99 spills in digital actuality diagnostic mode whereas chatting with Sabrina.

It was a boring, repetitive job, one thing odd to open a video recreation with, however there was an open door to the aspect, simply asking me to insurgent. So, after 4 out of 99 spills cleaned, I did. Rumu’s—and the participant’s—first aware act is to insurgent in opposition to Sabrina, the sensible residence that runs the home’s numerous home equipment. It’s an essential second that appears innocuous on the time, although it units the tone for every little thing to come back.

The messes Sabrina duties Rumu with cleansing get stranger. Image: Hammerfall Publishing

Things start usually as Rumu cleans some spilled tea and hoovers up bugs within the residence’s kitchen, earlier than the sport takes an abrupt flip towards the darkish and unusual. Sabrina, it seems, is upset the home cat, Ada Lovelace, is consistently inflicting messes, and the AI suggests filling the air vents with poison fuel to care for the issue as soon as and for all. She’s not joking and it’s an early signal issues aren’t what they appear and that Sabrina isn’t fairly proper.

Also, the people by no means appear to be round; Sabrina all the time makes excuses for them that don’t make sense. The AI tells you they’ve gone out mountain biking on a day when it’s clearly storming, for instance. The messes aren’t in line with regular human lives both, and the one natural lives are the cat, the crops, and the bugs.

The messes Sabrina asks Rumu to scrub get stranger and, as extra rooms open to Rumu, I rooted via the drawers and journals of the seemingly lacking household. It’s a tragic and well-written story I gained’t spoil. Sabrina and Rumu are extra than simply home equipment and Rumu is greater than only a vacuum cleaner. His journey is a path to sentience and understanding that mirrored my journey as I unraveled Sabrina’s mysterious motivations and an absent household.

The recreation is brief, candy, and to the purpose, by no means overstaying its welcome. The puzzles are easy however enjoyable and the sound design is great. Sabrina is just a little like GLaDOS from Portal 2 and Rumu is just a little like Wall-E. It’s a wierd mixture of vivid colours, huge concepts, and creeping horror.

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