As a game reviewer, I’m often exposed to games I normally would never have heard of. Some for good reason, and for others, they can be little gems that are great but are just looking for that little extra exposure. I am often very satisfied with small indie games and what they have to offer, but this is one of the few times I was left wanting more once I had finished. Immersing myself in the enigmatic little world of “This Bed We Made” by the developers at Lowbirth Games was akin to stepping into a noir-infused time capsule of the 1950s. Assuming the persona of Sophie, an audacious chambermaid propelled by an insatiable curiosity, the game unraveled into a narrative mystery that ensnared my attention for the brief time the game gave me.
Sophie, the unassuming cleaning lady with a knack for snooping, became a character I not only controlled but grew to really cherish, perhaps I myself have those dark compulsions to snoop, so living vicariously through her was fun. Her penchant for exploring the personal belongings of hotel guests is an integral aspect of gameplay, unraveling a story tinged with darkness, glamour, and murder within the atmospheric confines of the Clarington Hotel. Beyond the surface, the 1950s setting served as a backdrop through which the game explored intricate societal themes of the time. From gender, homophobia, and racial discrimination to the intimate complexities of infidelity and even homicide, what would be a good murder mystery without the murder? What I found pretty neat as well was that the narrative delved into the lives of both guests and coworkers, revealing a lot of juicy information that may or may not connect the two.
Traversing the three detailed floors of the hotel, being able to go into any room and look through a number of guests’ belongings and there are a good amount of intricate, yet fairly simple puzzle-solving elements which peppered in some nice layers of depth to the unfolding mystery. The chance to forge close connections with both hotel staff and guests, combined with the option to select allies—whether it be the tough cookie Beth or the nerdy guy Andrew—added an additional layer of depth to the narrative, providing various avenues through the mysterious storyline.
“This Bed We Made” deviates from conventional open-world games by steering players away from exploring physical landscapes to delving into the intricate web of interpersonal relationships. Beyond the prying eyes on guests, the game encourages you to clandestinely observe your coworkers, revealing a complex tapestry of dynamics within the hotel. Every action and decision within the game bears consequences, extending even to the meticulous tidying of rooms. While the impact of choices may not always be that big of a deal, they intricately contribute to the evolving narrative, shaping the course of events in subtle yet meaningful ways. With your choices leading to distinct endings, there is a case for giving this game multiple playthroughs. For me, I made those choices for a reason and didn’t have much of a desire to see what the other endings were. But the biggest let down, which isn’t even a big issue, is that the game can be completed in under five hours. There was a lot going right in this enthralling tapestry of “This Bed We Made,” I was transported into a world where curiosity is not only a virtue but a key to unlocking a gripping mystery, and that’s pretty awesome. The game weaves together compelling characters, intricate storytelling, and a web of interconnected lives, it’s just a shame that if this game had a big budget, this could have been a much more exceptional and memorable experience, having said that, the one we got was still quite good and I encourage you to check out the mysteries behind the walls of the Clarington Hotel.
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