MARVO ONLINE GAMES
MARVO. based in Bournemouth, currently offer 2 outstanding online games. If you fancy a fully interactive experience with a difference, you MUST check these out

To purchase these experiences, visit; https://www.marvomysteries.co.uk/online-escape-room/

MARVO MYSTERIES - M.A.R.V.O. ARCHIVES

PADLOCK RATING; 5 - OUTSTANDING 

 

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! 

 
MARVO MYSTERIES - M.A.R.V.O. ARCHIVES PHASE 2

PADLOCK RATING; 5 - OUTSTANDING 

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!

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