I’ll give you an assurance here alongside a small disclaimer: there won’t be any spoilers in this review, but there also won’t be a huge number of words to read either. Those that have either read our initial review of T.I.M.E Stories or even gone as far as to pick it up will realise that the vast majority of the game’s magic comes from having no idea what’s coming up, be that locations, characters, items or story lines. As such reviewing this will be a tricky job, but I can at least tell you what works, what doesn’t and whether or not you should be grabbing this initial expansion to give you another reason to set up the fantastic board system which came with the original purchase.
The Marcy Case takes you back to 1992, to save a girl (called Marcy, funnily enough) at a time when an unexpected plague is sweeping the country. Throughout the various runs you’ll go through there are huge numbers of things, people and places to interact with, more than the initial Asylum story which came in the original box. As such it’s tougher to remember everything tougher to figure out exactly what matters and what doesn’t, and as such very unlikely you’ll be able to solve this in just a couple of plays through. Everything that’s great about the original story works well here too though; the artwork is fantastic, the story plays out well and demands some common sense in order to make progress at any useful rate, and the ability to communicate what you’re finding to other players still plays a key role in reaching a successful ending.
But this also means there are a couple of small issues which, while probably not sever enough to put you off, carry over from the previously explored asylum. A couple of times we found a bit of ambiguity creep in when trying to work out what to do with the situation we found ourselves in. We made up our own resolution which seemed to work ok, but it’ll be interesting to see if this becomes a common issue of such an open game system or if it’s just the writers getting to grips with the variety on offer. There’s also no obvious way you can take a slice of the Sherlock Holmes brain power and think your way to a quicker resolution – every character and item seems important, so without a pen and paper you’ll be hard pushed to remember everything from the huge number of interactions you’ll have.
But needing a pen and paper won’t stop me recommending this to those with T.I.M.E Stories already on their shelves. If stories like this are setting the scene for the quality of what’s to come, then our initial excitement about T.I.M.E Stories seems to be well founded indeed. It’s time to grab a notebook, brace yourself for some tricky times and head back to the 90s.
T.I.M.E Stories: The Marcy Case
Available Now, RRP £19.99
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