Marie’s Room, a short story exploration game created by Belgian indie developer Kenny Guillaume and his team of (mainly) Belgian freelancers, has taken the Steam charts by storm. A week after release, the game sits at number 10 of best reviewed games on Steam in 2018 – with 95% of close to 1000 player reviews saying lovely things about the experience.
You play as Marie’s teenage friend Kelsey and your initial goal is to find Marie’s journal in what first appears to be an empty room. During your search, the room transforms into the room it was 20 years ago, the room Kelsey remembers. Searching the room, you’ll dig up memories of the past, both joyful and forgettable, and slowly learn the story of the two characters. The story takes a little under an hour to complete, so you can easily play through it in one sitting.
As a release that went under the radar, the overwhelming success comes as a bit of a surprise. But one look at the game and the popularity isn’t that surprising at all. With a visual style and theme that reminds us of Life is Strange, Marie’s Room also plays with elements of groundbreaking narrative games such as Gone Home, Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture and What Remains of Edith Finch.
That’s not to say Marie’s Room is devoid of its own personality. The storytelling is great (look at all that detail packed into one single room!), the themes are handled with care and the developers allow you to piece the story together in any given order. By the time you leave the room, you’ll feel like you know the people who once lived there, and that’s a tremendous achievement.
Perhaps most astounding of all, this little national treasure is completely free. We know it’s going to be a beautiful weekend, but you’d be completely silly not to open this door. Speaking of which, we hope this experience manages to open some for the developers, because we really want to see what they can cook up in the future.