Short, gameplay lacking and story-driven art-style games are not quite the rare breed they once were. In fact, there are no shortages of these styles of games and the bar has been set extremely high.
Developers need to try even harder to engage and keep the interest of players up. Which is the biggest stumbling block for A Memoir Blue.
From Annapurna Interactive, A Memoir Blue is referred to as an ‘interactive poem’ and tells a dreamlike story around a competitive swimmer’s relationship with her mother. A story that deals with the pressures of fame at an early age, the demands of a parent living their dreams through their child and how that can affect a person as they go through their teenage years.
That’s not a bad story to tell and it’s certainly one with a degree of relatability. Yet, it feels so empty and, thanks to the obscure way in which it tells it, is wholly uninteresting.
Gameplay is at a minimum here and what you do get to do is insubstantial and often nonsensical. That could have worked because of the dreamy way the story is told except the interactions are just bland. Push ice cubes to the bottom of a glass, build a bridge, recreate an award’s ceremony… it’s surprisingly boring. Even the metaphorical approach each task takes is uninteresting because the game is too on the nose with its point.
It’s not intriguing, it’s eye-rolling.
It’s hard to even get that excited about the visuals and sound either. The former has moments that shine but are mostly flat and lifeless. The latter goes hard to create emotion with the melodies but fails because of the lack of connection most will feel with the story.
It’s a real shame that A Memoir Blue feels so vapid as some amazing experiences have come from these types of games. This isn’t going to remembered as one of them though. The lack of substance or depth, the uncouth way in which it hammers its point home, the forced emotion and lack of interesting gameplay makes it more than just forgettable though, it makes it a bad game.
A Memoir Blue (Xbox Series X)
The Final Score - 4/10