Games of the Year

Madrid Noir

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Meet Lola Petit - adventurer, photographer, and detective-in-the-making. During the summer of 1930, Lola is sent to live with her Uncle Manolo and his energetic pug Paquita in the charming city of Madrid. Twenty years later, we join Lola after her estranged Uncle is declared dead and she is tasked with sorting through the apartment he left behind. What happened that fateful summer?

Dig into Lola’s memories to pick up her uncle's shadowy trail and attempt to piece together the puzzles of the past.

Madrid Noir - "A MYSTERY TWENTY YEARS IN THE MAKING"

FEATURES:

  • A lighthearted narrative VR experience with interactivity, shareable with the whole family!
  • PIXAR-like animation by a renowned team, directed by James Castillo, character designer behind family-favorite films such as The Mitchells vs. the Machines and Sherlock Gnomes.
  • Clues, easter eggs, and a world of details hidden in the animated background - watch again to learn more about Lola, Paquita, and the rich culture of Madrid, Spain.
  • A 45 minute adventure with an intermission dividing the two acts, so you can watch it all in one sitting, or take a break in between.
  • Made in Unreal Engine, Madrid Noir is staged as a charming theatre production!


Developed by No Ghost and Produced by Atlas V, the team that brought you Battlescar and Gloomy Eyes, and distributed by Astrea. Madrid Noir premiered at Tribeca Film Festival 2021 and Annecy Film Festival 2021.
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Game Discussion

Review by Anonymous
Review from Steam

The story is enjoyable but i think it's music, animation and art design that really make this a great interactive movie. Worth the money as this the best VR animation i have watched so far.

Review from Steam

Madrid Noir is an interactive VR experience telling the story of a young girl named Lola as she pretends be a detective around the city of Madrid, during the summer she lives with her weird uncle. As the story unfolds and clues reveal themselves, the stakes are raised dramatically and there is a great on-foot chase sequence. The story is super cute, with a lot of very nice animation to match the excellent voice acting.
For those that haven’t seen a VR experience before, they’re pretty straightforward. They will almost always be less than an hour’s worth of narrative content where players engaging in the story through minor interactions. These often are things like pushing buttons or pointing items at the action. Sometimes these are optional, but I find they help add to the sense of presence of the films. Madrid Noir, for example, had a scene where we had to aim a flashlight in the dark to help Lola find her way before it would proceed to the next scene.
It’s worth noting that this particular experience did require players to stand so that players could turn in the directions the experience wanted us to be in, to see the characters. I find this kind of setup to be demanding and rude towards its audience- Snap rotation is a standard across almost all of the VR industry, so I don’t know why a developer would choose to exclude the feature when it means the difference between a seated or standing game. Accessibility matters, even in VR, people!
I really did adore the experience, however. Lola and her uncle were great, and I love the animation style so very much. This wasn’t the studio’s first VR experience, as they have previously produced Battlescar and Gloomy Eyes. I can tell Madrid Noir was made by a team of professionals, and I am hoping for more along these lines of quality. Recommended.
I’m IndieSam and you can follow me on the IndieSamAdonisReviews Steam Curator page for more indie VR games, experiences, and more.

Review from Steam

Well crafted VR short film with minor interactions. It's about 40 minutes long which is almost twice as big as most VR animations.
Cartoony visuals are very stylish and sharp, look great from the opening credits till the very end. And the music is just perfect for the Noir genre.
The game works on Reverb G2 with default controller bindings. But it looks like the native super sampling is way too high on it: on 100% Steam super sampling it is noticeably lagging on 6800 XT. But when you set it on 60-70% SS, lag goes away while image does not get less sharp at all.

Review from Steam

A well-executed theatrical experience in VR
Madrid Noir is an approximately 45 minutes long theatrical experience in VR. I would describe it as being closer to watching a theatre performance rather than a movie. The 45-minute VR experience is semi-interactive with short sections of audience participation. 
The story is well-written, engaging, and provides a layer of suspense and mystery. I give a 7/10 for the plot, it isn't the most original but it provides a sense of satisfaction at the end. A fairly family-friendly plot with some depiction of guns and gun violence. Voiceovers and sound design are well-done. Voiceovers are available in English, French, and Spanish. The intermission is well-placed to avoid fatigue and is suitable for a short refreshment and VR break.
The VR interactions are simple, effective, and do not feel forced. I would not recommend getting this solely for the VR interactions but it is a good example of how VR interactions could be used to enhance a VR theatre experience. The "stages" aren't always in front of you so the ability to look around in VR is well used to create an immersive viewing experience. The art style is cohesive and beautiful, and the animations exude the personality of handcrafted animations.
What this VR experience lack is accessibility options. It doesn't appear to distinguish between seated or standing; there was one scene where the interactions were more convenient when in a slightly elevated position. Subtitles should have been included for the hearing impaired and additional translations.
The pricing is fair although some might feel it is slightly steep for a 45-minute experience. Getting this on sale would be great if you think this way.
In summary, a well-executed VR storytelling experience that could serve as an interesting alternative to live theatre. 
This app was experienced on the Samsung Odyssey+ (Windows Mixed Reality)
A review key was provided through the Steam Curator Connect program. 

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