“He wondered what kind of life it would be, having to keep swimming all the time to stay exactly in the same place.” – Terry Pratchett
A Memoir Blue is a beautiful interactive fiction in which the memories of champion swimmer Miriam are unlocked when she hears a song from her past. Players are invited to join her on an emotional journey into her childhood.
Developer: Cloisters Interactive
Released: 24th March 2022
Price: £5.99 -£7.20
Platforms: Windows, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
Available on: Steam, Humble, Microsoft, PlayStation, eShop
Narrative and Gameplay
There is no text or speech in A Memoir Blue and the narrative is delivered mostly through visual storytelling making it very accessible. The evocative tale begins with Miriam sitting on the sofa in her home, listening to the radio and a song from long ago plays triggering her memories. She quite literally dives into her childhood memories and explores slightly abstract recollections of her swimming success and her turbulent relationship with her devoted mother.
A Memoir Blue’s interactivity is minimal and requires the player to do things such as turning train wheels, directing tear drops and pushing buttons in order to progress the narrative. The interactions also seem to get more dramatic as the intensity of the story increases. This all helps involve the player in the experience without adding any pressure or difficulty which works very well for the style of the game and the story being told within it. Most actions are pretty intuitive and there are no instructions.
A Memoir Blue uses a stunning mix of 3D and 2D art, the latter representing Miariams memories. The 3D artwork is very pleasant, with a nice level of detail and atmospheric lighting. The 2D artwork is quite adorable with simple shapes and subtle line work. Both use cooler colour palettes for the most part and (unsurprisingly, a lot of blue), this suits the art styles and the story well and makes the warmer and brighter moments really stand out. A real highlight of the visuals is when both the 2D and 3D art styles are combined, this results in some truly beautiful and emotive scenes.
The game’s audio is instrumental to the storytelling and features stunning vocals as well as the twinkling of a piano, gentle acoustic guitar and dramatic strings. The music is melodic and atmospheric and the sound effects such as the train noises help add to the immersion.
A Memoir Blue will take around an hour to complete and tells a tumultuous but ultimately charming story through its varied and beautiful visuals, stunning audio and subtle gameplay. It offers a lot for a short interactive fiction and is a must-play for fans of this type of game.
If you’d like to explore more interactive fiction, check out the following reviews:
Wayward Strand – A Curiously Heartfelt Interactive Fiction – Alzheimer’s: Memories – Emotive New Interactive Fiction – Brand New Interactive Fiction: A Sketchbook About Her Sun