Marie’s Room is a very short, story-driven game in which you investigate objects in a single room and reminisce about long-forgotten memories. It’s also 100% free to download from Steam and perfect if you’re looking for a brief experience to sink your teeth in.
As stated in my intro, the entire game takes place in one room (and one hallway leading into it). You play as Kelsey, Marie’s childhood friend, and you’re exploring the house she used to live in 20 years ago. When you open her journal, the item that brings you back to this house after so many years, it takes you back to where our story begins.
The room is suddenly full of clues for you to investigate. Each item revealing a small sliver of the girls’ past but never fully lifting the veil by itself. We learn of their shared interests, issues with bad boyfriends and the fight that broke out between them. Upon inspecting these objects, new entries are added to Marie’s journal. Filling it entirely is not a requirement to “beat” the game, but it’s encouraged so you get the full impact of the tantalising ending.
Besides just listening to these bits of audio, there’s isn’t much actual gameplay to Marie’s Room, there are only two puzzles to be solved: finding a password to unlock a computer and getting a 5 digit code to open a case (which ends the game). The password is found by looking at a single clue but for the padlock, you’ll need to dig a bit deeper.
It’s a bit of a pity you can’t click away from the object though. If you want the entire audio-clip to play, you’ll have to keep staring at it. I’d like to have been able to explore the room further while continuing to listen to the previous description.
Graphically the game doesn’t disappoint either; the room is detailed and while some objects and images appear to be blurry, it only ads to the charm. It reminded me of Life is Strange in some way. The similarities do not end with just the visuals however, both games also share the dynamic between two female lead characters and even more so: the perfectly chosen soundtrack. I recall being in Chloe’s room in Life Is Strange and just zoning out to her vinyls and you could do the same in Marie’s.
The narration is also perfect, carried almost entirely by Kelsey, her intonation and tempo is spot on. It’s impossible not to get drawn into the story and wanting to see it to the end. You’ll have to, as well, as the game has no save-file whatsoever: This is intended to be experienced in one half-hour long sitting.
But you know what, I’m glad I did! For the low, low price of $0, it’s hard not to recommend a playthrough. Here’s mine should you prefer to just watch the entirity on youtube: