A Memoir Blue is an interactive adventure from Cloisters Interactive and Annapurna Interactive. It follows the magical realist journey of Miriam, as she reconnects with her child self and complicated relationship with her mother. We’ve seen various narrative titles from Annapurna Interactive in the past with varying degrees of player involvement. In our A Memoir Blue Review, we take a look at what the debut title from Cloisters Interactive offers.
Story and Writing
Given how this is a narrative-driven title, this is where the experience shines as a whole. There is no dialogue or voice acting, but the narrative is carried by the main character, Miriam, exploring key moments of her childhood. It’s a touching story about relationships soured by the burdens of the world and the struggles of parents trying to find balance with how they find time for their children and ensuring that they are provided for as well. This is hard on kids, especially ones that are looking for that attention. Often times the things that bring them together can end up creating distance.
It’s hard to talk more without spoiling a fairly small experience. Miriam’s journey through her childhood and eventual adolescence is engaging, heartwarming, and bittersweet. The less you know about it is better though, as the entire experience lasted a good hour for me.
The game explores some uncomfortable subjects and highlights very important societal aspects in a touching manner. You will relate to some part of it, especially with how much honesty there is on display. It’s quite an achievement to create believable characters without a single line of dialogue.
Gameplay, and Interactivity
Many narrative titles use environmental interaction to keep players engaged. A Memoir Blue is not different in that regard, and throughout the entire story, you’ll be interacting with various objects on the screen to further the plot. Here’s the thing though, a lot of these interactions aren’t exactly engaging or offer any remote sense of challenge. It can be as easy as turning on lights, flipping pages, or cleaning windows. You have no control over the character and are essentially manipulating the environment for them to traverse it at times.
This isn’t exactly a problem, but if you’re looking for some puzzles or clever interactions that make you think, you won’t find that here. I used a controller to play the entire thing, and while a mouse would feel more appropriate, turning dials on objects is easier with analog sticks.
The gameplay is a secondary consideration here, but something I would’ve liked to be explored a bit more here to engage the player further.
Visuals and Audio
A Memoir Blue is a gorgeous game and one that manages to combine 3D pastel-like visuals with 2D hand-drawn animation perfectly. Miriam’s current self is a 3D character, while her memories of herself and her mother are hand-drawn. This creates a nice contrast and serves the storytelling well. Highly detailed backgrounds, objects in the environment, and smooth transitions create a magical world that still showcases realistic moments in isolated spaces.
The atmosphere feels dense, and can quickly change gears when it comes to intensity. Interactive objects aren’t always necessary to fiddle around with to progress the story, but the extra effort put into those is appreciated. There is enough variety in environments too allowing players to see various moments of Miriam’s life in different locations.
I enjoyed the soundtrack quite a bit, the vocal tracks were placed very well. I’ll be checking out the complete soundtrack when it’s available. A lot of interactive objects have unique sound effects that again, increase your immersion.
A Memoir Blue is a memorable narrative adventure that takes players on a very personal journey through time. Its combination of 3D models, with hand-drawn animations, creates a fascinating world rich with dense atmosphere and touching moments. The lack of gameplay variety is disappointing, but enough interactivity keeps you engaged through its short runtime. Miriam’s relationship with her child-self, and mother is explored beautifully without any need for dialogue or exposition.
A Memoir Blue will be available on PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series S|X, PS4, PS5, and Nintendo Switch on 24th March 2022. It will also be available Xbox Game Pass.
While you’re here, make sure to check out our reviews for Ghostrunner Project Hel, Shadow Warrior 3, and Pants Quest.
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This review is based on the PC version of A Memoir Blue. The key was provided by Annapurna Interactive