Madrid Noir 360° 3D Short Film

4-star rating
PCVR, Quest
Animation, Short Films
Comfortable, Stationary

Madrid Noir is a thirty-five minute animated feature centered around a young girl determined to investigate the curious movements of her babysitter uncle, who has been suspiciously sneaking out of the apartment at all hours. Characters and city scenes all superbly drawn and animated in a comic style with a fun accompanying noir-esque soundtrack. We were also very impressed with the quantity of detailed and well-drawn sets.

We're not sure why this needed to be in virtual reality however. Scenes are presented ahead of you like a flat-screen movie and transitions were unimaginative and lacked any dynamism. The only use of VR for framing was to place a sequence of scenes adjacent to the last, making the viewer gradually rotate a full 360 degrees but without access to a snap-turning function. Despite this we also occasionally missed the start of a scene because we were looking in the wrong place.

Most of the feature is non-interactive, with only occasional pauses in the story where you have to pick up a phone, or shine a flashlight into the night. At these times everything comes to a halt until the viewer has completed the required task. One time we were stuck in a noticeably repetitive audio loop until we picked up a gun in a box that we had to open. The story remains linear throughout and there are no actions you can take that have an influence over it.

Though the story is relatively straightforward and suitable for children at a PG-level, there is a surprising amount of smoking, gunplay and alcohol, but in a noir thriller we suspect this is something to be expected.

We're rating this generously at four stars based on the great artwork and storytelling, but we would have been more engaged if the scenes were stitched together better and if the interactive elements were more engaging. Also it would be great if developers could please include a pause function in longer feature presentations like this one.

✅ Excellent character and background art
✅ Good story, well written and voiced
❌ Limited use of VR
❌ Pricey for a 35 minute feature

• YouTube: Behind The Scenes
• Languages: English, French, Spanish
• Facebook: Comment on this article

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