Review: Dordogne – A Watercolour Wonder, Imperfect Yet Touching

L’eau life.

Zut alors! Splish-splashing its way onto Switch in stunning watercolour is Dordogne, a nostalgic kayak trip down the metaphorical river of life – and also down the literal river of Dordogne in the south of France. Umanimation, the production company behind the game, specialises in “transmedia universes”, its previous works including a web series and a VR short film. This, its first video game project, combines the airy sweeps of gorgeous watercolours with all the button-pressing fun of gaming – and does so to deliver a deeply touching rumination on loss.

The story focuses on Mimi and her paternal grandmother Nora. When Mimi is in her early 30s, Nora passes away leaving behind a letter telling Mimi to visit her old house in the French region of Dordogne. Mimi’s father Fabrice has been feuding with Nora for as long as Mimi can remember. She doesn’t know why, but it dates back to a childhood summer visit to her grandmother’s house. She has hazy, happy memories of the holiday, but also suffers from a mental block. Thus is established an emotive mystery wrapped up in halcyon, sun-drenched memories.

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