The week is almost over already. How time… flies. Get it? We don’t need roads. Ahem. Perhaps exhuasted by the amount of Back to the Future retrospectives on the social mass, but intriguied by time travel still? The fourth installment of our Back to the Retro week covers a game that features a short but bittersweet exploration of the past through memories.
Another time-themed offering from Time Pygmy developer Deepnight.net, Memento XII takes a more sombre route, placing an imprisoned old man’s memories of the past as the central theme. A classic point and click style adventure, you’ll have to use your (that is, the old man’s) memory to puzzle your way through to the end.
Memento XII is a classic point n click style adventure, once again a Ludum Dare entry created in a mere 48 hours. Like typical adventure games, you are able to look at, pick up and use objects to solve puzzles, however the unique element of Memento XII is its ‘remember’ command. Remembering the right object will take you back in time, transforming your cell into a place from your memories, allowing for further exploration and puzzling. Despite the fact that you are apparently travelling through your memories, the old man is perhaps an extra from HEROES and seemingly has the superpower to somehow bring items back and forth with him. As you’d expect, this plays into the puzzle solving. The nostalgic tone and surrounding mystery of why you have been locked up in the cell for 12 years also adds an extra dimension to the game. The world, small as it is, is full of detail and pointedness, meaning you’ll be absorbing the memories you are exploring as much as you are trying to learn more about what really happened.
Sadly, while there is more to the game than Time Pygmy, the game is nonetheless quite short and won’t take much to reach the conclusion. This in itself isn’t a particular issue, but the conclusion leaves most of the game world up to your imagination, for better or worse. The reason why you are exploring your memories through objects is revealed, but there is no particular twist and the reason why you are in a cell is never clearly explained. The inventory system may seem a little unusual at first too. Unlike other point and click games, you can’t seem to directly interact with your inventory at all. Instead, it simply lists what you are carrying and then automatically uses items when needed. So for example instead of using the photo on the photo frame, you simply use the photo frame.
These limitations are pretty understandable given the 48 hour timeframe, though it’s still a shame the developers didn’t expand at least a little bit on the game post-Ludum. Still, it’s a nice concept that once again makes use of time in a way that isn’t seen in many games, with lovely pixel art to boot. Another short but sweet coffee break experience.
Play online: http://deepnight.net/games/memento-xii/