The Dark Eye: Memoria


Memoria certainly isn't going to rival any of the Lucasarts classics in my affections, but it has its moments.


The Dark Eye: Memoria was originally released on PC back in 2013. It's a point-and-click adventure game, developed and published by German developer Daedalic Entertainment. The game is part of the video game series based on The Dark Eye, and is the direct sequel to Chains of Satinav (no, NOT Satnav), and if, like me, you're new to the series, at times you may feel you should have played that first–although I seriously doubt that would help completing Memoria or with any of the game's puzzles...

Anyway, on to Memoria—and my first encounter was with a young girl, who seemed reluctant to allow me to see her father Fahi, a man who knows a spell you wish to learn. In order to get past this uncommonly irritating and strangely overprotective child you have to fix her broken fortress, fiddling with this for 10 minutes before I managed to get it into a bottle that I'd broken and then fixed around it (to make it 'stand up' as she wished.) I was finally able to see her father, a mage, who asked me if I wanted a cuppa and if I like riddles. I said "alright" and then accidentally "no" to these questions and Fahi told me I was a man of taste and then the game ended! First achievement! Yep—Memoria hilariously gives you a 30G achievement for not liking stupid riddles and ends there and then!

Returning to the tea, spell and riddle-loving Fahi I chose the answer I intended to use the first time around... "Do you like riddles?" ..."Yes, if they're solvable." Ahh if only the puzzles in Memoria were solvable with logic and consideration, I'd have given the game a more positive review. To call the gameplay 'quirky', 'vague' and the solutions required to progress 'obscure' would be glossing over the game's major problem; it's an 8 year-old point-and-click adventure designed to be played with a mouse (and keyboard) and it just doesn't work as well with an Xbox controller.

A screenshot from Memoria, two people in a room full of giant balls.

Anyway, I finished Memoria and have to say I quite enjoyed it, but a few of the puzzles left me completely stumped, dazed and confused, bamboozled, and but for a superb walkthrough I found on the Steam Community I doubt I'd have got past Chapter II. It certainly isn't going to rival any of the Lucasarts classics in my affections but it has its moments. Memoria's German origins and the way some things just don't translate (including German humour) don't help, and neither does the English voice acting, some of which sounds like it was phoned in or read directly from a script with zero effort at emotion or humour.

In recent years point-and-click style adventures have seen a good deal of success on consoles with highly-regarded games like Batman: The Telltale Series, The Walking Dead, Tales From the Borderlands, Life is Strange and The Wolf Among Us all selling well. But these are all modern takes on the point-and-click genre, and are properly optimised for console play. Memoria is more like classics I remember playing such as Grim Fandango, Maniac Mansion, Day of the Tentacle, Full Throttle, Sam & Max, Broken Sword, Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, and of course the Monkey Island games, from which I think Memoria garnered much inspiration–the problem is that it isn't as good as any of them.

Special thanks to Mark at Renaissance PR for the review code.