More proof that Patrick Stewart makes everything a little better.
I’ve begun to develop a fondness for the puzzle-adventure genre since I’ve started playing them on Switch. The chill atmosphere and pick-up-and-play compatibility make them the perfect companion when you’re multitasking playing video games with other activities, like watching hockey. My Memory of Us has been a fantastic companion during those late nights on the couch, keeping me entertained with a delightful story about two friends trying to survive a fictional war based on World War II.
Only about a handful of people have the ability to get you immediately interested in a topic with just the sound of their voice, and Patrick Stewart is definitely one of them. His professionalism and expert narration got me hooked right away to the frame story of his growing up with a friend during a military occupation. The story begins with Stewart voicing an older man who runs a bookstore in a back alley. A young girl that looks much like a childhood friend of his enters the store and finds a photo album tucked away, lost from time. Upon showing the album to the old store owner, a flood of memories of his old friend come rushing back, and he proceeds to share his stories with the young patron.
The arc of the story closely follows the experience of Jewish families living in Poland during World War II but with a cartoon aesthetic. The invading army is represented by a society of robots led by the Robot King and follows a similar timeline and pattern to the Nazi occupation of Poland. The animation is beautifully hand drawn and invokes a much more hopeful and positive outlook, despite the reality of the situation. The movement is a little bit slow but it isn’t that noticeable, except for a chase sequence that felt like an homage to a classic Battletoads level.
The puzzles are well designed and are constructed in a way that no movement feels like a waste. Very rarely were there times where I had to double back on multiple occasions, and in every case it was clear what the objective was. Only one particular puzzle gave me grief, and I did require assistance to proceed. The issue was an overlooked detail that many others will likely miss, but to only have an issue on a single puzzle among many is still a worthy achievement.
What I appreciated most about My Memory of Us was the positive overtone and message of the power of friendship during the worst of times. It takes courage to tell a story that mirrors the holocaust, and developer Juggler Games does a fine job of highlighting the hope and determination of two friends fighting against all odds.