Mystery game

Madrid Noir

  • What is the theme?

Madrid Noir is a mystery adventure game made for VR. The premise is a young woman’s uncle dies, and now she must solve the mystery that surrounds his death.

  • What mechanics do they use?

Open world exploration, escape room puzzles, non-player characters, obscuring the view (fog of war)

  • What kind of fun do they promise the player?

Sensation (beautiful visuals), fantasy, narrative, discovery

  • How is this fun and theme reinforced through graphic design decisions?

Madrid Noir was marketed as part game, part movie, and it fully delivered on an involved experience without the player having too much agency, somewhat similar to a walking sim. The graphics of the game were designed to put you into snapshots of Lola’s memory as she recounted her story with her uncle. The graphics were little islands, with no contextual buildings surround them, but like how our memories exist as ‘islands’ in their own way.

  • How does the game differentiate itself from other games in its genre?

Most mystery games are linear, but still rely on this idea of being open world/ exploratory. Madrid Noir defies this convention by offering the player very little agency in the progression of the game. Instead of spending a lot of time exploring and finding clues, you watch and help Lola as she goes through her detective process. In doing so, you experience the same emotions as a typical mystery game, but in an entirely different context.

  • How would you make it better?

The start of the game makes it seem like a typical, escape-room like mystery game. Almost all of the objects in the room you could interact with. It was a shame to see that this scene was barely used throughout the rest of the game. Would love to have added more ways in which we could have helped push the story forward by finding certain things/clues.

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