Path to Mnemosyne

Nintendo Switch

Reviewed By: Tyler Higgs

Developed By: DevilishGames

Published By: Hidden Trap

Category: Puzzle, Horror

Release Date: April 15, 2019

Every genre opens itself to the most abstract and bizarre concepts. I’m sure not many people thought that there would ever be a third person shooter about squids and paint. So while genres often have bizarre niche titles, there’s also the ones that are strange in an unsettling way. The ones that succeed in making you feel uncomfortable, even though you may not truly understand why. Path to Mnemosyne is one of those games and while it may not be for everyone, it’s a game that’s definitely worth taking look at.

Path to Mnemosyne is a puzzle horror-esque title that plays very differently from any games I’ve played before. You play as a young girl in a monochromatic world, and the whole thing takes place on one long pathway. You’re guided by an unknown voice (or voices) who acts as the narrator, for your odd adventure. You’ll have to solve puzzles and put together lost memories so that the young girl can have her memories returned. There’s two available endings and they both leave you off with more questions than answers. I think Path of Mnemosyne is a game that’s better left with questions, but still a little more clarity would have been nice. It’s hard to explain much else about the game, but understand that it’s a title unlike any other.

The entirety of the game has you walking down the one path, but it’s not only that simple. There’s buttons to be activated and the paths in front of you can be rotated to solve puzzles. You’re always walking ahead, but you’re constantly seeing new types of puzzles.  It’s impressive how much differentiation there is between puzzles when the whole game takes place on one long path. There’s segments that might have you memorizing button patterns so you activate them in the right order, or maybe traversing through portals that bring you to a different part of that section on the path. My personal favorite was the ending puzzle where I had to jump between a black and white colored world all still on the same path.

Usually when you’re solving the puzzles along the pathway it’s to recover these strange glowing orbs. These are used at the end of each segment of the path to unlock a memory.  Unlocking memories will involve some form of matching a pattern or a shape.  Once you’ve recovered a memory the next part of the map will open bringing you into a new environment. The environments change in each section even though you stay on the same path the whole time. Path to Mnemosyne has very clever puzzle mechanics, that work very well and make the gameplay enjoyable. While some of them may be a bit frustrating they’re usually not too difficult to solve.

I think what really holds Path of Mnemosyne back is how niche of a game it is. It’s not a title for your average puzzle fan, and there’s not enough to it to entice a wide range of players. It really only has a small community of those who would be very interested in playing through its twisted world. It’s also quite a short title as it only took me approximately 2 hours to complete it, and that may also deter some players.

Through its visual design is where Path of Mnemosyne is truly able to effectively captive players. The entire world except for the orbs you collect are different shades of black and white. This black and white is also mixed with a scribbled pencil look that is constantly moving back and forth on the screen. The whole color and visual style is amazing, and creepy. What I found truly unsettling were the environments. While the entirety of the game did take place on one path the environments on the path were always changing. These environments were filled with everything from animals to skeletons, and other oddities.  Everything is just so unsettling to look at and if you really enjoy a game that tries hard for create a good atmosphere than Path of Mnemosyne is perfect.

I wasn’t a fan of Path of Mnemosyne’s soundtrack, but that’s because of how perfectly it worked with everything. The soundtrack had loud clunking noises every few seconds. It was terribly hard on the ears and made me feel uncomfortable in so many ways. I mean it wasn’t enjoyable to listen to, but they really couldn’t have made a better soundtrack for a game all about making the player feel distraught.

Path of Mnemosyne, didn’t have any major technical problems, but I didn’t notice a few frame rate jitters. I found  the frame rate issues really picked up for the last 40 minutes of the game after the portal puzzles were introduced. They weren’t serious frame rate drops, but they hurt the atmosphere that he game works so hard to build. Luckily they weren’t overly frequent.

Overall Path of Mnemosyne is a title I won’t soon forget. It does an amazing job at setting up an engaging and unsettling atmosphere without going too over the top. The visual and sound design deserves tons of praise, and the puzzles while sometimes frustrating were usually enjoyable. Unfortunately Path of Mnemosyne is fairly short in length and the audience for a title like this is small. I enjoyed my time, but I can see many people having a tough time playing through it. If you’re looking for a non traditional puzzle game this is definitely worth picking up. If you’re looking for a new puzzle game that plays it safe to the genre, maybe skip this one. Path of Mnemosyne is really anything, but ordinary

3.5/5

Buy Path to Mnemosyne

Be sure to follow DevilishGames

Also, be sure to follow Hidden Trap