The Marvellous Miss Take is such a phenomenal stealth game that it seems to have snuck by just about everyone.
Terrible puns aside, Miss Take is likely one the most tragically passed by game of 2014, and one of its absolute bests. An isometric stealth game starring a feisty redhead who’s inherited art has been stolen away, it better understands the fundamentals of what make a brilliant stealth game than nearly anything I’ve ever played.
It builds itself upon basic but rock solid mechanics – hiding, running, and pilfering anything that isn’t nailed down – and then applies them to ingenious level designs to stretch them to their absolute limits. Miss Take is immediately accessible without ever feeling dumb, giving you tools you understand but finding endless ways to constantly force you to rethink how you can apply them to a situation.
There was never a moment in Miss Take where I was stagnant. There was always some guard I needed to avoid, some artwork I had to shove into my Mary Poppins-like hat, some pathway I needed to find a way through. It avoids making you feel as if you have to wait the way so many stealth games do, always urging you forward and forcing you to play better. I failed a LOT during my time with the game, but it was always do to a stupid move I’d made or an alarm I hadn’t taken into account, and never once did I want to stop because of it.
Miss Take is so incredibly rewarding and satisfying that getting caught during a heist was almost inconsequential, causing me to lose a moment or two of playtime but in that showing me a way I could better approach a level. With the lack of preset guard patterns I also never got tired of replaying levels, as each attempt changed just enough to give me something new to worry about without completely casting aside the knowledge I had gained from previous attempts.
And knowledge is never something Miss Take makes any attempt to hide from you. There’s a continual stream of information being sent to you from every object and obstacle in a level, from a guard’s field of view to whether or not you’re hidden to how much sound any action you perform will make. It’s all right before you at every moment of play, and it’s displayed in a way that’s instantly comprehensible and even stylistic, matching the games ridiculously slick art design as it all blends together under a fantastically jazzy soundtrack.
The Marvellous Miss Take is the kind of game that shows why stealth games don’t have to be slow or tedious; how they can be fast and lively and organic, full of bright colors and delightful characters that were more endearing to me than games with tens of times more dialogue ever managed. The Marvellous Miss Take is as exceptional as its name declares, and it’s immensely depressing how few seem to have given it the chance so they could realize it.