MARVO MYSTERIES - M.A.R.V.O. ARCHIVES
Now, its difficult to sum online games up in one word given that they are so varied, however with this game I will make an exception. One word - impressive!
In terms of story line, its hard to give too much away without spoilers so I will keep it brief. (Also please note, at time of writing, phase 1 of this game series has been released so my thoughts are purely based on the first release). 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?!".
In terms of puzzles, these fitted the theme beautifully and are certainly pitched at a family audience. Nothing was too taxing, yet you may still need a subtle hint or two to get you through! There are approx 7-10 puzzles within this game which I would pitch at medium difficulty for newcomers. In addition, this game sits nicely with families as I would suggest it would take around 45 mins to an hour to complete.The game content will also mean that your kids certainly wont be getting bored!
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"! There is no need to click to reveal the answers in this game if you simply put your mind to it! The majority of puzzles in general are self explanatory - all I would suggest is to make sure you keep an eye on your accompanying documentation - it comes in very handy!
Its very difficult to write a hugely substantial review on this game without giving away too many spoilers - its simply too good to ruin so my lips are sealed on its content!
All I can say in summary is, do yourself and favour and play this game. It truly is something to behold. From the effects, the on screen interaction, the video content, the puzzles and clue system, the subtle humour, it really isn't one to miss!
PADLOCK RATING; 5 - OUTSTANDING
To Purchase this experience, visit; https://www.marvomysteries.co.uk/online-escape-room/