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29 Mar 2022

REVIEW: A Memoir Blue - Playstation 5

Review by Jon Donnis
A Memoir Blue is the latest release on Playstation 5, a Visual Novel (don't roll your eyes, some people like them), about a superstar athlete, and the love between a mother and daughter.

Strangely for a visual novel, A Memoir Blue features no actual dialog, everything is told through visual cues. There are consequences to your decisions as you play, so choose wisely.

Completable in roughly an hour, this is a shortish experience, but worth it I would say. You start the game playing as Miriam, the daughter.

The opening scene of the game shows your character winning a medal at the Olympics, but not looking particularly happy for some reason, and flinching as the camera flashes go off, clearly not a fan of attention it seems.

The camera then retracts and we realise that Miriam is watching herself on the TV screen. The camera pans to her bag, and you get your first bit of interactivity with the game, you can click on a pair of goggles, press the top of some deodorant to make it spray out, but clearly you need to click on the mobile phone. Upen clicking around on the phone, straight away you realise there are no words, try to send a message and there is only a question mark and some dots to click on. Before you know it the phone rings, and next you have your first puzzle of sorts, which are ice cubes in a glass, and suddenly a fish appears. Already I am slightly lost at this point. Since there is no dialog, no real instruction of what to do.

From that point on you seem to go from one memory or dream to the next. Exploring the past, your relationship with your mother, as you move through childhood into adulthood.

The game plays very much as a tactile experience, and by that, I mean that everything revolves around you tapping on things on the screen, or moving through water, memory scenes play in 2D whereas current scenes play in 3D. Simple puzzles like stamping a ticket after adjusting the stamp. Nothing too tricky.

The whole game is a strange one, some odd interactions, especially in the first 30 minutes of play, can take you out of the experience, as the clickable area might be quite small, so you find yourself randomly clicking around with no real direction.

There is a nice story here, and told in a unique way, with beautiful music.

Everything looks and sounds great, but there is a missing element I feel.

I often ask the question, if a game is as enjoyable if you just watched someone else play it, as compared to if you play it, then what is the point?

And unfortunately, this becomes an issue in this game.

The Good
A short experience that will leave an impression on you.

The Bad
Can you justify spending £7.20 on something you will finish in under an hour and probably never play again?

A seemingly tactile type game, that doesn't translate to the screen that well for the people who perhaps would benefit from it the most.

I just need more to do. 

I score A Memoir Blue on Playstation 5 a 6/10

Out now at the Playstation Store for £7.20 -

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