Dordogne Review – An Imaginative Escape – Gamer fang

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Despite her father’s protests, determined Mimi travels to the beautiful French countryside of the Dordogne to find the missing piece of herself. Awaiting her is the quaint house belonging to her recently deceased grandmother, which is soon to be sold, as well as a summer worth of precious childhood memories Mimi inexplicably has no memory of. How could she forget something so valuable, as well as the circumstances behind the rocky relationship between her father and grandparents? These are the hooks that propelled me through this enjoyable and beautifully animated adventure game. While not mechanically intensive or anywhere near challenging, I thoroughly enjoyed this relaxing French getaway.

As Mimi inspects her grandmother Nora’s house and surrounding grounds for clues, I engage in quirky conversations that add a flair of playfulness to otherwise mundane tasks. Instead of pointing and clicking on objects, I insert and rotate keys to open doors, tilt a box to pour cereal into a bowl (and onto the entire kitchen table), and collect them by the riverbank. To do this, I move my puppet-like hands on the silverware. One of the most creative sequences involves word bubble greetings on a rock to shout at a distant friend. I love that the Dordogne regularly gets small but fresh spins on how you engage with its world. Using the tiny mouse-style cursor to perform these actions naturally feels more awkward with a controller, and it’s easily lost among the colorful, busy backgrounds, but it gets the job done.

Almost all of these unique interactions are done by a 12-year-old Mimi, whom players control during several flashback sequences that weave the story of her summer vacation with Nora. She documents her stay by taking photographs, capturing sound effects using a tape recorder, and collecting stickers, cassette tapes, and giant dream words scattered throughout the levels. The endgame for doing these tasks is filling the pages of a scrapbook by creating simple poems from collected words and arranging photos and stickers. Outside of satisfying an innate desire to clean up the chapters of their allotted collection (and, unfortunately, you can’t re-watch to find any missed chapters), these scrap pages are used within a limited scope by themselves. There is no tangible reward other than the small pleasure of expressing it. Way.

Playing the Dordogne is nice, but watching it is even better. Thanks to a beautiful watercolor art direction, every scene feels like an interactive tour of an artist’s gallery; You can really see the brush strokes. The framing of some scenes makes them great as still images, but odd angles sometimes make it difficult to discern movable paths; Expect to hit some bushes and ledges until you find a way forward. The character models sport a similar visual appeal, and combined with the lovely soundtrack, Dordogne comes alive like a charming French indie art film.

As a coming-of-age story primarily set in the early 80s (the adult Mimi sequence takes place in 2002), Dordogne hits the right notes of being whimsical enough for kids, but giving it some teeth There are ample dark overtones and mature discussions. Adult. I felt warm and fuzzy watching Mimi and Nora bond over simple pleasures like repairing a broken kayak or having a picnic by the river. There’s intrigue in the fringes of the darker backstory involving Mimi’s family that feels decently paid off by the end. However, more explanation on obscure topics, such as the reason for Mimi’s father’s lifelong resentment towards her parents, would have been nice. The story also relies heavily on the player locating easy-to-miss collectible letters that provide important context and backstory for important events.

As someone who derives genuine pleasure from admiring beautiful paintings, the Dordogne allowed me to creatively interact with my gorgeous art. Even better, it layers a massively enjoyable story on top of it all. Like Mimi and Nora’s relationship, there are some hurdles to overcome, but good times await those who are willing to work through them.

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