When I read our news post about My Memory Of Us coming to Switch I saw the words “…stealth, survival, and puzzle solving game”. I immediately knew this was a game for me as I tend to appreciate the thinking RPGs more versus the “trigger finger happy” platformers, etc. My Memory Of Us is from publisher Crunching Koalas along with developer Juggler Games. My Memory Of Us originally came out on PC via Steam, sporting mostly positive reviews, and received a glowing review by Gamespace’s own Wolfy. So the question is can the Switch version uphold the standards of its PC predecessor? This is our My Memory Of Us Switch review!
My Memory Of Us is essentially a story of the friendship between a boy and a girl during a wartime event. The story is inspired by actual events from World War II and is from the perspective of the two children with a spoken narrative from the boy, as a grown-up. To help sweeten the pot, the narration is done by the refined Patrick Stewart who fits the role “splendidly”, as he might say. Basically, events around you involve an Evil King who is trying to take over the city and dismisses his foot soldiers (depicted as robot soldiers) are all over the place.
Gameplay consists of 2D side-scrolling filled with exploration, stealth, witty puzzles, cooperative gameplay and a wee bit of platforming. The hand-drawn graphics have an almost “Sunday morning newspaper comic” feel to them using mostly black and grey shades and tones. This colour palette choice works wonderfully well for the era being portrayed and the fact that most of the story is a flashback tale. In game NPCs and such don’t speak or vocalize text subtitles. Instead, messages and emotions are conveyed through the use of “chat bubbles” with descriptive pictures in them. The only spoken dialogue is by Stewart and this usually happens as story narrative between levels. Also, since this is an adventure game, the colour red is used to draw your attention to items of interest.
The puzzles are unique and fun to solve without being extremely hard, don’t get me wrong, there are times you will be duped and might need an assist from Google, but overall they were enjoyable and satisfying to complete. Some of the solutions involve the use of both characters you control, as they each have a few special abilities. This had me reminding myself of my Lost Viking days. There are also some timing/platform type puzzles that are somewhat forgivable but are not avoidable. Some of the more memorable ones included; pressing the correct controller button sequence in time with scrolling sheet music (think Guitar Hero) and a scooter race that was a joy to partake in, even with my ageing, slow reflexes.
The stealth sequences were, for the most part, standard, but at times, challenging fare as there were some points where timing is key. Your two player-controlled characters can move in unison by holding hands. When the girl leads, the joined duo can run when the boy leads they can sneak. Some levels required the use of both techniques while trying to outpace or outmanoeuvre robot soldiers. The game takes you back to the start of the stage if you fail an objective, get caught etc.. This wasn’t as bad as it sounds especially since you know the mechanics to get through the level at that point and can replay the steps quickly. Levels weren’t too long where this ever really became an issue.
The only quibbles I had about the game is somewhere along the line I must have missed how to “run”. Also, control to get up and onto / down from, for example, a box is a diagonal thumb-stick move versus using the old intuitive “jump” button, it took some getting used to. Lastly, the timing puzzles are unavoidable and had me worried that I might get “stuck”, but after a few, or more, attempts I managed to get through them.
As far as the port to Switch, the game ran fine in docked mode and handheld mode. In handheld mode even the dialogue text subtitles are readable and there was nothing that would deter me from not considering to keep playing on the go.