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Explore the darkened subconscious of a lonely space explorer...

General Thoughts:

Miserere is a game that takes place on a far-off planet; you play as an unnamed protagonist who has taken to dreaming to quell his boredom and loneliness. Right from the beginning, the character’s observations of your brief exploration of the space station are mildly pessimistic and apathetic to the point where he doesn’t even remember what all of the station’s non-vital systems do. His personality and the damage from the isolation are defined from here, and in a rather thoughtful way.

Throughout the game, there is a small bit of world-building done via the exploration and puzzle-solving. You will gain a fairly basic grasp of the state of Earth and roughly what time period this probably takes place from examining vaguely familiar things in the dream world. There aren’t many, though it is enough to give you enough to form a basic idea. It’s also vague enough to retain an enigmatic air—or at least, that’s what I think.

In speaking of puzzle-solving, I mentioned that this was a so-called “dream-based adventure game”; it’s got a completely different structure from Yume Nikki fangames. Rather than being a clone or copy of Yume Nikki to some degree, it uses Yume Nikki as a jumping off point and does its own thing from there. In this case, “its own thing” means “adventure game”, replete with some head-scratching puzzles and collecting useful items that are needed to get other items. It’s not a bad thing, and it’s not poorly done, either. At times, the items’ descriptions give clues as to their use (such as the icicle’s description mentioning it wouldn’t make a half-bad spear. People throw spears, right? So take that as a free hint.)

Moreover, many of these items are one-time use, so you’ll know if you’ve reached a solution to a particularly odd puzzle if it requires an item that you happen to have. Though my favourite part of all this is that it begins as sort of an open-ended, tangled web that untangles more as the plot thickens and more puzzles get solved, leading you to the logical conclusion. My only possible gripe with this is that people new to the balls-out craziness of adventure-game-style solutions might have a bit of trouble at the beginning of the game.

As for the plot, this game has one. It’s simple, but it does bring some depth to the table that other games I’ve reviewed or played can’t touch in terms of successfully conveying what needs to be conveyed and leaving vague what needs to be left vague. It doesn’t rely on blatant or hokey symbolism to make its points; it uses dialogue and cutscenes and examination where it’s appropriate. It all fits the atmosphere, which is set delightfully well by this point.

Yes, Miserere is one of those precious few games that actually manages an atmosphere. It’s dark, as you’d expect, and at times it’s quite lonely. Even though there are characters that talk to you, they’re so far removed from each other and the things they say (sometimes indirectly) are odd enough to make them seem more than a little detached. It’s calculated down to a fine point, even in the visuals (which I’d recommend viewing in fullscreen.)

-Smashing atmosphere and setpieces (including a brief battle)
-Classic Adventure game sensibilities and puzzles
-Simple, but well done plot with a surprising amount of depth if you look at it from a few different angles
-Good area design

-Adventure game sensibilities (players may have a chance of getting lost as to what to do next early on)


Miserere represents how an homage is supposed to be made. It doesn’t use Yume Nikki as a crutch; it takes the dreaming concept and an unchanging dream environment and makes something unique out of it, rather than copying Yume Nikki verbatim and hoping players would be compelled to wild mass-guess at what’s going on.

(Some notes: This review was originally written with respect to games generally made by Yume Nikki fans, which I am known for reviewing. However, as I wrote this review fully convinced that this was an actual game, I didn't have to alter the wording much to make my review suitable for RMN.)


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Actually, this review is fantastic. I have not played the game, but I instantly am interested and know what to expect when I play this game. Your wording is also on point. Thanks, man.
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