My Memory of Us review (PS4)

My Memory of Us, a puzzle platformer developed by Juggler Games and published by IMGN.PRO, is out now for Playstation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and PC. We’re reviewing the Playstation 4 version.

For some reason, ever since it was announced, My Memory of Us has reminded me of This War of Mine – even though they’re quite different in how they play out. Both are Polish-produced games that look at war from different perspectives, and with the Little Ones expansion This War of Mine also highlighted the role that kids play against this backdrop.

World War 2, and more specifically the Nazi occupation of Poland, is the backdrop for My Memory of Us. It’s never too explicit though, as the German side of things is personified by the “Robot King” in the story – keeping the focus firmly on the human side of things in the shape of two young children and the resistance heroes they come across.

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Taken away from their previous life, a young boy and girl traverse the walled off areas they are forced to live in. They encounter others, whose stories (based on real life accounts) can be experienced in the game – but they also have each other to rely on. A side-scrolling puzzle adventure, My Memory of Us features a very diverse range of puzzles that are often based on cooperation and/or the individual skills that the kids have.

The girl is a little taller and can run faster than the boy can, and she can also use a slingshot to get to trigger points that are otherwise out of reach. The boy’s smaller frame helps him to stay unnoticed though, which comes into play during situations that require a more stealthy approach. The kids can also move together, holding hands – a more charming implementation of a mechanic we also saw in games like Klaus, though switching between characters and working together can sometimes feel a little clunky.

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While the puzzle platforming gameplay isn’t terribly original (and in some cases the puzzles feel disconnected from the narrative in terms of their design), the audiovisual delivery is striking and memorable. Featuring a cartoon-like animation style and mostly gray looking backdrops, the subtle use of red (in the children’s clothing) really stands out – it evokes memories of how Spielberg did something similar in Schindler’s List. On the narrative front, besides all the (side) stories that you unlock as you progress, there is also the familiar voice of Patrick Stewart to talk you through everything.

There are better puzzle platformers around for genre purists to enjoy, but few tell a tale as memorable as My Memory of Us. Its controls are too simple to feel as clunky as they sometimes do, but it’s an issue I was always eager to forgive as the story progressed. There’s a limited amount of lasting appeal in terms of gameplay here, but it leaves a lasting impression in terms of the narrative – even though it’s on the short side.

Score: 6.7/10

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