We’d be lying if we pretended that we haven’t experienced the impressive games published by Annapurna Interactive in the past; The Remains of Edith Finch, Wild outsideand Sayonara Wild Hearts are just scratching the surface of critically acclaimed titles that have slipped through the doors of their beloved art game. However, the recent hit factory, for example, seems to be struggling a bit. Hot expectations Twelve minutes is the wettest part of the wet pool, your distance will completely change with Artistic escape and now we have A Memoir Bluean “interactive poem” (red flag emoji) about a competitive swimmer’s relationship with her mother.
Is that too cynical? Probably. We fear that these introspection games – while certainly having their place in this huge, varied and fun hobby – need to provide a little extra meat to be truly worthwhile. And we’re not necessarily talking about their core gameplay; According to the story, this is a confusing, above all, mechanically uninteresting experience. We can forgive one, but not both.
It was the real nail in A Memoir Blue’s coffin; if it was a movie, it would be an uninteresting movie. The “game” here (oof, we put gameplay in scary quotes, that’s never a good sign) includes, essentially, naughty around. Watch the first scene – you’ll see your character (Miriam) receive a medal for a swimming competition, and you’ll use the stick and the buttons on the left to move the assembled camera’s microphone and shoot Photo. Miriam was confused as the camera flashed. This could indicate an annoyance with success!? Next, you’ll flip through Miriam’s pocket, receiving text messages in an obscure, somewhat Wingdings-esque language. This may be somehow related to problem with communication? The next segment, in which you tune into a radio station, shows various abstract scenes instead of this point of home. Sounds a bit bland and obvious? You would be right, but that’s okay – you’re almost 10% of the way through the game.
Well, aside from being quite a piece of software, obviously, A Memoir Blue is less than an hour long. This is probably not the worst decision, all things considered, but if it doesn’t appeal to you in that short amount of time, there’s little valuable to showcase here. We’d say some visual design is fun – and undeniably skilled in the works – but it caters to something that doesn’t appeal to us. There’s some great multimedia content where 2D animated flashbacks appear alongside Miriam CG entirely, but they just give us the impression that they’ve given up on esotericism and decided instead show us what happened.
This will probably be seen as counterintelligence in some way or part of the crowd that screams every time they see it. “walking simulator” (a completely minimized label), but really, this just art is not good. It’s subjective of course and sure, you’ll probably be deeply moved in a way we haven’t experienced yet, but we bet that’s unlikely. It’s a game that seems to drag on and then just… end with no major revelations or real questions. What is a generous word for that? Meditation. That is meditation. Really meditate. Kind of like… sleep.