EMMA: Lost in Memories, a new 2D platformer from Barcelona-based indie studio SandBloom Studio, looks set to embark on a thoughtful exploration of memory loss when it launches later this month.
Judging from the trailer, that theme is built right into the game’s defining mechanic: each platform starts to fade away from the moment you land on it, not unlike the eponymous hero’s own memories. Emma runs automatically, while you control her special abilities—a double jump, a sliding dash, and a wall cling—to navigate the maze of platforms and hazards. As the platforms you land on fade away, they don’t just increase the risk of falling into oblivion, but will also open new ways forward, something that appears key to both the design of each level and the story that EMMA: Lost in Memories weaves.
The tale begins when Emma leaves her home following an owl, and finds herself lost in a surreal world where she struggles to keep hold of her memories. “Sometimes I find it hard to remember,” she says in the trailer. “Everything I touch fades away at my feet. The marks I leave haven’t mattered for a while”.
A gorgeous hand-drawn art style and poignant music tie the trailer together, setting the tone for a game that’s thoughtful, introspective, and heartfelt. The fading platforms mechanic looks clever enough in its own right, but it’s the way it feeds into the messages and mood of the rest of the package that has me the most intrigued.
EMMA: Lost in Memories comes out on Steam, Android, and iOS on August 16.