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Path To Mnemosyne

Posted by GG Goblin On May - 9 - 2019

Regain memories, if you think you should.

There are plenty of games out there that could be described as trippy, reminiscent of an altered state of mind. These “trippy” games come in all shapes and forms, and often leave the player wondering what the hell was going on. Path to Mnemosyne, from DevilishGames, is one such trippy game that will leave the player with far more questions than answers. However, what sets this puzzle game apart from the majority of trippy games is the unsettled feeling that it gives the player. This is more of a bad trip game, where all manner of unsettling strangeness has poured out onto the screen.

ptm1 (Copy)

Players take on the role of a young girl walking along a seemingly endless path, collecting fragments that will go towards filling in her lost memories. On this journey, the girl is accompanied by voices that fill in the story, although much of the story is deliberately left to the players own imagination. Along the way, the girl will have to occasionally jump and solve puzzles to proceed.

The story here is deliberately vague and while it does go some way to creating the unsettling atmosphere in this game that is described as a horror puzzle, it more comes down to the environments and their contexts to really unnerve the player. The game’s visual style is that of a monochromatic sketch book, with hand drawn features that appear mostly black and white and the greys in-between. There is the occasional pop of colour, but players will be spending most of their time in monochrome. Anyway, this sketch book style feels like it has fallen out of the mind of a very disturbed person. It is true to say that the little girl will be constantly travelling along a path into the distance, but it is all of the doodles and scribblings around the path that will draw the eye. There are different areas for the player to move through, and each has their own theme of sorts, such as skeletons or body parts. It really is quite disturbing and difficult to describe, but a quick look at the screen shots included here will fill in all of the details.

It may be strange and unsettling, but it is also rather beautiful. Any image that invokes an emotion is worthy of praise, and Path to Mnemosyne is certainly one of the strangest looking games I have played. The same could be said of the soundtrack, which again is something I will not forget in a hurry. It was very well done, but was deliberate in its quest to disturb the player.

ptm2 (Copy)

The puzzles are the main gameplay element here, and they are very nicely varied. While there are some discrepancies in the difficulty curve, in that it seems to be a bit all over the place, the majority of the puzzles are quite easy. Ranging from the likes of remembering sequences to jumping through portals, there is a certain amount of expectation when completing one puzzle, just to find out what the next will involve. Some of the puzzles though are simply mind-bending and could lead some players to frustration, although little clues that can be found in the environments may help. There are also moments when the player will have to rely on the girl’s jump mechanic, which can be tricky when it comes down to timing as her jump is not the most immediate. Still, these are all things to overcome as the player progresses through the game.

As the player solves the puzzles, they will find glowing orbs that represent part of the girl’s memories, and reaching the end of a section will result, after a puzzle, in a completed memory that will allow the player to move on to the next section. Sadly, there are not that many sections, and the game could conceivably be completed in only a couple of hours. There are two different endings to the game, which gives some replay value, but as already mentioned, each of those endings is vague and leaves the player to fill in the gaps.

ptm3 (Copy)

Path to Mnemosyne is a strikingly beautiful game with an unnerving atmosphere. Take this all out and what remains is a very competent puzzle game which happens to be rather short. For Switch players looking for something different, and I mean really different, Path to Mnemosyne would be worth checking out.




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