50 Clues is a series of games created by Jeppe Norsker www.norsker.com
Some people are a little surprised by the story, so here is a little background information on why Maria is acting the way she does in the game.
Why is the POV from the perpetrator?
When I started exploring the genre a few years ago, I created a more traditional crime puzzle game in Danish called 50 Clues: The Ritual. During a game test, game designer Jacob Jaskov (Fog of Love) asked for a better feel of the perpetrator and the motive behind the misdeeds. It became a bit superficial and stereotypical to crack codes from the investigators side. The obvious solution was to reverse the Point of view. The idea of following the perpetrator through riddle solving was born.
Showing is NOT promoting
The game is in no way promoting violence or killing. It is a depiction of a serial killer in a fictional story just as you have seen it in books and movies many times before. American Psycho, Man Bites Dog, Maniac etc.
I have two children myself whom I love deeply, and many of the events are based on the worst imaginable things that could happen. Feeling uncomfortable playing the game is intentional. The Leopold trilogy is not a feel-good escape room game. You are placed in the role of perpetrator and you cannot stop the action as long as you continue to play and solve the puzzles. You become an active participant without being able to change the outcome. 50 Clues is not even an interactive game where you decide to kill or not. It is a fixed narrative that you can only experience through riddle solving.
The whole premise of the story is based on Maria, who has her own conception of reality. She believes that the soul exists and she also believes that a soul can transfer from a dead human being to a living human being or an object. You can even concentrate more souls in the same person and gain more power. One's knowledge and memory can live on through a kind of reincarnation. Maria is also convinced that one of the world's worst individuals, King Leopold II, has done just that. Maria has set out to stop him, whatever it takes. And it takes a lot. Souls can be good or evil, and she must concentrate enough good souls to fight Leopold, who is very powerful and alive.
Demo: "The Heavy Suitcase"
The "How to play" game is taking place several years before the story in the trilogy begins. It shows how Maria is caught by the police. She has killed "King Leopold" and sealed his soul in a child's body with lead sheets and tinfoil in a buried suitcase in the forest. Unfortunately for Maria, a female police investigator finds the suitcase and releases Leopold's soul again. It jumps directly to the investigator's unborn son. Maria is convicted a life sentence but escapes in Episode 1: The Pendulum of the Dead.
Spoiler Warning! Do not read the following text before playing the trilogy.
Maria has taken her precautions and already prepared her escape before she was arrested. The plan is complex and encrypted in codes so no one else but herself can understand the plan. But she is heavily medicated during the custody and has forgotten most of the details. This is the foundation of the rest of the game. She must figure out the plan and carry it out.
Episode 1: "The Pendulum of the Dead"
Her first goal is escape the psychiatric ward and increase her own strength by finding "her son" that she needs in episode 2. It's not her biological child, and he's not the only one from whom she gathers soul power. The game ends with them hiding in a safe house and performing a ritual to protect them from King Leopold.
Episode 2: "White Sleep".
White sleep is the name of a ritual that Maria wants to carry out in order to transfer good soul power to herself. It takes place in an old salt mine and includes both Alexander and his so called "brothers". The whole episode is about preparing for the ritual and execute it. At one point, Maria prevents Alexander from running away, which is an uncomfortable experience for many players.
Episode 3: "The Fate of Leopold"
Now it is all about finding Leopold and eliminating him. His soul has possessed the son of the police investigator from the demo game "The heavy suitcase". The finale takes place in Sweden, where Maria tracks him down.