Indie Spotlight – Memoranda

Having memory problems can be difficult, but when you can’t even remember your own name life can become very strange. Mizuki is the main character with this affliction and her world is filled with missing elephants, creepy doll makers, and an Opera singing anthropomorphic cat. Quirky doesn’t begin to describe it. Memoranda is a new 2-D point-and-click puzzle game for the PC and it was inspired by the short stories of Japanese author Haruki Murakami. Memoranda uses classic puzzle mechanics to tell an unusual story.

Although most point-and-click games tend to have simple controls, it seems like Memoranda goes out of its way to make things difficult. There are no control options to speak of and using just a mouse will not be enough to play unfortunately. At the top of the screen there is a drop down menu you can access with the mouse to let you save and exit the game. However, the developer did not bother to give the inventory or map the same treatment, so the only way you can get to them is by using the keyboard keys. Both the inventory and map are extremely important in playing Memoranda I’m afraid. There isn’t even a windowed mode available so the on-screen keyboard is a no go. The only way I was able to play it was using a third-party program to remap the mouse to the keyboard keys. It won’t be an easy feat for many disabled gamers with fine motor skill impairments. Memoranda does have captions available, but they aren’t very reliable. Also, audio cues initiate several of the puzzles so deaf players won’t be able to finish the game without help. Not that the puzzles aren’t difficult for able-bodied individuals. Many important items are hard to find and see. Much like older classic 90s point-and-click games, Memoranda’s difficulty level is very high. A lot of the puzzles require you to click randomly on everything you can until something happens. There’s not much logic to them. Gamers with visual impairments won’t have a brightness feature as an option either.

Memoranda does have a peculiar style and the source material it’s based on feel like good building blocks for a strange story similar to something Lewis Carroll would create. However, the game is just inaccessible. In every way possible there will be some kind of obstacle that disabled gamers will have to deal with when playing Memoranda. I only recommend playing this game if you are able to use both the mouse and keyboard or you enjoy extremely challenging puzzles in a point-and-click game.

Michael Matlock

Written by: Michael Matlock

Michael Matlock developed a passionate interest in technology and has sharpened his love of video games since the ripe old age of four. Though born with the autosomal genetic disorder, Spinal Muscular Atrophy, honing his tech and gaming interests helped him cope with the ongoing degeneration of his spinal motor neurons and weakening muscular system. Michael firmly believes in the validity of gaming as an art form and enjoys both the atmosphere and soundtrack of a title as much as the gameplay itself. While entertained by a wide-variety of games, the Horror and Role-playing genres have repeatedly piqued Michael’s interest. The Persona series, in particular, had a profound impact on his life. After writing reviews for for several years, Michael created his own YouTube channel, using The Crippled Critic alias, to highlight the importance of game accessibility. Most recently, Michael was asked to speak on the topic at Gwinnett College. The lack of control options in games and the tendency get rid of legacy controls, motivated him to help give other disabled gamers information about a game before they buy it. Today, Michael finds a lack of auto-aim to be a particular design annoyance. And though rapidly changing, Michael favors games developed on the PlayStation 4 and the PC platforms due to the additional options disabled gamers have to address a publisher’s oversights.

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