Typically, “must complete in one sitting,” would be a daunting ask of most players, but fortunately, game director Kenny Guillaume respects our time. In what is easily one of the most concise and to the point experiences I have played so far this year, all Marie’s Room will cost you is your time.
And folks, it is worth it.
Marie’s Room is a PC exploration game with a tone and setting in the same vein as Gone Home and Life is Strange. An interactive mystery that takes no more than an hour to complete, so the lack of save points isn’t a problem if you plan your time accordingly.
Taking place in a single bedroom (Marie’s Room), the player will uncover the mystery behind an event that occurred years past which ripped apart two childhood friends. Without delving into spoilers, as the narrative is the entirety of the experience, Marie’s Room is a story of friendship, adolescent betrayal, and violence.
Exploring the room and interacting with various objects reveals cryptic tidbits of backstory and clues. The player has a journal that key information is added to when story items are discovered. While each player will uncover the various clues in a different order, each piece falls into place in a way that tells a very concise and clear story.
Much like in Gone Home, interacting with key story items triggers a remarkably well-written and performed voiceover. This effective voiceover sold me on the experience. Had Marie’s Room been a text-only game it would not have been nearly as engaging. The raw emotion and passion behind the lines that Lauren Hendler delivers are top notch, rivaling and, in some cases, outdoing AAA game performances.
The personality, detail, and masterful storytelling conveyed to the player while exploring a single room is very engrossing. I wanted more when I completed the game while still feeling satisfied that Marie’s Room had told the story it had aimed to tell. Enjoyment of narrative exploration games is entirely reliant on the writer’s ability to craft an emotionally charged tale that sticks with the player. Fail to do so, and the player wouldn’t feel compelled to explore every inch of Marie’s Room quite as meticulously.
Marie’s Room does in an hour or less what many games fail to do in the tens of hours that they may ask players to commit. At the cost of only 40-60 minutes of your time, Marie’s Room is worth the download, and I can’t wait to see what comes next from Kenny Guillaume and his team.
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