At Maid of Sker we travelled all the way to Wales in 1898 to stay at the macabre Sker Hotel, a real-life location that is considered one of the most famous haunted houses in the UK. The legend of Elizabeth Williams, the woman after whom the game is named, lives there. The story goes that her father locked her in a hotel room until she died of a heart attack: we, the players, will put ourselves in the shoes of the musician Thomas Evans, who stays in such a terrifying hotel, haunted by the ghosts that live there. Maid of Sker bases its gameplay on a non-violent interaction with the environment and enemies: it provides the player with a series of non-lethal survival tools, giving him also such useful skills in situations like these as holding his breath or staying still.
We move on to the end of the 19th century, when the young composer Thomas Evans receives a letter of help from his fiancée Elizabeth in which she tells him that her father and uncle are keeping her locked up in the attic of the Sker mansion, a former hotel that has belonged to her family for generations, and that they and their guests are beginning to act strangely. Thomas heads to the hotel in question to rescue his fiancée and unravel the mystery. As we can see, we find nothing out of the ordinary, everything adheres to the most classic clichés of the genre that we have already seen hundreds of times.
In terms of gameplay, the game relies on stealth to the detriment of other options such as hide and seek or weapons. The enemies are mostly blind, so the only way they can find us is through their sense of hearing. In this respect, walking slowly or crouching always helps to prevent a guy like a closet with a sack on his head from punching your stomach out. However, the main mechanism to avoid being discovered is to cover your mouth and nose so that your breathing doesn't give you away, but obviously, there is a maximum duration for this until our protagonist has to uncover his mouth to take a big breath again. At different times, puzzles await us in the old style of survival horror. They are not difficult or original, but they have their charm and you enjoy finding the solution. Maid of Sker is not especially complicated
The title, set in late 19th century Wales, does a fantastic job of recreating the era. From the initial train to the wagons, to the thousands of scattered elements that populate the macabre Hotel Sker. The variety of scenes is also appreciated, which do not stop only in the rooms of the building, but expand to show gardens, cemeteries, chapels and many other things. The work of lighting and particles, is equally achieved, which is appreciated taking into account the need to move quietly and avoid coughing as much as possible.
The soundtrack, which consists of about 14 instrumental songs mostly, although some have a great vocal performance, manage to contribute to create an oppressive atmosphere and constant distrust in the player, which helps to maintain an atmosphere of constant tension. Above all, the superb reinvention of the Welsh folk song Y Ferch o'r Sger (Sker's Maiden) stands out, which you could listen to over and over again without any problem, like a siren song that manages to hypnotize you little by little.
Overall, Maid of Sker is a merely correct horror adventure, but it falls short on ideas and implementation. It fulfills everything we can expect from a Survival Horror, it has scares, exploration, puzzles and an atmosphere that immerses you, but the theme is already too trite and needs to be improved in the technical section. If you are looking for a game to entertain you and spend some time sitting at home this game is for you. If, on the other hand, you want a dense adventure that will take your sleep away, as already mentioned, this one falls short in many sections.