I disembark the train. Now, I rest on a desolate island filled to the brim with overgrown forestry. Birds fly by. Trees whisper as the wind passes through. An old, 18th century hotel stands lays ahead of me. A siren song plays, beckoning me closer. I couldn’t be more eerily invited to Wales Interactive’s Maid of Sker. Rest assured, quite the venture awaits.
Maid of Sker follows quite a basic premise, ripe with chilling themes. You play as a silent protagonist named Thomas. Set in the late 1800’s somewhere in Britain, you’ve been summoned to the island of Sker, in order to visit the Sker Hotel. This very hotel is owned by your partner Elisabeth’s parents. There’s some desperation in the invitational letter your significant other has sent to you. Setting foot off the train that takes you to the island, nobody is in sight. This hotel is meant to be having its ‘grand re-opening today. Where is everyone? It’s when you finally enter the hotel that things take a turn and you learn something has gone horribly, horribly wrong.
British folklore horror vibes at their absolute best
With your first taken step into the hotel, a old-timey telephone/speaker phone rings to the left. You answer it and its your dear Elisabeth in a panicked state. She’s hidden away in the attic, terrified by her father and uncle who have turned grim and violent. Hell, they’re not the only ones. The rest of Elisabeth’s family and even the esteemed guests have fallen to the same fate. Creeping around the halls, stairways and crevices of Sker Hotel is all of these people, covered in masks. These masks are so tight knit, close to sewn on alike Batman‘s Scarecrow or, the strangers in The Strangers, that this has now rendered the foes, known as The Quiet Men, blind, only able to “see” you through their hearing.
A lot more exposition is thrown here, but basically Elisabeth tells you your primary goal is to find and collect four hidden musical cylinders throughout the hotel grounds. These cylinders can be inserted and played into a grand instrument, creating a rumoured song that will immobilise these men, hopefully for good. So; get the cylinders, save the girl, get out.