My Memory of Us for the Nintendo Switch Review
My Memory Of Us
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Release date: 24/01/2019
published by: Juggler Games/
The story is a clever one and probably one of the finest aspects of My Memory of Us.
It follows the story of a boy and a girl who strike up an endearing relationship amidst the grip of war.
It’s essentially a retelling of true events from world war 2 and each cutscene is expertly narrated by none other than Patrick Stewart, who tells the story from the little boy’s perspective.
It’s not long after the two pint-sized protagonists meet up that things take a disturbing turn for the worse as the Robot King sends forth his army of robot soldiers to invade and pillage the nation.
It’s the robot army in My Memory Of Us that represent the Nazis from world war 2 and their way of processing the surviving refugees is to paint their clothes red, them becoming known as “The Red Folk”
My Memory Of Us is a single player 2D puzzle adventure game with some extra mini-game types thrown in, such as stealth, rhythm action, foot chase and vehicular outrun and horizontal shmup to name a few.
Though this may sound like a whole mess of different genres smashed together it works extremely well as each section is very short and never outstays its welcome.
For what seems like such a simplistic style of game the control systems in place are actually very deep and well thought out.
My Memory Of Us adopts a “buddy system” in which you control both the boy and the girl each one has their own set of skills. You can switch between them on the fly by simply clicking R. This way you can control each one individually e.g for puzzles.
The girl, in particular, can sprint by pressing B enabling faster platforming and jumping over small gaps. She also picks up a slingshot along the way allowing her to hit out of reach switches by simply holding ZR, aiming with the left stick and shooting with A.
The boy on the other hand, whilst not as nimble as the girl, can’t sprint but he can use his stealth ability by pressing B to hide in the shadows and later on use this skill to pickpockets. He also stumbles upon a trinket he can use with ZR to deflect light into people’s eyes to distract them.
As well as operating individually you can also move as a single unit by pressing X to hold hands. Especially helpful with some of the stealthier sections. As mentioned before you can switch characters on the fly even whilst holding hands which becomes extremely useful later on as while the boy has the lead his stealth ability counts for the pair of you.
Although this is a single player experience at a glance you may be thinking the developers missed a trick here by not including some form of 2 player co-op feature, I know I did at first. Though it soon becomes apparent later on that there are certain points of the game where you become separated and hence left controlling just the boy or girl.
The developers have done an awesome job at conveying emotion and atmosphere choosing to go with a whimsical painterly style, all whilst limiting the colour palette to monochrome with red accents.
This is put to great effect as there is no spoken language throughout the game (narration notwithstanding). The characters instead interact using speech bubbles with pictures and it’s your job to find these objects and locations using said symbolism and on-screen arrows.
It’s also very helpful that they coloured anything of interest and things you can interact with a vivid shade of crimson that stands out very well from the noir backdrop.
As mentioned before the whole “Red Folk”
theme plays into the game mechanics at around the midpoint of the adventure when the little girl gets painted red.
From this point forth she cannot enter any areas which exclude “Red Folk” forcing the two companions to split up and approach the scenario differently or simply use the boy’s stealth skill.
Unfortunately for as gorgeous and unique as the visuals are it does suffer from some slow-down and dropped frames. This mainly occurred while the screen was scrolling or when it was loading in new scenes and when there were a lot of NPC’s and vehicles. Whilst this in no way detracted from the overall experience it is certainly noticeable and hopefully can be patched out at launch.
The music in My Memory Of Us is as magical as the visuals. Consisting of haunting piano, violin and drums with a dash of operatic vocals.
All of which comes together nicely to help bring the 40’s setting to life.
The sound effects and ambience are also nothing short of incredible. From the clanking of the marching robot soldiers, the distant sound of bomb explosions, the rumbles of vehicles and tanks going by and the anguish of survivors. It all comes together to really immerse you into a war-torn environment and conveys a sense of fear and tension.
Unfortunately, this too is not without a couple of glitches. I did notice an odd sound effects glitch when one of the screens loaded in.
Also one of the cutscenes around the midpoint of the game was missing that heartwarming Patrick Stewart narration completely. I thought my speakers had died on me at that point. Though I’m pleased to say it was only the one scene and all subsequent scenes were perfectly fine.
But still it’s another smear on an otherwise perfect product and I hope it can be patched out.
It took me around 5 hours or so to complete My Memory Of Us and at £13.49 in the UK or $14.99 in the US, some may find it a touch on the pricey side for the length of the game that it is. Although I’m in the camp that appreciates the quality content, regardless of length and let me tell you I was gripped from the very start.
From the peppy beginning right through to the emotional, heart-wrenching finale, every minute and penny spent on this game will not have been a waste.
As for replay value, well there isn’t much here. But then there doesn’t need to be, not in a single player story driven linear experience like this.
There are 9 chapters to play through and each one can be played through however many times you like by selecting it from the chapters menu. This is especially useful for collecting any memories you may have missed the first time around, to which there are 16.
Each of these memories contains bitesize passages of lore or background information on certain characters.
My Memory Of Us is a unique and wonderful experience laced with bittersweet themes throughout. The subject matter at hand is understandably hard-hitting and dark.
However, it’s when you witness the blossoming relationship between the boy and girl that fills you with hope, that everything will be fine.
From the monochromatic colour scheme
with its striking red accents, the hand-painted visuals and all the authentic music and sounds of the era, it’s not hard to see that Poland based developer Juggler Games really did put their heart and soul into the game.
This may be a relatively short one player experience but I’m personally fine with that. Because they have crammed so much good stuff into the playtime I had with it and I enjoyed it from start to finish.
The huge mix of different game genres was also refreshing and neither one outstayed its welcome as each puzzle I came across was different from the last.
Sure there were some head-scratchers in there but none that I couldn’t overcome with a little logic and a moment to think.
As I mentioned earlier in the review it isn’t a spotless product, with very rare sound glitches, a bit of slowdown and some dropped frames from time to time in busy areas.
Though not nearly bad enough to spoil my enjoyment of an otherwise stellar game, it is noticeable and I hope it can be patched as it is the only thing keeping it from a perfect score!
Great art direction
Authentic sounds and music
Wide variety of genres
Very touching story
Some odd sound glitches here and there.
Some noticeable slowdown at times.
Some may think it’s a little short at its current price point.
Reviewed by Mircramanic on the Nintendo Switch. Game provided by Crunching Koalas.