New Game Review

Review – Path to Mnemosyne (PC)

Where is my mind?

I first found out about Path to Mnemosyne at BIG Festival 2018. Although the demo available at the show wasn’t mentioned at my “Best of” article, it was interesting enough for me to look forward to the final release. A bizarre-looking puzzle platformer featuring hand-drawn graphics and a fixed “infinite zoom” camera angle, it was unique to say the least. Now that the game is finally out and I can finally play it in the comfort of my home without the noise, lines, and poor headphones available at the festival’s show floor, I can finally give Path to Mnemosyne a better verdict.

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What a messy place to look for a lost memory.

As previously mentioned, Path to Mnemosyne, also known as the game in which half of the internet won’t write its name down properly, is a game that relies a lot in its great visuals to keep you hooked on it, since at its core, it’s just a very simplistic puzzler that can be beaten in just a few hours.

The premise is simple: guide an amnesiac girl through a seemless never-ending corridor full of creepy crap lying around, all while completing puzzles in order to regain her memories. Your journey will constantly be narrated by two otherwordly entities (at least I think that’s what they are, the game is pretty short on storytelling), one representing memories and the other representing your amnesia.

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If I played in a psychedelic rock band I’d totally use this as the cover to our debut EP.

The puzzles are a mixed bag. While I do appreciate the fact that Path to Mnemosyne doesn’t hold your hand at any given time, some solutions are very cryptic and nonsensical, resulting in some borderline “trial and error” experiences with you pressing all the buttons near you until a different sound is played in the background. A lot of the puzzles revolve around stepping on some large buttons on the floor, as well as avoiding those that are already lit with your simple jump. Given the game’s camera angle, your depth perception isn’t ideal, therefore resulting in lots of failed attempts to perform the simplest of jumps. Thankfully, you can repeat those puzzles as many times as you want, since there’s no game over screen. Path to Mnemosyne also features some neat point-and-click puzzles revolving around your memories, once you collect them on the overworld.

What really saves the game from being just another “indie title” out there is its visuals. I really can’t stress how different Path to Mnemosyne looks in comparison to pretty much anything else I’ve ever played. Those hand-drawn visuals are a joy, especially given the fact the developers have implemented a neat effect to make everything shake as if it has literally been drawn on a notebook by a kid. The infinite zoom effect can actually be a bit nauseating at first, but once you get used to the effect, you’ll constantly look forward to the next creepy crap that’ll show up onscreen. The contrast of finding shiny blue memories on an otherwise grayscale-exclusive game was also a nice touch.

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Blue is the warmest color.

As a proof of concept, Path to Mnemosyne is a neat new take in the puzzle platforming genre, with very nice graphics and overall visual effects. Some of its puzzles are clever and entertaining, but there’s not a lot in here to keep you glued in front of your computer screen for long. Its overall lack of plot, cryptic delivery, handful of annoying “trial and error” sections and short duration will quickly bore you. This is a good game, but it could have been a lot more fleshed out prior to release.

 

Graphics: 9.5

Without a doubt, the game’s highlight. The infinite zoom effect used in this game is really trippy and the hand-drawn visuals are very unique.

Gameplay: 6.5

Very few keys are used. Moving the character isn’t exactly a hassle, but her jumping arc is clunky. The game’s perspective doesn’t provide you with enough sense of depth to accurately measure your jumping distances.

Sound: 7.0

The soundtrack is mostly comprised of simple but effective ambient tunes. There is a bit of voice acting as well, nothing special but also nothing that worsens the experience.

Fun Factor: 6.0

While the game is innovative and some of the puzzles are well-designed, there’s just not much to it. The story isn’t very coherent, some puzzles are absolutely boring, and the game lasts for only a couple of hours with zero replayability.

Final Verdict: 7.0

Path to Mnemosyne is available now on PC.

A copy of Path to Mnemosyne was provided by the publisher.

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About Leo Faria

Founder and mastermind behind Way Too Many Games, hailing from the southern swag that is São Paulo, a Sega widower who considers the Dreamcast to be the greatest console ever released, the greatest Guitar Hero and Tetris player you’ll ever meet. My favorite games include Perfect Dark, Banjo-Tooie, the Guitar Hero series, Bioshock Infinite and Star Wars Rogue Squadron II. I also own an Ouya. Never turned it on.

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