Memory Lane: Tried a new German indie role-playing game

Memory Lane: Tried a new German indie role-playing game

Memory Lane

When do people really die? When the body stops living? Or when nobody remembers a person anymore? That may sound a bit grandiose philosophical, but it is the core question of the German indie role-playing game Memory Lane. In terms of gameplay, the title relies on turn-based role-playing games in a relatively classic way, while in terms of the story, the one-man team behind the game ventures a little further beyond the usual conventions.

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Free demo on Steam

This will quickly become clear when you start the demo version of Memory Lane, which is available free of charge on Steam. It starts as a nameless protagonist in a game world based on New York City, which on the one hand is quite gloomy, but on the other hand also glows in bright neon colors at all corners and ends. There should be five districts in the finished game later, in the demo we fight and puzzle our way through the first district, which obviously also represents the tutorial of the role-playing game. With the help of slips of paper distributed in the game world and various charming NPCs, we learn the basics of the game world, the logic of those as well as fighting and the use of items.

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Classic fights

The fights are pretty classic: Turn-based attacks alternate, we ourselves and our opponents have life points that need to be decimated. In addition to normal attacks, there are also stronger special abilities, which, however, in contrast to the standard moves, cost attack points. We can also use items to regenerate those points of attack and life points. Memory Lane: German indie role-playing game tried out - demo on Steam (2) Source: Inferno

Our own attacks are amplified by cleverly timed pressing of the space bar, as is the case with Nintendo's handheld role-playing game series Mario & Luigi knows. We are not helplessly at the mercy of enemy attacks, because - just like with Mario & Luigi - we can successfully avoid many attacks at the right moment by jumping, crouching and dodging and then we do not take any damage.

A gloomy metropolis

In the upper world, at least in the demo, it is primarily about finding items, solving small, rather simple puzzles and getting to know numerous NPCs. Memory Lane is visually reminiscent of so-called 2.5D games such as Octopath Traveler from Square Enix, which was released for the Nintendo Switch in 2018 and later also in a PC version. The graphic similarity is not a coincidence, but the result of a conscious decision, as the developer explains to us in a personal conversation.

Give me your existence!

A special feature of Memory Lane is the central premise: Every figure (this also applies to ourselves!) can disappear into endless nirvana for all time if no one remembers it anymore. In terms of gameplay, this means in concrete terms: If we adopt the name of a defeated opponent, his existence will be extinguished for all time. This can sometimes lead to unpredictable chain reactions, for example the extinction of a father's existence may also lead to the complete disappearance of his children. Memory Lane: German indie role-playing game tried out - demo on Steam (3) Source: Inferno

In the demo we do not yet experience such a chain reaction, but this possibility is explained to us in conversations with NPCs. The appropriation of a name also has an immense advantage: We become stronger and receive new, powerful abilities for combat. So constant weighing is necessary. Also because the extinction of many existences can endanger the stability of an entire district in the game. We are already experiencing this in the demo version of Steam.

Campaign for financing

How well the concept ultimately works across an entire game can only be guessed at at the moment, but the demo gives you a positive impression tuned first impression and is entertaining. Memory Lane has been under development since 2020 and is currently still in development. The developer ("Inferno") has launched a Kickstarter campaign to finance the realization of the role-playing game. According to the current status, almost 1,300 euros have been raised, and a target of 18,000 euros has been announced for the actual implementation and publication of the finished game. If more money is raised, the finished game will be cheaper when it is released, possibly even completely free - the developer also told us that in a personal conversation.

You can find a trailer for Memory Lane on YouTube here.

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