It’s always a joy to play a game that feels just right and The Marvellous Miss Take is one of them. It’s just one of those rare blends of style, substance and gameplay. It released back in 2014 and was developed in the UK by Wonderstruck who are currently hard at work on their big open world project called Boundless which I must admit looks rather fantastic.
You play Miss Sofia Take a beautiful and deceptive art thief on a quest to traverse through 25 art galleries liberating art as you go. You are no ordinary thief; no it’s all about style when it comes to Miss Take. You can use various methods of distraction to make the guards change their routine, enabling you to sneak behind them or take a different route to avoid them.
The game itself takes on an isometric look and has a beautiful cell-shaded style that reminds me a lot of the now-classic RTS ‘Evil Genius’. It’s a very individual style because so very few games can get away with this art style but The Marvellous Miss Take does this perfectly. It’s really suited to the characters and the storyline, I could not see the game working as well as it does if the graphics were more realistic.
You control Sofia by using the mouse to click on an area to move to. In general, she will take the shortest route to your selected area so you generally have to keep clicks close to your character. Double clicking an area will force Miss Take to dash which makes a lot more noise than her normal walk and will attract the attention of the guards if they are close enough. The game is purely non-violent with no way to disable the guards so you have to learn your distraction techniques quickly. Fans of the Metal Gear Solid series will certainly find something to relate to here.
Games that use tutorials can sometimes take all the fun out of playing the game. They do this by leading you fully down the path whereas a suggestion of which path to take would have been a much better approach. The Marvellous Miss Take in my opinion has one of the best tutorials I have ever played. It slowly and regularly introduces new mechanics before leaving you alone with them to experiment and hone your new skill.
The skills you need are not exactly difficult to pick up but the game also ramps up the difficulty. Starting out with just plain guards you’re soon introduced to security cameras and then sniffer dogs all of which make your art liberation that much harder. This is where the game falls down a little because the movements of the guards can be quite unpredictable and therefore make your beautiful plan go utterly wrong. Some people may argue that this adds difficulty to the game and others might find it totally unfair. I fell into both of these camps where sometimes it just felt unfair that I got caught and sometimes I got caught because I was taking too much of a risk.
The Marvellous Miss Take is by no means flawless, but I think its style makes up a lot for what failings it has. It’s a fairly short game all in all, but there is nothing to stop you from replaying the levels to try to beat your best time. The introduction of The Fox (a second playable character) gives the game a bit of a boost because his missions are significantly more challenging. Although the punishment of failure can be quite hard, at least the game reloads the level quickly, allowing you to get on with your next attempt. There are also optional bits of art that you can skip over if you are feeling like the level is being too challenging. But the art for me is a bit like pokémon, where I really have to steal them all or I will not be satisfied.
Keeping with the theme of satisfaction I must say that the level of satisfaction you get for completing a level and within the given time limit is quite a big lure of the game. It certainly feels rewarding to of got away with all of the loot without any of the guards even noticing you. I love the way that Sofia loses her hat if she is being chased, being a person of style she will not leave her hat behind so once you have managed to shake the guards you have to retrieve your hat.
Yep, this was worth the money in my opinion. One of the games that I have truly enjoyed playing. Have you played The Marvellous Miss Take? Tell us what you thought of the style and gameplay? Was it worth the money? Is this the kind of game that might interest you? Give us all your feedback via the comments section, Twitter and Facebook