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The Maps Are All Right

  • Cap_H
  • 01/29/2019 06:09 PM
As with everything, there are two sides to Memories of a Forgotten Home. The game is incredibly polished for a jam game made in less than 48 hours of Global Game Jam. On the other hand something about it feels incredibly generic. It's difficult to really appreciate it as an experience. Let's break it down into several categories. The game's fairly short and simple, so I expect this to be a short review.

The game looks pretty. I haven't seen such a nice mansion in an rm game in a while. I think this might be the best mapping I've seen from Frogge so far. Also, the mansion's layout mostly makes sense and all rooms have a purpose. I also enjoy the way he shifted colour palettes. I wasn't sure about the bright green at first, but I have to admit that I really enjoyed it in the long run and the way it changes Refmap. It adds to the atmosphere and gives the mansion dreamy, almost a surreal, look.

The lighting here makes the map stand out.

The rest of resources is also very good. The title screen and UI are beautiful and full of 16-bit nostalgia. Sprites work well, they seem to be custom and little less polished than the tileset.
The best thing is that there's more original art than this! All characters in this game have their own half-body busts and there are several original drawings at the end of the game. I think everything looks pretty and fits the game's aesthetic. I find the use of pictures little inconsistent as they're only contained in last five minutes of the game and some busts are coloured, while two of them are filled with a single solid colour and its gradient, but it all looks pretty.
Overall, the game is a damn belle.
It's slightly bleaker in sound department as the game features a single track, which doesn't quite fit the mood and it doesn't change, when you enter a fragment of memory. I think this could be totally enhanced and the original song only used for the finale, where it would fit nicely.

Playing It
The game's story and writing is clearly inspired by personal games such as Gone Home and Oxenfree. You walk around and collect pieces of the story. It's simple as that. It even uses the same mechanic for progression as Gone Home, when some parts of the house only open after seeing all the important pieces of the story before. I think that's alright game design to have and it even includes two simple puzzles.
There's a problematic part between these two puzzles. In that part you randomly walk around places to activate conversations in order to progress the story and it doesn't feel genuine at all. Your movement speed is very slow and the game making you lost on purpose doesn't work right here. The game suggests a puzzle in dialogue, but the part is just about patience and visiting all rooms.
The writing isn't bad and there are good parts and individual conversations are mostly engaging, but I could see all twists coming from 100 miles and The game didn't make me feel anything at all. Characters appearing and disappearing hinted the truth maybe little too much as well as Robert immediately denying Luna's existence. It wasn't subtle, which presents a problem in a game weaved around a sensitive topic. The conclusion itself isn't 100% satisfactory either. I think that letting me walk out of the house would give me more time to start thinking about it. I would drop the ball, then. It also manages to omit certain parts of the story. Your relation to your brother in particular.
I think this kind of a personal story, in which you uncover memories blends well with the gameplay. I just wish the story was more interesting. This one makes the game average in my opinion.
One minor grudge is the environment. A house usually would be a lot emptier, if it were about to be demolished. It probably would look worse, but it would also make players more immersed.

Very mysterious

I think this game's an achievement for its creators and I enjoyed my 25 minutes with it. When I compare it with Dolorific, It's a big jumps in terms of mapping. And I can recommend to anyone interested in...what exactly?
Finding an audience might be difficult for this game as there are games with better personal stories such as 1998. It's not really about that. I think it's more about walking around your home and reconnecting with it, but the place is the better part of the process. In many regards this is a great game for me and other people, who enjoy ambiance in games. Play it for it and the aesthetic, not for the story, which is decent, not outstanding.

P.S.: Frogge, tell me if I'm too harsh with my score.


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"nothing can beat the power of gay"?
Not at all a harsh score, Cap, this is a very fair and good review! Your points are very valid and there’s a lot more we wanted to do in terms of both story and gameplay, but had to cut out due to time restrictions. I’m really glad you enjoyed the mapping, I’m very proud of it too!

Thanks for giving the game a go!
I just felt like I should review it a tiny bit lower than 4 stars games I reviewed recently. I enjoyed the game immensely myself and I hope to see more games like this from you!
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