Childhood memories, in most cases, are wholesome moments that make our hearts full, happy moments that reflect the longing for events that we cannot return to in person, but that will always live in a well-hidden corner of our memory.
Dordogne is an adventure that explores the memories of Mimi, who after being confronted with the reality of the loss of her grandmother, returns to a place that had been very happy but inexplicably does not remember most of the things that happened at that time. The house of Nora, her grandmother, is for sale and the adventurous Mimi decides to visit the place. Through exploration, the player will collect objects that trigger important flashbacks and that help her to re-establish the moments spent together with her grandmother, in a hot summer in this French village. Who knows, maybe even find the key moment that led to the loss of memories of this very picturesque place.
Although all the action moments are events from Mimi’s past, through mini-games, it is interesting to absorb how there is a parallelism between the different moments of the same character. The exploration made by the adult Mimi is essentially based on the search for the next object that will provide the critical moment of her memory and that can be interrupted by the vibration of her cell phone, with the super upset messages from her father’s, or with her friend’s concerned lines of text. It’s interesting to have a window to understand a little better the characters and their personality strokes that inhabit Mimi’s life, even if it’s just the messages on her cell phone that add more color to this whole adventure.
Speaking of brushstrokes and color, the entire hand-painted watercolor environment of Dordogne is super vibrant, inspiring the player to take breaths of air along with the character’s movement, attributing a sense of life and energy.
All chapters of the story follow a common thread in Mimi’s past adventures. Mimi could thus see a notebook, a quite special one, being given to her, where she had been putting moments captured with a camera and with that making its pages quite colorful and full of juicy memories. Even though it’s a linear story, there are places to explore and elements to collect. Although these collectible elements are secondary, they can be translated into special moments in constructing the notebook of memories. A special moment is also the kayak trip to the local market, to buy ingredients to cook with her grandmother and the introduction of a new character who becomes quite important. Yes, because without friends everything becomes quite boring, right?
As these characters’ stories intertwine, each chapter tasks the player with a small task. These small activities add a little “je ne sais quoi” to the adventure, which often translates into important moments. For example, Kayake’s adventure to the center of the village was triggered by the simple search for a trowel to help Nora with the gardening activities that the player will have to carry out.
Dordogne’s message is to appreciate every moment in life, because as good as that moment is, it will never last forever. It’s not a demanding title in any way, the puzzles are simple, the message although important doesn’t leave the player overwhelmed. An adventure to be enjoyed over 3 hours, with landscapes and very colorful moments that will undoubtedly remain in your memory.
[This review is based on a retail build of the game for Steam acquired by me]