Walk in the Art Gallery like “What up? That’s mine now.”
The Marvellous Miss Take (Wonderstruck, 2014) is a short, but tremendously fun to play and beautiful to look at stealth game. The art collection Miss Sophia Take was supposed to inherit from her aunt was stolen by Ralph Blackstock and she and her friends have not just vowed to reclaim it, but also uncover the truth behind his ill-gotten gains. In this game with an isometric camera angle, players engage in various art heists in 25 different galleries (not counting tutorial and epilogues) as one of three characters: Sophia Take, the master thief Harry Carver, or the pick pocket Daisy Hobbs.
Miss Take can be played either with your keyboard/mouse combo or a controller. For this review, I used a wired Xbox 360 joypad by Microsoft that the game only recognized the first time I plugged it in. After that, whenever I started the game, I had to navigate to the 《Settings》 menu and then to 《Controls》, click on 《Keyboard Movement》 and could only then use the gamepad. Sometimes I even had to do that twice. This was definitely not the fault of my toaster (a 32-bit Windows Vista computer with 3070MB RAM, Intel Core 2 CPU, GeForce 9500 GT, and DX11) as it also happened on a Lenovo G50-80E5 laptop (64-bit, with Windows 10, 8GB RAM, Intel Core i7 CPU, Intel HD Graphics 5500, DX11). Still, this is a very minor issue that did not keep me from enjoying the game, once I knew how to work around it.
Each location can be played through using all three of the protagonists, all of whom have their separate tasks at hand and differing handicaps: Sophia’s missions are the easiest, despite her having the loudest footsteps and having to steal the most amount of art – during opening hours nonetheless. Harry – having to take three painting from each floor without being seen by any of the guards – cannot run and breaks in during night time. Finally, there’s Daisy whom the guards only notice when she is in their direct field of view. She breaks in during closing days, stealing the keys from the guards and then taking the contents from Blackstock’s safe-deposit boxes. To add spice to the game, the levels are timed while the movement patterns of non-player characters are randomized. Although this might be a nightmare scenario for speedrunners, it turns out to be a fun affair with high replay value for semi-casual players like myself.
There certainly was a lot of love and skill put into the game. The soundtrack is amazing and the cel shaded characters and environments give the whole adventure the more than welcome comic look. Not just that, but the awesomely looking, interactive startup screen changes with each completed. Unfortunately, this means that The Marvellous Miss Take only has one save slot, making it impossible to share it with your sibling or significant other. Nevertheless, erasing the save can be done from inside the game, which is a definitive.
The gameplay mechanics are few, thus easy to remember, and well explained. Dangers, like the field of view of the guards, are exquisitely indicated. At no point did I feel that a mess up of mine was the fault of the game. An issue might be, sadly, that one rather often has to restart stages as the protagonists can end up cornered by the random movement patterns of the guards. Luckily enough, all of the stages are very brief and can all be beaten in less than five minutes, several can take even less than two minutes, if you know what you are doing. Dolefully, the plot and the characters are very rudimentary and feel unfinished, so if you are a fan of story-rich games, this might not be your title.
Overall it took me around 14 hours to beat the game and an additional two hours (16 hours total gameplay) to get all achievements. After beating the par-time for all stages, players can try to beat the pro-, and afterwards the developer-times, the latter I haven’t unlocked as of writing this article (19 hours of total gameplay).
Is The Marvellous Miss Take worth checking out? Definitely. There is even a free demo version available, if you want to try it out before purchasing. The problem I had with the controller was forgetable, once I learned what to do. And thanks to the randomized movement patterns and short levels, there was never a dull moment throughout the entire game. The title’s brevity and moderate difficulty make it perfect for the gamer who does not have that much time any longer, but would like to engage in a few adventures from time to time. The randomized movement patterns and par-, pro-, and dev- time limits also make it fun for those that like a bit more of a challenge.
Miss Take gets a solid 11 oceans out of 10 art heists
Where to Get
The Marvellous Miss Take comes highly recommended and is available as digital download, both as a DRM-free version on Good Old Games, as well as a copy protected one on Steam for an asking price of $19.99 USD or your local equivalent.
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The logo used is courtesy of Wonderstruck and Rising Star Games and was taken from the Media Kit from The Marvellous Miss Take’s official homepage: http://misstakegame.com/media.html . And, like with all other reviews, the gameplay screenshots were all taken by me during my gameplay.