Maid of Sker
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|5/10, based on 1 review
|10.0/10 - 2 votes
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|Horror Games, Best Indie Games, Survival Games, Psychological Horror Games, Mystery Games, Gore Games
Those who enjoy their thriller literature probably would have already heard of the Maid of Sker. Those who haven't - well, now is your chance to immerse yourself in the tale in video game format. Based on British folklore, what could this narrative-heavy survival horror bring to an already cluttered genre?
While the game adopts the Maid of Sker title, the game is loosely based on the novel. The whole gloominess and mystery of the game look to provide a brilliant setting for a standout survival horror experience. However, it's the gameplay that matters in delivering all the thrills. Games of the genre are finding more challenging to conjure these days. Let's see if it succeeds.
Hotel From Hell
If one thing Maid of Sker has right, it's that creepy, unsettling environment. It delivers the desired atmosphere for survival horror games. The visuals supplement the dark narrative behind the game well and initially look to do its job curating an anxious environment to carry out your objectives. However, when we get to the gameplay, that immersion factor is broken.
Maid of Sker relies heavily on the story to piece the game together, so we won't go too deep into that. But we can highlight there are some frustrating issues with gameplay - most noticeably the fundamental mechanics. The core objective of the game is to escape the hotel from a cult family. You'll have to use your wits and environmental assets to overcome the obstacles to getting out. The game does not make that an easy accomplishment, though.
You'll have to solve puzzles to unlock pathways and avoid enemies by listening to their footsteps to dodge confrontation. The sound design is so off-kilter you'd really have no idea where your foes are. The challenges feel a bit too easy at times, making the game bland. There is also no autosave feature. It's probably needed considering the flaws in gameplay render Maid of Sker hard to navigate at times.
The positive points from this game come from how it looks, but it falls well short of being a decent survival horror game for the fact it just doesn't work mechanically. Even the story isn't as rewarding as one would hope, despite having multiple endings to achieve. The end result is just a below-average game, which is a shame given how beautiful it looks.
Steer Clear of Sker
It's not clear whether Maid of Sker was trying to be innovative. Maybe it wanted to offer a different story. Perhaps just wanting to be listed as a decent survival horror game. Whatever the case, it's missing its targets by quite a mile. Comparing to survival horror masterpieces like Resident Evil in the same mansion setting - this game really doesn't work well.
You could argue that tuning up the mechanics, giving the game a little more of a thrill in the narrative, and firing up some emotion could really do wonders to Maid of Sker. Perhaps they could release a more tuned-up version one day? But for now, it's a survival horror to avoid. There's plenty of better fish in the kettle.
- The visuals suit the grim atmosphere perfectly
- It uses relatively unknown British folklore as a narrative base
- Sound design hinders gameplay
- The narrative isn't as compelling as one would expect
- Puzzles are too easy