THE INVISIBLE HOURS (NON-VR)
By Diana "DumeeGamer" Dumee on May 1, 2018
If I could turn back time... I would love that! You would never be late for work again. You would never have to choose between two activities; just do both of them. You'll always have more than enough time for a suitable comeback! Sounds excellent right?!
Tequila Works lets you play with the concept of time in their game The Invisible Hours and it's for a good cause because, in this game, you are solving a crime. It's a bit like the board game Clue; there are eight people in a huge mansion. At the start of the game, one of them gets killed and it's up to you to figure out who the killer is. So, how do we go about this? Well, in The Invisible Hours, you won't be playing as one of the eight characters. You are an unseen ninth character that purely serves as an observer. By controlling the camera, you can follow any character in the house or go and explore the mansion by yourself. But wandering of by yourself or following just one character means missing out on the storylines of the other characters. Maybe you're missing out on a vital clue! This, my friends, is the reason why you're able to manipulate time in this game.
In The Invisible Hours, five people were invited to visit the mansion of a famous inventor: the one and only sir Nikolas Tesla. The guests are: mister Thomas Edison, miss Sarah Bernhardt, mister Augustus Vandenberg, mister Victor Mundy and detective Gustaf Gustav, whose parents obviously ran out of ideas on what to call their child... Other characters present at the house are Tesla's blind butler Oliver Swan and Flora White, the inventor's ex-assistant. Each character has his or her own reasons to be at the mansion and has their own background stories, which you will get to know by following them and by collecting clues that contain additional info about the characters. Those clues can be diary sections or letters, stuff like that.
The game is introduced by the following statement: "Welcome. This is not a game. This is not a movie. This is a piece of immersive theatre with many tangled threads.... Remember: 'Truth is a matter of perspective.'" Well, I can honestly say that The Invisible Hours is definitely different from every other game I've played before. I love the Agatha Christie mystery setting and how everyone can be the killer. And I like the fact that you're not a character yourself, but just an observer, trying to make sense of it all, while also trying to make the right decision of who you should keep an eye on.
This is a very tricky concept for me, because I'm easily distracted. All the characters are doing their own thing during every chapter. So, when I decide to follow the butler, suddenly I notice miss Bernhardt walking by. This is what happens in my head at that moment: "What is she doing there? Should I follow her? Or should I stick to my plan to follow the butler? Yes, I should definitely follow the butler... Blast, where did he go?" This is where turning back time comes in really handy and I must say that I used this game mechanic quite a few times when I lost track of the character I was following because I got distracted. You can also forward time, to speed things up you've already seen. I hadn't expected to use this fast-forward function a lot, but without spoiling the fun I can tell you that it is a very useful functionality.
The Invisible Hours is an excellently written story and within an hour you will be interested in so much more than just finding out who the murderer is. The background stories of each character are truly interesting. They also came to the conclusion that, during their time in the mansion with a killer on the loose, it is of vital importance to have someone you can trust at your side. So, as you try to unravel the mystery of the murder, the characters will do some investigation of their own.
The Invisible Hours started as a VR only game in October 2017 on PC and PS4, but this new release for both the aforementioned systems as well as for the Xbox One offers you the chance to play the game without VR. I wish I could tell you a lot more about it, but then I would be spoiling most your fun. And we can't have that, now can we? It's funny how a game/story can be so fascinating, while the only thing you do is control the camera, watch the characters and pick up and read clues. You'll need a good story for that and that's exactly what Tequila Works offers you in this game; A damn good story and an awesome detective experience!