Resident Evil inventory management has felt like a game within a game, a subtle yet challenging little puzzle whereby you need to maximize your ammunition and herb loadout, while still leaving space for key items. The Capcom survival horror game reached its item-screen apex with Resident Evil 4 and the iconic attaché case, inspiring Steam indie game Save Room, an entire puzzler based on squeezing every last thing possible into your hero’s personal stockpile. Now, Save Room is getting a sequel, with Save Room The Merchant letting you barter, bargain, and haggle with the iconic RE4 Merchant.
Developed by Fractal Projects, Save Room The Merchant is the natural extension of the original inventory management sim. In the original Save Room, each level presents you with the challenge of fitting a large number of items into a restrictive attache case, kind of like a slow-motion version of Tetris, whereby you need to twist, turn, and swap around guns and bullets to click them all together.
Now, things are getting more complicated. As well as organizing your own inventory, you need to trade and bargain with the Merchant in order to earn money, buy and offload weapons and herbs, and systematically organize your case. Across 40 handcrafted levels, you slip into a kind of low-pressure zen state, arranging your inventory like you’re doing feng shui, or perhaps carefully designing perfect roads in a city-building game.
Like Wordle, or that new game that challenges you to create the best and most complex online passwords, Save Room The Merchant is a challenging blend of logical thinking and low-stakes play.
If you love Resident Evil, but can’t really be bothered with all the shooting and exploring bits, this is the perfect game. It’s just you, your beloved inventory, and the gratifying sound of hundreds of items locking perfectly into position. You can wishlist Save Room The Merchant here.