MARVO MYSTERIES - M.A.R.V.O. ARCHIVES PHASE 2
Following on from the outstanding M.A.R.V.O. Archives Phase 1, the team at Marvo certainly had their work cut out to produce something as polished and enjoyable - however, its safe to say they have definitely achieved what they set out to do!; an even more advanced, immersive experience which players will absolutely love!
In respect of the story, where this is a follow on from Phase 1, again I will provide no spoilers in the story line. Therefore much of this review is reflective of their first game, as follows - "In terms of story line, its hard to give too much away without spoilers so I will keep it brief. In short, the M.A.R.V.O. Archives is home to a vast collection of artefacts and many objects of magical power. They have been kept safe and secure in the vault for hundreds of years, but all that changed the day a mysterious box arrived in the M.A.R.V.O loading bay...?
Instantly, I was gripped. A game where the published story is a little sketchy always gets my attention and this was no different. The promise of artefacts, magical powers and unlocking of vaults got my attention! And as the story continued through phase one, its safe to say I was not disappointed.
This game is point and click in style, however don't be fooled by what you think of when you hear the words "point and click" - it is much better than what that moniker suggests! What Marvo have created here is nothing short of a masterpiece. There are some key elements which make this stand out for me -
Firstly, the videography is superb. Instead of being faced with a still image in order to access every puzzle, the designers have managed to create the interaction between different stages of the puzzle with outstanding video and special effects. This gives a great sense of realism to the game. (The accompanying soundtrack also gives a nice air of tension, even though the game doesn't have a time restraint, it certainly helped to keep me on my toes!)
Secondly, the interaction. Without giving any spoilers, the way you interact with the videos and stills within the game is stunning. The screen is littered with subtle nuances and humour, hints, areas to click, different camera options etc. It is very clear that the game has been developed with the user in mind as not only is the interaction fantastic, how this adds to the flow of the game play provides a level of simplicity to the end user - at no point was I thinking "what should I click now?!" ".
Now moving on more specifically with phase 2, In terms of puzzles, these are a step up from the first game. Certainly more complex, however no less enjoyable. The games in this phase have more of a technical feel to them and it really feels like you are using technology in a more advanced way to the first phase. Again, families would love this more advanced game as it feels like you have stepped further into the archive building and its a great sequel to the first. In my eyes, although many enthusiast reviews for phase 1 were outstanding, given the more advanced puzzles in this game, I get the sense this one is going to get even greater praise!
If you do need hints, these are well placed on screen using a question mark icon or hint boxes. They range from nudge, to subtle, to major, to "I haven't got a clue give me the answer"! I will be honest, I used the hint buttons a little more than I should have in this game! The old faithful " veteran" in me went head first into every puzzle with a disregard to the finer details. Sit back, take a breath, leave your frustrations at the door, and look at this game at face value - you will succeed!
Trying to not provide spoilers, an honourable mention needs to made for the secondary website used in this game and the other websites associated with it. There is clearly a phenomenal amount of effort gone into these additional game resources with great attention to detail. This gives even further immersion and realism to the game.
Much like the first MARVO game, I dont want to even give a subtle hunt as to what to expect in terms of story with this game as its simply too impressive to spoil - your surprise as to what you are actually doing in this game is a major part of its charm.
To summarise, its safe to say that this is another very strong showing from the Marvo team, maybe even better than their first outing! Great effects and videography, brilliant use of technology and a more advanced level of puzzle, set this up to be a well rounded immersive experience which you wont forget in a hurry!
PADLOCK RATING; 5 - OUTSTANDING
To Purchase this experience, visit; https://www.marvomysteries.co.uk/online-escape-room/