There’s plenty of space for engaging narratives that don’t rely on traditional gameplay and opportunities to craft smaller tales. A Memoir Blue manages both very well in the process of pulling at the heart strings in just the right way.
There is hope and reconciliation here, but A Memoir Blue is primarily a tragic depiction of a person who has convinced themselves – or who has been convinced – that attainment is necessary for love. The story is fragile and a little simple but, like publisher Annapurna Interactive’s 2018 game Florence, it succeeds in creating a mood of compelling melancholy, heightened by Joel Corelitz’s exquisite soundtrack. And while A Memoir Blue feels deeply personal, it achieves that miraculous narrative trick of making the specific universally approachable.
Whoever decided to give this AMAZING GEM a low score… you have no heart!
Such an emotional journey, short but left me in tears at the end. No game has ever touched my heart and soul as much as this one did, finished it in 1,5 hours but well worth it! I can’t imagine how it would be for me to lose my mother. Thank you for reminding me how much I love my mom!
a great exploratory journey , it basically tells the story of a swimmer and her relationship with her mother from her childhood to her adult life. the visuals and music are great. a short game. easily playable in a night .
A Memoir Blue has a beautiful, varied visual style, emotionally resonant music, and a sincere — if not terribly deep — narrative. The changing and mysterious relationship of parents and children is relatable. It’s a wonderful story to experience, told via haunting, surreal images. Where A Memoir Blue collapses is in its arbitrary and often unnecessary game mechanics. I get that the main character is trying to make sense of her puzzle-like memories. Pixel hunting and awkward object manipulation don’t make me feel invested or immersed. I’d argue they work against it. A Memoir Blue could and should have been a touching short animated film.
Like most art, A Memoir Blue has its fair share of flaws. However, like art, it has you thinking about its strengths and intentions instead of its mechanics. A Memoir Blue succeeds more than it falters, and everyone needs to give this game their time.
There’s a lot to praise about A Memoir Blue. It looks and sounds beautiful, and feels almost experimental in its design – it’s always a joy to see small developers trying something new. But it does leave a little to be desired; its short narrative fails to deliver any real punch, and when the credits roll you may be left thinking “…is that it?”. But considering its small asking price, we can’t really complain. If you enjoy narrative-led journeys, particularly those that deal in human emotion, A Memoir Blue is worth picking up.
AN INTERACTIVE IMMERSION
BEFORE WE BEGIN:
A Memoir Blue is a game developed by Cloisters Interactive in 2022. It has been called an interactive poem by the developers themselves, being a point-and-click puzzle. The game has been completed and the platinum trophy has been achieved on Xbox Series X.
In typical style of the games advertised by Annapurna, A Memoir Blue starts immediately with a game menu absent of any explanation, making the player understand the game style from the very first moments. In fact, the menu reports exactly the game mechanics that we will later find again. The plot is very simple and unfolds in its entirety, chronicling the relationship between mother and daughter of a young champion swimmer.
The gameplay is based for most of the game on dragging objects, rotating them or placing them in different places so as to complete puzzles, often easily understood and not at all puzzling. The game is much more plot-based than gameplay-based, providing much less complex puzzles than other typical Annapurna games.
VIEW IS DISTORTED BY WATER:
Aesthetically, A Memoir Blue turns out to be one of those untouchable titles with its own style. Passing over this seal, however, the graphics often do not come across as extremely distinctive or interesting, and some of the 3D models are rather unpleasant and lacking in detail. The animations and physics of some interacting objects, on the other hand, turn out to be very accurate and smooth.
Since there is no voice acting, this title relies almost purely on the soundtrack, which can transform some scenes, making them very touching.
BUT WHY 6?
While being an extremely fast-paced and enjoyable game, A Memoir Blue lowers the standard of typical Annapurna games with far too simple gameplay, relying on extremely self-explanatory puzzles. Most of them can be completed in seconds, simply moving a few objects to obvious places or by dragging objects off the screen. The plot itself, though touching, touches on a subject already seen and revised in a thousand facets, adding nothing exceptional other than the relationship with the sea.
Obviously the authorial touch of the way the story is told is always enjoyable. In addition, the speed and fluidity of the game still makes it a pleasant and interesting One Shot adventure.
Summary A song from years ago triggers a flood of memories for champion swimmer Miriam. Embark on an evocative journey through her turbulent childhood and the complicated relationship she shared with her devoted mother.