Memoir En Code: Reissue (PC) Review

By Ofisil 28.12.2016

Review for Memoir En Code: Reissue on PC

Let's shake hands on this: the indie game development community is weird. That's not necessarily something good or bad, it's just what it is, a part of the equation. What is bad, though, is the overabundance of the so-called "experimental" video games - which are rarely that… video games, that is. Memoir En Code: Reissue is a perfect representative of that small family; a family that includes bundles of "fun" like Retention… and here's why there's no reason for people to spend a single coin on it.

As is the rule with many artsy indie productions, this is not a game. Despite bits of interactivity here and there, this is meant to be "experienced," not played. The first "level" is an image of a desk, viewed from above. You can click on several items and read short descriptions. The second is a "farewell" dialogue sequence between two people, with multiple choice text bubbles available. The third consists of a person holding an umbrella, a cashier asking something in Dutch, and a scene from a birthday party when the "protagonist" has to congratulate everyone in the room.

This exciting adventure continues with him looking at the mirror, or trying to avoid noise and finish studying, or pass a thread through the eye of a needle, or aimlessly walk on a beach, and so on… And then it all ends and a million question marks fly over your head. What exactly was that? What have you just experienced? Are you stupid for not understanding it? Was this a masterpiece and you've just missed its magnificence? Why do birds suddenly appear every time you are near?

Screenshot for Memoir En Code: Reissue on PC

Worry not, because the end unlocks a "director's commentary" sort of feature, which enables opening up an extra window where the developer explains what the purpose of this weird piece of software was… and this is when you realise that this ain't the wonder your hipster friend was talking about. Since this is an autobiography… of sorts, each "level" tries to give the viewer glimpses inside the life of Memoir En Code's creator. The problem is that the narrative technique used fails in almost every possible way.

First of all, without the extra commentary thingy, it's impossible to understand anything. Even after one does, though, why should this be a reason to spend time with this title? The birthday scene, for instance, shows the developer's first encounter with the charmingly weird Nederland custom of congratulating everyone on such an occasion… So!? Even if you have experienced this scene yourself and can relate to the emotion, does this make this an enjoyable, albeit unique, form of storytelling?

It is hard being negative about this (not really), because, besides it being a clear-as-day labour of love, it's also an exercise in self-purification. The man behind it all shares with the gaming community some very personal thoughts, but, looking at this strange interactive memory photo album strictly as a product (and not necessarily a video game), it just isn't worthy of a free pass just because it is what it is, and, therefore, is impossible to recommend it to anyone. Charity, pizza, and beer are far better alternatives for spending a few pounds… and not necessarily in that order.

Screenshot for Memoir En Code: Reissue on PC

Cubed3 Rating

2/10
Rated 2 out of 10

Very Bad

Memoir En Code: Reissue fails both as a game and an interactive story, but that's not really a problem, because it never wanted to be any of these two things. Memoir En Code: Reissue is just an "autobiographical game album, designed to be experienced similarly to a music album" …and it fails even at that.

Developer

Kalopsia Games

Publisher

Kalopsia Games

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  2/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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