Some Distant Memory: An absolutely beautiful game about love, family and the end of the world.
Genre: Adventure, Exploration,
Developer: Galvanic Games
Publisher: Way Down Deep
Release date: 14 Nov, 2019
Some Distant Memory is an indie exploration based adventure game that takes place in Texas 300 years into the future. It’s post apocalyptic in nature but it tells an incredibly poignant and very sad story. If interested in knowing more, do read on.
Story and Setting
Some Distant Memory follows a future archaeologist named Professor Zay who is tasked with exploring a house that had been submerged underground after an event known as The Collapse. The Collapse was a cataclysm that killed off the entire human race besides two human settlements known as Ares and NOAH. Ares is comprised of scientists while NOAH is a settlement just barely holding on, it was Ares that came to their rescue some time ago, and now they work together.
Professor Zay was joined by a colleague from NOAH named Commander Ti who is trapped on the surface. Ti provides commentary and conversation from the surface in the form of a hologram transmitted from their buggy. Zay’s mission is to explore the ruined house to learn more about what pre-collapse civilization was like. Since the house is 300 years old, much of what Zay and Ti find are new to them and they often try to explain things with what they understand about the people of the past. Much is fantastical which is to be expected and it’s how we view ancient civilization’s today.
The story also revolves largely around a pre-collapse family, most notably a man named Rik Baron who plays a pivotal role. Rik’s life is a tumultuous one and it follows him from early childhood through adulthood. It follows his family matters, his love life, and everything in between. His story is told through holograms that the AI AURORA creates from memories laid out among the house.
Since this is an exploration-based adventure game, there isn’t a whole lot to the gameplay. Much of the time you’re wandering from room to room scanning each to locate notes, and objects of interest in the game world. When you interact with one of these objects, you’ll be able to scan each entry and then read the overlying story and interactions between the characters. Once you’ve scanned enough important items you’ll be able to playback the memory revolving around the notes you found.
The memories are the most important part of the game because they provide insight into the world and the overall story.
Graphics and Sound
Two other things that I was most impressed with, besides the story itself, was it’s artwork and it’s audio. The game’s art style is beautifully drawn and incredibly detailed in its presentation. It’s incredibly clean and it also seems to work on a 2.5-dimensional plane because there are certain rooms that have walls/doorways that you can enter and it’ll fade the wall away to reveal what’s behind it.
The audio was also very well done and it was incredibly atmospheric and added to the experience by quite a lot. I highly recommend a nice headset or listening to it really loud on a nice speaker system because it sounds incredible.
Overall, Some Distant Memory has been one of the saddest adventure games that I’ve played in some time. Throughout the entire ending portion of the game it made me feel like crying but the ending was a solemn one and I held back the tears through it all. It’s an emotionally charged game and does an incredible job of finding the humanity and humility, even in a post-apocalyptic setting. I enjoyed this game so much that I’m going to give it an autosave. Very few games can make me emotional while playing and I deem those that do as worthy of top marks so I’m going to Autosave on this one. There may not be much to the gameplay, but it makes up for it with some fantastic storytelling. If you’re a fan of adventure games, this one is highly recommended.