A Memorable Experience – Some Distant Memory Review
If someone stumbled into your house 300 years in the future, what would they find out about you? What would they find regarding your upbringing? Your career? Your love life? In fact, what will become of the Earth? Some Distant Memory has a take on this. It’s an exploration game by the small team at Galvanic Games. Now, have they succeeded in making this dystopian take on our future feel compelling? Let’s take a look.
As stated earlier, Some Distant Memory takes place 300 years in the future, after the collapse of society. The air is unbreathable and the Earth is completely barren and dry, with the protagonist and her commander having never seen a single tree before. Even from that short description, you can probably guess what caused the Earth to collapse. After a brief tutorial, protagonist, Zay, falls into a pit that she can’t get out of. The pit turns out to be next to a house, and from then on, your mission is to find your way out.
In the meantime, though, why not scan their 300-year-old belongings and figure out who they were?
The meat of the narrative of Some Distant Memory is told through scanning the interactable items in each room and then having your scanner robot, ARORA, recreate a memory in that room. It could be because I played the entirety of the story late at night, but I really enjoyed looking around this house and watching all of the memories. The story of this family, and mainly Riki, were very compelling and I loved watching these big moments in his life replay. It’s also really cool that Zay and her commander, Ti, often banter about what they saw, commenting on certain things and trying to understand how the world used to be. You even learn more about Zay and Ti as they relate their findings to their own experiences. It makes for a more lively and enjoyable take on the narrative adventure genre, where majority of the people you control are silent self-insert characters.
You may be looking at this game and wondering, “Where’s the combat? Is it just walking around?” This game has no combat and its main focus is exploring this house and finding a way out, and I think not having combat encounters works very well to the game’s benefit. The game is only about 3 hours long and it would’ve felt like unnecessary padding to include anything more than what they have here. Some Distant Memory knows what it wants to be and I can appreciate a game that doesn’t overreach with its vision.
Some Distant Memory is a game that doesn’t try too hard to push the boundaries of a narrative-adventure game, but it succeeds on every level of what it wants to be. Its storytelling is beautiful, and the underlying message and focus show that there was a lot of thought and care put into its writing.
Be sure to look out for Some Distant Memory when it hits Steam and the Nintendo Switch in Q4 this year, because this little game has a lot of heart.