As an avid point and click adventure game lover and a Mac owner, I leapt at the chance to play Memoria, the latest in The Dark Eye series of games from Daedalic Entertainment. Whilst my initial impression of the title was fairly low, by the time I completed the game, I was thoroughly impressed with the fantastic story I had just witnessed.
Memoria is the latest game in The Dark Eye series of point and click adventure games from Daedelic Entertainment and is a direct sequel of The Dark Eye: Chains of Satinav. Unfortunately for me, I hadn’t played Chains Of Satinav before getting stuck into Memoria and there were many moments in the game where I felt a bit frustrated by references to events and assumptions of character in the previous title. This isn’t wholly unfair for a sequel to assume that the player had played the previous title in the series, but it did make Memoria feel a lot more like a direct sequel as opposed to a self-contained adventure in its own right.
Set in the continent of Aventuria, Memoria follows two separate tales of Sadja, a princess whose goal is to become the greatest hero of all time, and Geron, a bird-catcher on a quest to return his girlfriend Nuri back from a raven into human form. Although five centuries span these two stories, Geron must solve the mystery of Sadja’s tale in order to complete his own goal. The game breaks these two stories up in a sort of flashback form as gamers will play Sadja’s sections as Geron unravels her story.
Where Memoria differs from most standard point and click adventures though is with it’s incorporation of magical abilities that the player can use to solve puzzles – such as Geron’s ability to destroy and rebuild certain objects. It’s a great gameplay mechanic that really makes Memoria stand out from other point and click adventures and something that allowed to easily introduce new gameplay elements logically and easily as the player progresses through the game.
As a point and click gaming veteran, I must admit that I found the majority of the games puzzles incredibly easy to solve – only finding myself stuck on a couple of moments much later into the game that required a lot of back and forth between different locations. Even with the inclusion of magical abilities, the puzzles are all primarily based on logic and common sense, which is a definite plus for those who don’t like the “combine everything with everything” gameplay style of a lot of point and click games. For a game whose story is all about storytelling, this makes perfect sense, but I personally don’t feel that Memoria is a game for those wanting a real mental workout in the puzzle department.
Where Memoria really shines though is with it’s narrative and artwork – both of which are crafted beautifully. Kevin Mentz, who co-wrote on previous title Chains Of Satinav as well as other Daedelic point and click game Deponia, has put together an absolutely enchanting story with a rich universe of interesting characters. I’m obviously not going to spoil anything, but the final scenes of Memoria are outstanding and has become one of my favourite video game endings of all time. The hand-drawn artwork really helps bring Kevin’s words to life and is simply an utter pleasure to look at.
Overall, Memoria is a great fantasy point and click adventure game for those wanting to experience a great story without the frustrations of brain-busting puzzles hindering the pacing of the story. To get the absolute most of Memoria, I would highly recommend playing The Dark Eye: Chains Of Satinav beforehand, which you can currently pick up for next to nothing in the Humble Bundle Weekly.
Memoria is out now for PC and Mac.