GAME REVIEW: A Memoir Blue

Developer: Cloisters Interactive
Publisher: 
Annapurna Interactive
Release Date: 
March 24th, 2022
Platforms: 
Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4/5, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC
Reviewed On
: Xbox Series X

Author’s Note: Spoiler free.

Synopsis:

A Memoir Blue is a short, sweet interactive poem surrounding the memories of mother and daughter. With simple mechanics, you navigate as the daughter–a successful athlete–and revisit all that she went through and experience the roller coaster of emotions that follow. This game is considered a “casual” adventure game, although I prefer Annapurna’s description of interactive poem.

Screenshot (Annapurna Interactive)

Analysis:

Cloisters Interactive uses graphic style choice to draw the difference between Miriam’s reality and her memories. You are a 3D model; however, all the memories of Miriam and her mother are seen through a hand-drawn art style. This draws significant contast and is endearing. Colors are vivid, and of course, blue tended to be the predominant color.

The journey through the game is very abstract. You begin with Miriam, wincing at all the flashing cameras (which you control in order to progress to the next vignette). Next, you see Miriam sitting on the couch, lost in thought. You perform some simple tasks, like interacting with her phone and the glass of water on the table, until again, you progress to the next scene.

From there, you dive into a fantastical and surreal underwater landscape until you reach the first set of Miriam’s memories. You interact your way through several memories as Miriam and her mother struggle to survive and make a life for themselves. Without a single spoken word, A Memoir Blue tells the story of the ups and downs of this mother-daughter relationship.

The music is heart-wrenching and fit well with the theme of the game. It would have been helpful; however, if the music was interwoven with story progression, as there were many times where I was unsure whether I was watching a scene play out or knew it was time to interact. This leads to my next comment–game play.

The gameplay is as simple as it gets. From matching patterns to stamp a train ticket to unpacking boxes in the apartment, you point and click (or drag) in between vignettes. There’s something calming about this minimalist nature; however, I found these tasks to not always be tied to anything meaningful. I feel the story could be even more impactful if it was tied in with the gameplay, rather than just moving ice cubes or turning on lights.

Regardless, A Memoir Blue takes approximately one hour to play. While not my favorite visual novel type game, I found the story profound, and I applaud the developer to deliver emotion without dialogue. I even shed a few tears toward the game’s climate.

As of today’s date, June 14th 2022, it is available on Game Pass, and I highly recommend playing it. The game is respectful of the player’s time, and it takes your though a brief story that I feel many may be able to relate to.


Final Score:

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

A Memoir Blue is a short, interactive poem that is beautiful in several ways. It does not overstay its welcome (also, free on Game Pass and also affordable in price), and I invite anyone to play the game if they need a nice palette cleanser from all the lengthy RPGs and action-adventure games out there.


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Image Sources: Annapurna Interactive

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