Memoria, by German developers Daedalic Entertainment, is a sequel to The Chains of Satinav which was released back in 2011. Despite not having played the first game we thoroughly enjoyed our time with the preview build and were keen to play through the finished game.
Like the first game Memoria is again set in the continent of Aventuria within The Dark Eye universe. You may not have heard of The Dark Eye but it is the most successful role-playing game in Germany (it even outsells Dungeons & Dragons!). Although a sequel the game can be enjoyed on its own. Players once again take the role of protagonist Geron and his fairy friend Nuri. In the previous game they managed to save the kingdom but Nuri ended up trapped within a Raven’s body.
The longer Nuri remains trapped as a Raven the more she is forgetting herself and Geron is on a race against time to free her. His latest attempt leads him to a travelling Tulamide trader called Fahi who might be able to help turn Nuri back to her former self.
However before he will help Geron he requires some help himself to unravel the secrets of a princess named Sadja. Fahi has been having visions of Sadja in his dreams but she lived some 450 years ago during the Mages’ Wars. Geron agrees to help Fahi as it’s the only way he can see to save Nuri. Fahi is bothered by a riddle that Sadja uncovers and he gives Geron three days to solve it. If Geron is successful then Fahi will help Nuri.
As Fahi describes his visions of Sadja you actually get to play her. She starts her adventure on a quest to find the Mask of Malakkar along with a wizard, warrior, bodyguard and guide. The Mask is of course magical and able to undo mistakes. Sadja is a strong and determined character who has ambitions of winning a war against a demon army that threatens her people.
As you progress the game jumps back and forth between Geron and Sadja. Both are controlled the same using the mouse to point and click around the screen. Left-clicking uses items and right-clicking examines them. You can also click items together to attempt to combine or use them together. Hovering your mouse pointer at the bottom of the screen shows your inventory and pressing spacebar highlights points of interest around the screen.
The two characters do have some differences though in the form of magical spells they can use. Geron begins with the ability to repair and destroy items, for example he can break a glass bottle into shards or turn the shards back into a bottle. A little way into the game he also comes across a magic ring called the Hare’s Eye (a nod to Night of the Rabbit) which allows him to see traces of magic.
A little way into her adventure Sadja discovers a talking staff which can activate magical items or dormant spells. This is first put to use to light up and extinguish braziers as well as take control of stone guardians. More spells are uncovered as you get further into the game and they are worked into the puzzles really well.
The game is linear and often restricts you to small areas while you solve a puzzle. This helps keep the difficulty down but does lead to frustration when you are stuck. There’s a simple hint system which can point you in the right direction but we sometimes found ourselves just clicking on everything. For the most part we didn’t find the puzzles too obtuse and some of them are really quite creative.
Graphically the game is absolutely gorgeous to look at with stunning hand drawn backgrounds. The characters look and sound great with wonderful animation and high quality voice work. Many games really suffer when translated but Daedalic have done a decent job with the English version. The soundtrack also deserves a mention as the music is really lovely.
Memoria is another fantastic adventure for Daedalic who are really making a name for themselves in the genre. The puzzles are challenging but satisfying and the story will keep you hooked until the end. We’re already looking forward to many more adventures in The Dark Eye universe and highly recommend this adventure to fans of the genre.