There’s something incomparably satisfying about a great heist story. The planning that goes into the job, the camaraderie between conspirators, and the suspense of execution are all fascinating story elements that inspire a little bit of the criminal within us all. Games like PAYDAY and PAYDAY 2 have given us a fun, but violent, crew-based heist experience, while games like the Sly Cooper series have given us a more cartoonish stealth platformer experience within a heist context. The Marvellous Miss Take, which takes more of its cues from the Sly Cooper series than the PAYDAY series, showcases the classic master thief archetype that made movies like The Pink Panther so popular, with a mix of suspense and comedy that feels just right.
The Marvellous Miss Take tells the story of Sophia Take and her inherited art collection…that happens to be in the possession of a billionaire spread out across multiple galleries (the collection, not the billionaire). The easiest way to restore her inheritance is to simply go steal it all back, which is exactly what she does.
Unlike most heist games, in The Marvellous Miss Take there is no incapacitation of guards whatsoever; it has a core principle of “wits, not fists.” Success only comes through superior strategy and skill. Using a combination of timing, gadgets, and strategy, Miss Take (or her two companions) must navigate galleries that become increasingly populated with security cameras, scent sniffing dogs, and randomly moving guards, taking care only to be seen long enough to distract, not to be caught.
In this, the game excels. The interface is simple, with the choice of either using the mouse or WASD/Space for control of the characters and the camera. I preferred the mouse controls, for the most part, so I’ll continue from that perspective. Left click to move, and hold to run, keeping in mind that running is noisy. Right click to aim and release one of a number of gadgets that provide various effects. A pre-recorded noisebox playing a baby’s wail can be thrown to attract the attention of inconveniently located guards, drawing them into less vital areas of the gallery. A smoke bomb can be used to provide protection from the field of view of the guards and cameras. A teleportation device can be thrown to move you across dense security coverage without being seen, or can be used to make a quick escape into an unguarded room after drawing unwanted attention. There are more, with gadgets made available within a level specifically for a level. If all else fails, just whistle (which seems to be restricted to WASD controls, as running is restricted to mouse controls).
As you move through the inherited mansion, you choose your target galleries by approaching empty painting frames. Upon a successful heist, the frame is filled, along with any smaller frames to the side that represent side objectives. As you progress, you meet two additional thieves that help you fulfill alternate objectives and unlock further levels. The additional characters play only through levels that Sophia has already completed, and have varying skill sets. Harry Carver, for example, carries only one gadget at all times, and can’t leave the level without retrieving it. He enters the galleries at night, with new security measures implemented, and is restricted to walking speed. Daisy Hobbs is a pickpocket, very quick, but with no time for gadgets. She enters and lifts safe keys straight off the security guards in order to steal back the deeds for the reclaimed art pieces from the galleries’ safes. Each character plays through a level differently, which is a great way to extend the play length and diversity.
Developed by Wonderstruck, and published by Rising Star Games, The Marvellous Miss Take is available now for PC and Mac. It’s fun, both visually and mechanically, and a real treat. While it can get frustratingly challenging at certain higher levels, it’s always an adventure, and the satisfaction of pulling off that perfect pilfer is pretty phenomenal.
Though the game is definitely worth purchasing, we’ve got two extra codes that you can win right here: