Familiar & novel, upbeat and grimdark and has a well thought-out story that works on multiple layers.
I just finished The Sexy Brutale in 2 sittings. Incredible story, cool audio-visual style & an all-around well made game. I loved how the game felt like a mixture of Bioshock, Majora's Mask, Cluedo & Luigi's Mansion, while still giving you gameplay that feels quite novel. Tequila Works also did a great job at giving you intricate bite-sized objectives in this big mansion where a ton of murders happen. This way, it's pretty clear what you're supposed to accomplish as a dozen characters all play out their own stories at the same time. The game does a pretty great job at maintaining a very upbeat partyvibe and contrasting that with the grimdark fates of the guests as you watch them in their final hours as they march towards their deaths. As you progress, slowly but surely you get a view of what goes down on an hourly basis. However, near the end there's still a whole extra layer left to the story to uncover. One that doesn't pop out of nowhere, yet is still surprising enough to blow your mind. And when you think about what it all could mean after you're done with the game, perhaps there's even a third layer to be found.
Sadly there was one murder where my own solution made more sense than the one the developers wanted you to do. Spent a good 1-2 hours on testing every option apart from the way simpler (but nonsensical) option that the game chose. I also needed an extra 10 minutes to figure out that you actually need to use your pocketwatch on a clock to set it as your startpoint. The tutorial page for clocks did mention this was a possibility , but never told you how to actually do it. Another annoyance was the manner in which the map is presented to you. The map layout is done in a way where the different floors of the mansion are all put on the same paper in the menu for you to browse around. On one hand , that really helped give it that Cluedo boardgame feel that suits the vibe of the game. On the other hand, it took me a few hours before i realized i could actually see more than just the current floor i was on if i just flicked the right analog stick past the white space between floormaps. Having the default map zoomed out enough in the menu to make you realize that the floors are all visible at the same time would've solved that issue. There was also one instance of an english sentence where two names had to be switched up to make sense. (A before B so that A sees an event happen to B ... instead of A before B so that B sees an event happen to A). Oh well, a small error that isn't indicative of the overall quality of the writing. This is a story i had to see all the way through as soon as i started playing and one that i will think about for quite some time.
I managed to 100% The Sexy Brutale on my first try since the collectibles are not too crazily hidden and the menu gives you a decent list of the stuff you need to find and where & how you should get it . All in all, The Sexy Brutale should give you a good 6-12 hours of fun.