Platforms: PS4, Switch, XBox One, PC
Reviewed On: Switch
Release Date: 24/03/2021
Reviewed By: Keith Lavelle
Review Rush was kindly supplied with a review code.
Retrace: Memories of Death starts off with our main character, the introverted Freya joining her friend for a haunted house tour. Upon arriving at the bus stop with Freya’s three friends there is an earthquake, and you are asked to pick one friend to be with as everything fades to black. Once the earthquake is over, Freya is transported with her friend to a building they have never seen before. It quickly becomes apparent that not all is as it seems and her friends are all dying.
Once Freya has died and she comes to this realisation, she is in limbo, Freya meets a deity who tells her she can move through time. And with this power, she can save everyone.
The story set up something that could be really fun, but is it?
The whole game play will have you as Freya jumping back to different points in the timeline of each friend to learn something new or to change how each section will play out. This will normally be; find an object and interact with it, for it to do not much. Get in to the desired room to use the object, see what it does or who has died. Go back in time to where you found the object and use it again, change the outcome.
There is a lot of back and forth except with each travel (assuming you do it right) the story will progress a little and the interaction with the characters will change, even if just a little. Until Freya saves everyone. Think Groundhog Day, but with more death.
Retrace: Memories of Death has a good gameplay loop but feels empty with only a hand full of characters, rooms and things to do with in the game. For a game that has you traveling throughout time lines, it feels very linear. This could be off-putting for players, as you will see the same environments over and over. However, each visit to each room only last a few minutes so it does not feel too bad.
Each time you play a section and get to the end of that story line, Retrace: Memories of Death treats the player to a beautifully if not slightly spooky end card. Fear not this is not the end this is one of the many ‘Ends’ to the path Freya went down. I loved this idea its simple but show the player this is not what you do and you have to change something.
One last thing I have to mention is the Visual Novel style cut-scenes and how beautifully the characters have been hand-drawn and coloured. They fit the narrative perfectly and are simply wow.
Overall Retrace: Memories of Death is a good wee game that will have you changing the outcome of the game until we find the true ending. With an ever developing narrative, if it clicks you will have fun. However, the lack of things to do and its simple nature will not be for everyone.
I would have to recommend trying Retrace: Memories of Death more so with its price point.