A Memoir Blue on the waves of her memories
Games

A Memoir Blue – on the waves of her memories. evaluation

played on the personal computer

Right hand punch, left hand punch, kick, head turn, inhale, spin, thrust, head turn, exhale, it’s time to add. Snatch, hands work more powerfully, kicks more often, tense muscles all over your body to the limit, increase speed to the maximum, concentrate only on your own lane, touch. Goal. Victory. Anew. I take my hands off my side and let my body levitate – and it slowly, unhurriedly, plunges into the turbulent but still warm and so comfortable water of the pool. I cross my arms across my chest, bend my legs and close my eyes. Hello mom, I’m back.

***

Cloisters Interactive, the studio behind A Memoir Blue, is based in New York but registered in Taiwan. Cloisters Interactive not only explains the genre of the game (“interactive poem”), but also the theme (the heroine’s relationship, the swimming champion, with her mother) from the threshold – and what’s more, even the end of the story is announced in the synopsis. Wild, isn’t it? But we’re talking about a poem here – after all, nobody expects a poem to have impressive plot twists. The essence of A Memoir Blue lies solely in the interaction between the player and the game at the emotional level, in those experiences that the associative series of the work evokes.

 Tune in to the wave of childhood

Tune in to the wave of childhood

And the poetic gameplay fabric is skillfully woven despite A Memoir Blue being the studio’s debut game. Miriam, the game’s heroine, unhappily receives another gold medal and returns home, lost in her thoughts, misses another call and falls asleep – and the story after her slips from reality into a dream.

We dive into her home element behind Miriam, gradually delving deeper and deeper as we move through memories from earlier to later – sorting old photos, swapping one mode of transport for another (metro, ferry, train), long gone abandoned places and of course meeting her mother and herself. And sinking into the depths – Miriam obviously didn’t lose her footing that night, but much earlier.

 In this scene we have to move the sun itself and change from day to night. This is the demiurge simulator

In this scene we have to move the sun itself and change from day to night. This is the demiurge simulator

Speaking of game poetry, we’ve yet to decide on the genre – but in this case, not a game (it’s already been announced), but a poetic one. A Memoir Blue is of course a symbolist creation. Moving from one metaphor to another with big strokes, she does not hesitate to constantly change the laws of interaction with the game world, mixing two-dimensional and three-dimensional graphics for greater expressiveness – layers of “then” and “now”, torn in the head the heroine.

 If you give money to a hand woven from darkness, you expect the poem to become a thriller now - but that doesn't happen.

If you give money to a hand woven from darkness, you expect the poem to become a thriller now – but that doesn’t happen.

However, there is no reason to talk seriously about interacting with the virtual world – the game actually plays itself and gives us control, just to maintain interactivity, which helps us to identify with the heroine and these events with to experience a greater emotional intensity with her than if we had just watched a cartoon. But here we go into another correspondence discussion about the need full of fun I will not. We perform essentially the simplest actions: move the ice in a glass, press the buttons and pull the switches on the ship’s dashboard (and then just move this boat from pier to pier on a two-dimensional map), remove They photograph old dirt, lug things onto shelves and then shake them off – and so on. Incidentally, Miriam doesn’t perform any of these actions herself – the episodes in which control passes into our hands play out independently of the characters. Roughly speaking, the player simply builds the scenery, paves the way, and expresses emotions. Then the game takes control from us and shows small story scenes. Our job is to set the pace, and A Memoir Blue rhymes on its own.

At the same time, the metaphors turn out to be quite simple at the end – this is a journey through the objective world, in contrast to perhaps the next game in terms of lyrical mood and theme, the beautiful Gris with its absolute isolation from reality. That can make A Memoir Blue feel rustic – and that simplicity has both its charm and an inevitable break with some of the audience. Despite the eternal theme (mother-daughter relationship, childhood grudges, acceptance of parents and their victims), it can be difficult to relate to fairly specific things and characters.

 The beginning of a great but dark career

The beginning of a great but dark career

Anyway, the poem at Cloisters Interactive turned out very nicely. The game works well rhythmically without going off topic or lengthening scenes. The game is excellently designed and, which is very important for a first work, almost without any technical flaws – the moments when the 2D characters of “Mother and Miriam from the past” invade the 3D full-color world do not touch only every time, but also create fertile ground for the final catharsis. And of course – since we are talking about an indie game – there is great music here: both background music and songs performed by singer IMOGEN.

***

An unusually short – the game can be completed in under an hour – but a very solid and touching story about a journey deep into yourself and your relationship with your parents. Quite straightforward in content, A Memoir Blue is very elegant in form and execution. And if I compared Gris to a figurine made of the finest porcelain, then here I want to talk about a slight jab in the back that moves the player, if not to a visit to a psychotherapist, then at least to the phone, where it isn’t so difficult to dial a known number.

Advantages:

  • elegant visual performance;
  • wonderful music;
  • a touching story about the universal theme of the parent-child relationship and unresolved grievances.

Disadvantage:

  • at some points the methods of A Memoir Blue can seem straightforward;
  • The game is very short.

 

graphic The combination of bad, but very decent 3D with invading 2D characters makes the game look at least decent and not afraid of close-ups.
sound Pleasant background music ensures the right mood and songs sung by IMOGEN set the perfect tone.
single player game The game actually flows on its own with minimal intervention from the player who merely needs to arrange the scenery for the action taking place before their eyes.
collective game Not provided.
Estimated travel time About an hour.
overall impression A short personal story packed in the form of an interactive poem – touching, elegant and emotional.

 

Rating: 8.0/10

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About the author

Alan Foster

Alan Foster covers computers and games and all the news in the gaming industry.

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