Concentration Room

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For other meanings, see Wikipedia:Concentration (disambiguation).

Concentration Room is a homebrew NES game.


Logo of Hombon Pharmaceuticals

A lie tic is a change in behavior when someone is telling lies, analogous to a tell in the game of poker. Dr. Alan Hirsch of the Smell and Taste Foundation at the University of Illinois confirmed 23 identifiable lie tics, including loss of eye contact and touching the nose.[1] A collection of infographics by AuntieMeme of, titled 24 Scientific Ways to Influence People Without Saying a Word, opens with a few signs of interest that people can't or don't bother to fake, such as the pupils and feet. But occasionally it can become difficult to filter out lying from general stress. And thus the story begins.

A drug company was working on a compound that would make the lie tics of a person of interest being questioned easier to discern. Until something went horribly wrong...

Once upon a time in the
Third Realm from the Sun,
a team of biochemists were
perfecting a truth serum.
Codenamed Pinenut, the serum
was intended to make it more
difficult for a detainee to
keep a secret from police
and to make the physical
tells of deception more

But a lab accident at
Hombon Pharma led to the
creation of a mildly
neurotoxic substance.
Lab assistants were exposed
to this "bad batch"
before it could be
properly cleaned up.
To make things worse, it
had to happen on Bring
Your Child to Work Day.

The assistants and their
children were put in
quarantine until their
bodies eliminated the toxin.
It caused painful seizures
until they started thinking
of other things to get their
mind off the pain.
One of the children in
quarantine was carrying a
deck of Concentration cards.
It worked.

The more intensely they
thought, the more the
side effects subsided.
Concentrating heavily would
reduce the concentration of
the toxin in brain fluid,
as it bound to waste
products from metabolism
in the brain.

Flip two cards, and if they
match, you keep them. If
they don't, flip them back.
Good luck; you'll need it!

Concentration Room originally had a plot involving the internment of an ethnic minority (as depicted in Life Is Beautiful) who could win their freedom by defeating other inmates in a competition (as depicted in Undisputed and Felon, in turn based on guard-managed prison fight clubs in California, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, and Thailand).[2] After a rewrite suggested by fellow NES game developer Shiru, it ended up becoming a lab accident on Bring Your Child to Work Day, a concept that Valve would work into Chell's backstory in Portal 2. It also parallels Dr. Josef Mengele's experiments with scopolamine.[3]


Meet your opponents.

Five levels of the game are "solitaire" boards with 10, 20, 36, 52, and 72 cards. The player has a limited number of misses to complete each. After a successful clear, another person in quarantine challenges the player to a match on the same size board. Lose, and the player repeats the same solitaire board; win, and the player goes go on to the next board.

๐ŸŽ Apple, ๐Ÿ’ Cherries, Orange, ๐Ÿ‘ Peach, ๐Ÿ Pear
Preschool + Shovel, Axe, ๐ŸŽฃ Fishing rod, Net, Watering can
Junior High
๐ŸŸ Fish, ๐Ÿž Bug, โ–ณ Triangle, โ—‹ Circle, โœ• Cross, โ–ก Square, ๐Ÿ‘ฆ Boy, ๐Ÿ‘ง Girl, โ’ท Coin, โ˜ฎ Peace, โ˜€ Sun, โ˜ Cloud, โ˜‚ Umbrella, โ˜ƒ Snowman, โ˜… Star, ๐Ÿ Pineapple, ๐Ÿ˜ Elephant, โ’น Donkey
High School
Junior High + โ™ฅ Hearts, โ™ฆ Diamonds, โ™  Spades, โ™ฃ Clubs, ๐Ÿ’ฃ Bomb, โ›ญ Gear, Splotch, Spring
Lab Technician
Elementary + High School


room lite:

  • 16+8 KiB NROM
  • Plain-looking intro
  • 36 predefined emblems on cards
  • No save

room deluxe (on indefinite hiatus):

  • 128 KiB SNROM
  • Photos in intro
  • 160 predefined emblems on cards
  • Emblem editor with space for 80 emblems
  • Save eight players' campaigns

If you plan on including this in a CHR RAM based multicart, beware of the CHR RAM corruption bug in version 0.02 due to incorrect shuffle markup. To fix it, open drawcards.s and scroll to the subroutine blitCardSprites. One of the --parts-- of this subroutine begins with the following lines:


Move these to the start of the subroutine, above the first .shuffle directive. Thanks to 3GenGames for reporting it.


  1. โ†‘ "Liars' noses really do grow". Mail Online. Accessed 2014-02-15.
  2. โ†‘ Eric Yosomono, Rev. Les Crowley. "5 Absurd Movie Plots That You Won't Believe Really Happened". Cracked, 2014-05-26. Accessed 2014-05-26.
  3. โ†‘ E. Reid Ross. "5 Drugs That Turn Your World Into A Real-Life Horror Movie". Cracked, 2015-07-17. Accessed 2015-07-17.

External links