Title: A Memoir Blue
Developer: Cloisters Interactive
Publisher: Annapurna Interactive
Platforms: PC, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One (reviewed on)
Release Date: March 24, 2022
In gaming, certain companies and production studios are known for certain tropes and traits that show up in their work. BioWare makes character and relationship driven RPGs. Naughty Dog makes games that are more cinematic than game. Monolith Soft makes huge open worlds.
Annapurna Interactive knows how to perform open heart surgery on its players, tugging hard on the emotional core of those experiencing their stories.
With works of art like What Remain of Edith Finch, Gorogoa, Journey, Outer Wilds, Twelve Minutes, and Gone Home, Annapurna is held as one of the greatest production companies in gaming and earns that praise.
A Memoir Blue is Annapurna’s newest release, an opportunity that is both a blessing and a curse. Annapurna’s platform is huge and that seal of approval will likely drive sales. However, that seal of approval raises expectations.
A Memoir Blue reaches those expectations and delivers AI’s signature climactic gut punch to send the player home happy and with tearful eyes.
The visuals for AMB are stunning and what initially will draw many players in. A large amount of the game is 3D animated with character models and set pieces that more closely bring to mind beautiful indie animated films then games. Those visuals are then complimented by the introduction of more eastern style animation, closer to the style of anime. This visual is used to represent memories and past events, which makes its brighter colors and more exaggerated styles thematically appropriate.
Of course, I can not mention the presentation without also mentioning the music. The score is heavily inspired and touched by indie soft-rock. The simple background music uses the often droning sounds of that style to make the player feel isolated and distant, while the haunting vocals occasionally drift in to remind the player of their characters sadness.
The gameplay is extremely simple, highlight different objects and move them to solve simple puzzles. It’s not complicated and not puzzle takes more than a few seconds. The game in total took me less than an hour on my first playthrough.
But the puzzles aren’t the reason the player is present, it is the story. The story of this game follows the main character as she remembers her childhood and the evolution of her relationship with her mother. It tells a very modern story of single motherhood, the weight of capitalist expectations, and the cost that those expectations place on the most important things in our lives.
The story’s climax is stunning and beautiful and caught me off guard with its emotional capabilities. For a game that I only had spent an hour with, it shocked me the impact that final punch hit me with. The realization I had upon introspection on the game of just how personal the story had to have been made the ending even better for me.
I suggest checking out this game. It’s very short, but that’s okay. It’s like a Disney animated short as a fun little puzzle game. Experience the love and emotion woven into the title, because it is worth the time.
A Memoir Blue (Xbox One) Score: 8/10
A Memoir Blue is a very personal story that paints a beautiful picture and emotionally captures players.
A copy of this game was provided to App Trigger for the purpose of this review. All scores are ranked out of 10, with .5 increments. Click here to learn more about our Review Policy.