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Review: UNMEMORY | Plug In Digital


JUMP TO: THE INFO | THE GALLERY | THE GUIDE | THE REVIEW





THE INFO

UNMEMORY | PLUG IN DIGITAL


🗺️ Based In Spain

⏲️ Up To 6 Hours ▪ 💪 N/A ▪ 🔢 N/A

📚 READ IT. PLAY IT. LIVE THE MYSTERY. unmemory tells the story of a person who is tracking down the man who murdered his girlfriend, a member of a band of lady thieves. The difficulty, however, of locating the murderer is compounded by the fact that he suffers from a rare, untreatable form of memory loss. Using notes, pictures and recorded messages he will have to solve the mystery and maybe, just maybe, discover an uncomfortable truth in this thriller story set in the 90s about love, revenge and the influence of our memories in our identity. Each chapter is dedicated to a different memory trigger and game mechanics are designed to make the player feel the way time (chapter 2), music (3), pain (4), touch (5), taste (6), places (7) or smell (8) affect and bring back our memories and prove that without memories we don’t know who we really are. But behind this noir plot there are the real protagonists, the Killer Kittens, an all-girl art group within the culture jamming movement that fight against an unfair and sexist capitalist society through their art pranks. “I kiss everything I kill, I kill everything I kiss” is the motto of these ingenious, seductive and empowered girls, capable of transforming the most incredible robberies into a masterpiece of art.





THE GALLERY

UNMEMORY | Plug In Digital





THE (QUICK) GUIDE

THIS, IN A NUTSHELL, IS...

▪ Classified As: Play At Home » All Other Formats Or Media » Mobile Game App

▪ "A game you can read, a noir novel you can play", perfectly summed up by the creators--truly, there is no better way to describe this. The narrative follows a protagonist who suffers from a rare form of memory loss (a la Memento) and his journey to exact revenge on his girlfriend's murder. The tale also stars a group of lady bandits named the Killer Kittens. An ingenious fusion of intriguing story and escape games, a harmonious coalescence of printed media and smart device technology. "Unmemory" is a rare mobile game app equivalent of a fascinating mystery/thriller short film, guaranteed to hook you in with its first act.


YOU'LL ENJOY THIS, IF...

▪ (A direct quote from the website:) "If you like films like Memento or Mulholland Drive. If you are fan of games like Monkey Island, Device 6, Blackbar or Her Story. If you like books like The House of Leaves or Masquerade. Or if you are just a fan of escape games… there are big chances you will like Unmemory."

▪ If you enjoy reading an enticing story that further immerses its audience with interactive elements such as puzzles and games.

▪ If you relish playing a text-based game that fully utilizes smart device capabilities and even garnished with top-quality graphics.

▪ If you crave for a mature title with more adult themes and complications, where the truth and morals land on blurry, gray areas.

▪ If you want something to play on the phone on the go, on the bed, or on the couch, without sacrificing an ounce of quality.

▪ If you enjoy these similar/related options: A Death In The Red Light and The Morgan File.


SOUNDS GREAT, NOW WHAT?

📖 CONTINUE READING THE REVIEW BELOW!

🛒 WHEN YOU'RE READY... TO BUY, CLICK HERE!

💻 For mobile apps, please refer to operating specifications and requirements before downloading.

🧐 Based on everything discussed below in the review, with my team of 1, the difficulty subjectively feels like a 3 to 5/10, (which may differ from the company's official rating). As such, I still recommend a team of 1. (Because really, only solo game play seems logical or even possible; after all, it's rather difficult to play with more than 1 for a mobile app on your cell phone or tablet!)





THE (FULL) REVIEW

UNMEMORY | Plug In Digital



IMPRESSIONS


▪ When first starting, I honestly didn't know what to expect. From what I can recall, the game starts off like any other e-book, with the protagonist's exposition of his current situation, whereabout, or in his case, how he has no idea what's going on due to his rare medical diagnosis--the inability to retain or make new memories for longer than days, or sometimes, even less. It wasn't until I reached the end of the page that the phone started ringing--loudly, I may add--which startled me by my sheer lack of expectation. I quickly scrolled back up to a telephone image seen prior, now clickable, and answered the call. Immediately, I thought, "So this is THAT KIND of game with hidden interactive elements, I see!"


▪ What followed in the rest of chapter 1 was a lot of scrolling up and down, back and forth, and I mean, A LOT. What would soon become a repeated routine for me as an Unmemory player that would not happen in an old-school, regular novel book is the discovery of new text as you progress through the narrative. New paragraphs of story and critical new information would often magically appear after performing certain gatekeeping actions--much like the jogging of brain memories with stimulus and triggers--and hence, the resulting going back and forth. This renders the reader a very active participant or even the driving force of the ongoing and developing plot. Readers are also compelled to pay close attention to small details, and are tested on their ability to recall key info seen, heard, or experienced otherwise, an unMEMORY game indeed!


▪ After playing through the initial few chapters, it became obvious quickly that the story pertains to heavier themes than I'm normally used to in other escape game titles, with its touching on subjects such as murder, death, violence, morals, social justice, love, and relationships. Compared to the more lighthearted adventures of curing a zombie virus or hunting for buried booties with pirates, this felt more realistic and elicited more thought processing. There's a lot to digest in certain sections, and I find the game in its entirety best savored over several, separate sessions than one single binge. Breaks in between give you a chance to reset and get ready for the next chapter, which often elevates in both plot complexity and puzzle difficulty.


▪ Devilishly stylish is what I'd call the overall art direction. From the beginning, there's an undeniable artistic feel to the all the graphics featured--which are mostly composed of photographs or digitally edited photograph-like images. There are also occasional exceptions like comics, animations, and audio clips. Because the makers probably hired all professionals (photographers, artists, actors) to collaborate with, everything looks extra slick and easily compares to Hollywood film quality. The voice acting, which comes up quite often, is done masterfully and brings the story world alive effortlessly.



THEMING


▪ The most central theme of Unmemory is of course its exploration and examination of fragility of memory and its persuasion on an individual's ability to determine what is considered the truth and reality in their own world. Memory is malleable, and at its very core, easily subjected to manipulation from suggestions, influence, and also, sadly, blatant misinformation and even lies. Who is your friend? Your enemy? Who can be trusted? The question never subsides even at the game's conclusion. In the post-Trump era of America, where political propagandas and conspiracy theories fly rampant daily, this hits home quite hard.


▪ As mentioned above, other motifs and topics make up the rest of the thriller tale, and these include: violence, robbery, and passion. There is a lot that the protagonist has to struggle internally with, and the reader is invited along for the ride. Though this is only a game, there are a few occasions that would potentially tap on the player's own emotional reflection as well. Even without a memory loss disorder, our memories also falters due to age and human error--so how much of our own memories accurately depicts the truth, and how much is filled in by our own bias and preference?


▪ It's the authors' intention to correspond one certain chapter to one certain sensory function, as explained by their website, "Each chapter is dedicated to a different memory trigger and game mechanics are designed to make the player feel the way time (chapter 2), music (3), pain (4), touch (5), taste (6), places (7) or smell (8) affect and bring back our memories and prove that without memories we don’t know who we really are." This deliberate intent did not come through quite so clearly in my playthrough, though each chapter did feel like a unique and different package of its own. While the original objective wasn't fully achieved, I was constantly and continually entertained, and had no complaint whatsoever.


▪ Lastly, I know there are tons of 90s in-jokes and references embedded throughout; however, as I am not an expert of the topics and fields they originate from (for instance, music), I wasn't able to appreciate all that the game has put forward. Sharp-eyed and more knowledgeable peers in the escape games, puzzles, or noir novel community will have much to look forward to!



Blood... There's blood everywhere | Plug In Digital



PUZZLES


▪ The first chapter begins with puzzles that made use of mobile devices functions, such as finger pinching outward to open a window blind, or flipping the device sideway to reveal another surface of an item. This, however, would not permeate through to the later portions of the game. You will still have to occasionally uncover clues using these tricks, but they are far and few in between, and simple clicking and mental escape puzzles will take over instead as the main attractions.


▪ There are two main types of challenges that you would encounter. First, there are minor actions that you have to perform to reveal and collect info for later use; these tend to be directional and easy to follow, such as setting a clock to a certain time, or flipping through the tv to the correct channel. Next, there are more difficult puzzles that would stall your progress until solved. Examples include combo-guarded padlocks, safes, and "debasers", special lockers that you would have to unlock at the end of most chapters. Inside each debaser is a memento that fills the missing gap in the character's choppy memory recollection.


▪ For a game that is purely digital on a mobile device, the range of puzzle variety is amazingly high. Throughout the lengthy game play across 8 substantial chapters, never once was I bored. Challenged and stumped, perhaps, but never discouraged or uninterested. There are a lot escape rooms inspired puzzles found, with relaying information seen elsewhere and translating it into combo codes as the most common employment. You will also need to: do math, relate numbers/letters/colors, look for hidden codes, examine graphics, do logic puzzles, listen to musical notes, arrange items in orders, and much more.


▪ On occasion, I did get stuck and would need to consult the built-in hint system, which reveals pre-set clues to prod you gently in the right direction. For most cases, the works just fine, but I did require some extraneous assistance found offsite when I accidentally disregarded a tiny underlined text that I was supposed to click on to advance the story. (So major hint: always look for and click on everything that is underlined. It will always reveal more information after doing so!)



OTHER CONSIDERATIONS


▪ The game is officially rated for 12 and up by the publishing company, though this is one area I strongly disagree with. Due to its mature contents, with one particular scene being borderline overtly sexual (or more accurately described as sensually suggestive), I feel that this is a title most suitable and best understood by someone older, a freshman in high school to the least. More ideally, I think age 16 would be a great starting bracket for its target audience.


▪ For the price of measly $6 to enjoy a total of 8 chapters of top-tier storytelling and fun, challenging brainteasers, this is a very just price tag and offers value far exceeding the laundry list of dollar app that you would get bored of after brief moments. Not only does Unmemory provide hours to days of entertainment, the contents are unique and ace to boot.


▪ The game designers have said that because not many people are into reading nowadays, their first goal is to make reading fun again, and that they do indeed achieve, and very successfully at that. (Bonus: it's an easy read without flowery language and lofty literary devices. It's just a good, solid, interesting plot.) In fact, because the story leaves ample room for multiple or ambiguous interpretations for its ending, there is definite reread and replay value to reexplore the story. During a second go, one may discover minute detail missed the first time that may turn out to be 1) a fun Easter egg littered throughout, or 2) a crucial piece of knowledge that may influence the way you see "the truth" as you see fit.



Debbie... She is lying | Plug In Digital



OVERALL: 😍


▪ I absolutely love "Unmemory". There is really nothing like this that I've done before, and this marks one of few occasions in which I am so extremely thankful and blessed to be invited not only to play and review, but to learn and be exposed to this new breed of mobile gaming. It's so perfectly obvious that the designers took their time to research, prepare, and craft their vision into reality, and both fans of the genre and casual app buyers alike will easily take notice. I highly, highly recommend this product to anyone who's mature enough to handle--and deeply take pleasure in--its devious and delectable contents responsibly.





Signing off,

ESCAPE MATTSTER

Instagram @EscapeMattster Facebook.com/EscapeMattster


Full disclosure: complimentary game access was generously provided for review or testing purposes. All media are sourced from and credited to rightful owners. No copyright infringement intended. In certain cases, media materials are made available under fair use doctrine of copyright law. PIDUnmemory.