There are games out there that like nothing more than to hold your hand, whisper sweet nothings of reassurance in your ear, and give you little paths to follow, telling you what button to press, even after 15 hours of gameplay. Then there are games that like to give you a world of choice, letting you discover everything alone, whilst having a ball. Then there’s a game like Rememoried – a game that basically puts you into a surreal world of philosophy, astrology and mind bending physics, and hopes you might find out what the hell is going on. Welcome to a journey of the unreal.
Where am I? What is this? Who is telling me these strange things? These are just some of the questions that will be running through your head in the couple of hours of playing through this game.
Rememoried is a first person puzzle adventure experience, that looks like it should be played via VR. You are, well, we don’t know who you are, except that you have a virtual hand. And that is pretty much the only clue we’re going to get throughout the experience as we learn about our identity. We’re on a journey though – a journey of discovery about ourselves and the universe.
The control scheme of Rememoried is very simple. You move with one thumbstick, look around with the other and jump thanks to the right bumper. There is nothing else to worry about.
You start the game in a strangely weird space; a kind of mix between a piece of art and a virtual reality world, with sporadic pieces of colour and recognisable objects like sofas all present, but placed in a very surreal setting. All clear? Good.
What you then do is move through each level, watching and learning what the world has to tell you. You might have to partake in some platforming, you might have to search for an exit through a flower or strange faced mannequin, you might have to find a gramophone playing classical opera in a virtual reality hut, or leap high through space dust up into the stars. There are some interesting devices employed here, amid some visual puzzle solving that I’ve never really experienced in a game before. There’s a section which is like a kaleidoscope and it really tests your brain, whilst a very clever mechanic used throughout Rememoried ensures that you have to look away to forget what you’ve seen, so the landscape can change and your journey can progress.
Are you having trouble understanding my description of the game so far? Well, welcome to Rememoried because it’s the strangest game experience you’ll ever take in. But is it actually any good?
Well, yes and no. On the positive front Rememoried is trying to do something very different, and it is much more of an experience than a true game. There is no linear narrative, or any kind of story to speak of, but just a series of first person experiences and I applaud the developers for their experimentation. On the negative side though, the game can hurt your brain and you’ll find yourself lost throughout a huge swathe of your time with it. The platforming can be horrid, having to start whole levels again and again until you begin to cry. The pace of the game is very much on one level, and towards the end you start to yearn for a change in the structure and direction. The writing consists of two voices telling pearls of wisdom about mindfulness, the nature of the soul and the universe, but it can grate at times and feels a bit over the top.
The visuals and design of the levels are where Rememoried really shines and truly comes alive. Like a surreal painting, it’s all black and white with hints of colour here and there. There are a few sections that really stand out, like the moon mirror levels and the kaleidoscope section. The soundtrack meanwhile is a mixture of the kind of music you might find in a meditation group, and a good classical score that works great within the game. The voice over work just doesn’t work for me though, with the actors trying too hard to sound wise and enigmatic.
At the end of the day, Rememoried is an artistic experiment that tries to be a game. There isn’t a story to speak of, but rather a collection of thoughts and comments on the philosophy of the soul and/or journey in the universe. It has problems as a game, especially in the platforming sections and it has some very uneven voice work. Visually is where its strengths lie and it does this very well indeed. I think the price is bit high though, so if you’re curious then perhaps it is best to wait until it hits the sales and maybe then take a punt if you are looking for something a bit different.