“The room gives you a feeling of deja vu… or has that not happened yet?”

The Sexy Brutale mansion and it’s extensive casino is home to a bizarre string of murders of the masked guests, a day of tragedy Lafcadio Boone will experience in a horrifying loop forever unless he can figure out how to prevent them and uncover the Brutale’s darkest secrets.

 

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As comes up often in this blog, I’m a sucker for a good mystery. I also have a soft spot for well done time travel elements. So when I stumbled upon The Sexy Brutale, a time travel mystery where the player explores the titular casino/mansion trying to prevent a series of gruesome murders, my curiosity was certainly piqued. I had no idea however of the full depth of wonders to be uncovered.

It’s made clear from the outset that the Brutale’s staff are committing the murders, so this isn’t a traditional “whodunnit” but rather a larger scoped mystery with deeper answers to uncover. The priest Lafcadio Boone is “blessed” with the ability to rewind the fateful day to gather information and attempt to prevent the murders and find the masked ball’s conspicuously missing host. The brilliant catch is Boone’s partially relegated to an observer’s role. He generally can’t be in the same rooms as the staff or guests so rather than being able to intervene directly the player has to sneak around the mansion, listen in on conversations for information, and take indirect actions to influence things. The approach is really unique and interesting in an adventure game, and beautifully executed.

The balance of story, with heavy amounts of intrigue and compelling mysteries to unravel, and gameplay, with engrossing puzzles and a real sense of exploration and progress, is perfect. The striking visuals that bring the mansion and its inhabitants to life and the haunting atmosphere they help establish were just some of the other excellent touches that made this a game I found it near impossible to put down. Every step of the way I was dying to tackle the next puzzle, piece together the next riddle, and plunge deeper into the Brutale’s world. I honestly can’t recommend this enough.

 

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