I like Wes Anderson. You probably like Wes Anderson, too. Everyone likes Wes Anderson. His world is a rich, imaginative experience reserved for the cinematic — and so are the games he inspires. Come to think of it, there should be more games adopting his visual style and aesthetics, the colours he picks, and the odd little characters he concocts, but for now, we have Maquisard.
It’s not hard to see The Grand Budapest Hotel in everything: from the sunset hues of the hotel, the aubergine of the bellhop’s uniforms, right down to the quaint music that plays throughout, Maquisard is a non-linear, charming mystery game set in a fancy European hotel.
You play a nosy lobby boy given a quest by a member of the resistance organisation, and have to find some government documents that a guest has been harbouring. Find the guy, and you get a statue build after you. Fail, and you get terminated…from life. (I added that one for dramatic effect.)
System Of A Down
Hold up. Before you even begin being a lobby boy double agent and diving into a pastel wonderland, make sure you have the system requirements for the game — or it will be laggy as hell. Imagine a delay time of 10s after you make a prompt. Yeah, it killed me inside.
To move around Maquisard is so simple: spacebar, up, down, left, right. That’s all you need to know, plus there is a short tutorial in the beginning. And this being a mystery game, your powers of observation and deduction is most needed.
The cool thing about this game is that you can eavesdrop BUT remember not to be seen — so use the flowerpots around the hotel to hide yourself. Move around with them if you must, but always stay hidden when the guests are having a conversation.
No Shit, Sherlock
Because it is a set inspired by Wes Anderson, you have to also start to think like Wes Anderson in this tale of espionage and mystery. A stickler for detail and subtle touches, it is often the guests’ actions, gestures, behaviour, and habits that amount to a good lead for you in your investigation.
What are they doing in their bedrooms? Why is he always in the game room? Did he just knock that vase over? What activities do they like? How are the guests reacting to certain things around them? So many questions!
While sticking your nose into everything, be selective. Some things are really unimportant — don’t stick around too long, you have a case to crack! Explore the place if you want, but don’t get too engrossed. You don’t really have to talk or interact with absolutely everyone and everything.
Handy Dandy Notebook
The notebook is the only thing you are given in this game, so use it! Make your observations as you come across them, so that when it’s time to make your decision at the end of the game, it’s all there. Also, the gift shop lady drops clues if you interact with her, so she can be useful sometimes. You only have three days to find the government agent — the future of the nation is in your hands.
Thirty minutes later (+ additional lag time), I completed the game, and turned in the correct guy (it changes with every game you play) so I got a statue made out of me. That’s all I wanted man, that’s all I wanted.
Maquisard is downloadable here, and you can pay as you please!