The Marvellous Miss Take blends stealth action with a slight dash of comedy for a gentle but accessible gameplay experience.
The Marvellous Miss Take is, ostensibly, a stealth game, although unlike the usual tropes associated with such titles, you won’t be hanging from ceilings or snapping necks to speak of. The worst you might snap would be the ankle of a pair of expensive pumps. You play as Sophia Take, who presumably had a hellish time at primary school with that surname, but could wash all those bad feelings away thanks to being the heiress to a vast and valuable art collection. Well, she could, right up until that collection was pilfered away into a number of private galleries. Sophia tasks herself with entering each gallery in turn and stealing all of “her” artworks back.
No, this isn’t how such things work in the real world, but deal with me here. This is a videogame, after all.
The Marvellous Miss Take’s default control scheme is entirely mouse-based, with clicks to move Sophia around as you see fit, as well as hide against low items and make noise to distract guards long enough for you to sneak in and steal your artworks back. The guards aren’t particularly intelligent, and you can always see their field of vision, so each short level plays out like a miniature puzzle against the clock. There are bonuses for completing each level under the par time as well as special items that can only be collected in certain risky ways or by specific characters in order to encourage replay of each level.
So what could I compare The Marvellous Miss Take to? In style terms it’s hard to overlook the visual debt it owes the Carmen Sandiego games, right down to the floppy red hat that can fall off if you’re sufficiently startled mid-heist. It’s also somewhat reminiscent of Sega’s long-forgotten Bonanza Bros, in that you’re tasked with stealing from what are essentially comic guards in an exaggerated comedy style.
The Marvellous Miss Take is a gentle stealth puzzle game, but it’s not one that couldn’t do without a little bit of refinement. Specifically, the mouse controls, while nicely simple, aren’t always entirely consistent. Sophia will sometimes get jaggedly stuck on specific items, or become indecisive about whether she should crouch behind them or smoothly walk past them. You’re encouraged to distract the guards rather than wait for them to walk out of the way, but their random movement patterns mean that sometimes it’s feasible to run through a level and survive while other times they’ll nab you very quickly indeed. I was playing with a directly supplied build of the game direct from the developers owing to some odd issues with the Steam version of the game, so it’s always feasible that controls could be tightened up in the future. I can, as always, only review what’s directly in front of me.
The Marvellous Miss Take is a bite sized game, and that’s not what you usually see out of stealth game experiences. If you’re a more hardcore stealth gamer, you’ll probably find The Marvellous Miss Take initially interesting but lacking in dynamic gametype flavour, even when you do unlock the additional characters that change up the level layouts. For the more casual gamer, as long as you can get past the slightly quirky controls, there’s some simple and gentle stealth/puzzle fun to be had here.