Endless Memories Review
Just released from indie-developer Homunculus Games, Endless Memories is a 2D action-adventure side-scroller that mixes a handcrafted non-linear world with ARPG elements. With fast-paced combat and in-depth buff systems, this 2-man dev team is looking to make a lasting impression with their first PC title. Breaking onto the big scene is tough for any indie developer, and the market for 2D action-adventure games is a saturated one to be sure. Will Endless Memories carve out some space for itself with its unique blend of genres and gameplay? Let’s find out!
Let me start out by saying that it is monumentally impressive to play this game knowing it was put together by a 2-man dev team. Like, almost Stardew Valley level impressive. The art style of Endless Memories is extraordinarily clean and very modern, with a very detailed main character, smooth animations, vibrant backgrounds and weirdly wonderful foes. Even the items and menus have a very unique and well-received design to them, which is an impressive feat for any indie game.
Endless Memories follows Rem, who journeys through dream worlds, battling his way through the Labratory of Dreams in effort to escape it altogether. To do so, he must fight the many enemies in his path, defeat bosses to gain new powers and solve the mysteries of the maze-like worlds around him. To aid him, there are several characters that Rem can interact with to help further his cause, either by providing quests, guidance or items via weapon shops.
One great feature of Endless Memories is its weapon/powerup system. Rem, sports a melee weapon, ranged weapon and spell to aid him in his fight against the hordes of enemies in front of him. There is such a fantastic variety to these weapons and spells, which can spawn with modifiers and augmented with magical runes, that we only lament not being able to find any method to store multiple weapons in an inventory so that we had the option to swap between them in and out based on the situation.
Instead, we are forced to destroy the old weapon in exchange for some currency, which is not the worst system but removes any options of trying out a new weapon and then switching back to the old. The great array of weapons and spells only makes us want this feature more! It is possible that this will be implemented in the future, as there are a few unlabeled menus that have piqued our curiosity for what they may contain later down the road.
The combat in Endless Memories is, in a word, unforgiving. You are often dropped straight on top of enemies without any clue that they are below you, often forcing you to take unavoidable damage. As you are limited to a finite number of heal uses between saves, this can be quite frustrating. There is a Parry button, which will both deflect the attack and stun the attacking foe, but through our experience this had a very narrow window for timing purposes.
While the combat animation is very fluid and the movement is responsive, we found that using melee weapons could feel very disjointed. For certain weapons, at least, Rem fully stops and pauses briefly before striking. This delay is not overly conducive to fast-paced, side-scroller combat that usually requires quick movements and attacks. The difficulty in using the Parry function combine with the disjointed attacks to create a combat system that could use a little tweaking to really be considered top-tier.
The worlds themselves are very well designed, with plenty of different avenues to take, some of which are gated by various abilities that you receive later in the game. This really does add another dimension to the game, encouraging the “oh – I have to remember this place for later!” mentality. I will say that the constantly respawning foes will quickly become an annoyance that players will likely opt to skip over instead of fight, as each time you leave one screen and return all of the monsters will be back already. Adding a timer to the respawn would completely solve this issue, and we hope the devs consider adding this feature in later updates.
Overall, Endless Memories is a fairly well-executed indie side-scrolling adventure game that could really make waves in the genre with a few more tweaks from the dev team. For the first game of a 2-man dev team, I tip my hat to Homunculus Games and cannot wait to see what their future holds!
Learn more about Endless Memories here: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1155700/Endless_Memories/