Imagine if there was a game that let you experience the thrill of donning a magical mask similar to Stanley Ipkiss! Well, thanks to French devs Innerspace VR you now can in Maskmaker. Published by MWM Interactive this VR game really is something else!
Maskmaker P.A.R.T Why? Cos I gotta!
VR is forever becoming more groundbreaking. Read on to see what I thought Maskmaker and make sure to send us your comments if you have had a chance to play it!
In a nutshell, Maskmaker is a VR puzzle adventure game. The game is available on PSVR, Oculus, SteamVR, and Viveport. I played via SteamVR using the virtual desktop to my Oculus Quest 2.
Beginning as an apprentice in a small mask shop your quest starts here. The movement controls are typical for a VR game and allow both teleports as well as locomotion. In the first few moments of exploring you will find that you can interact with a majority of the items around you. From boxes and cups to a full-blown game of chess your intrigue is directed to opening a secret door so that you can make your way into Prospero’s workshop out the back. Once you have solved the puzzle and gained entry the magic begins.
The well-guided tutorial takes you through all of the processes required for creating your first mask. From pinning a design to the board, placing your wooden block into the clamp and then using a hammer and chisel to carve out the mask, you are in charge of it all.
Once you have a plain wooden mask you are invited to colour it by dipping the mask into a trough of paint. Should the mask match the one that was on the original design then the eyes begin to glow! Now is the moment you have waited for. Bringing the mask up to your face you are transported into the mask realm and begin your adventures in a small seaside village.
Broken bridges prevent access to some areas however a clever game mechanic allows you to get your telescope out and view the person that is standing on the other side. Once zoomed in enough you will see that they are wearing a slightly modified mask and that you now have a new mask design. By taking the mask off your face you find that you are back in the workshop. You will quickly learn that to make the new mask involves either adding items to the mask, such as shells for example, as well as in some cases colouring certain areas of it.
The exploration begins again back in your mask realm where you need to locate the items that you require. Once you have them it is a case of using a mask template back in the workshop and then getting crafty Blue Peter style to complete the look. By donning the new mask you are now transported to the other side of the bridge where you can carry on.
You will find many more mask designs that will have you back in the workshop hastily chiseling new masks, installing new items, and painting imaginative designs. This will in turn transport you into new mask realms with more items to find and interact with as well as new powers. The immersion is really something!
Graphics & Audio
Maskmaker uses the Unreal engine and looks visually stunning which makes the immersion feel really magical. I was using my Nvidia 1660 Super and the game ran very smoothly on high graphics. The lighting and colours used in each mask realm and the workshop set the ambiance and feel of each area. From Prospero’s dimly lit mystical workshop to the gloomy swamp, each world has its own character.
When it comes to the actual masks and items, they are as detailed as you would expect for the chosen painted/cartoon medium that has been used here. The interaction in your hands is flawless as you rotate each object around and it both looks and feels amazing.
The music and sound are one of intrigue and exploration with a fully voiced narrative to guide you on your way. Who is this Prospero person? will you solve the mystery?
Maskmaker has around 5 hours of fun to be had. There are memory pieces to collect if you want to find them all and at the moment there is not a sandbox mode so once you have played through once that is more or less it.
Maskmaker is a prime example of what can be achieved using VR. If you enjoy a good storyline, interacting with objects as well as solving puzzles then this is a must for your gaming library. There are so many VR mechanics used perfectly in this game, bringing to life the whole Maskmaker world both beautifully and immersively.
Yes, the game itself may be short however the experience is amazing. Quality over quantity! I give Maskmaker a well-earned Thumb Culture Platinum award!
Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.