Imagine an arcade game that descends into hell, where the horde of enemies that tries to kill you hates each other as much as they hate you.
This game is called <a rel="noreferrer noopener" aria-label="Forget-Me-NotForget-Me-Not<R, developed by ERYNGI. I was attracted to the game because of its cover art, which looked like the official art for Mementos from Persona 5 that looks way better than the real Mementos. In this game you wander around mazes picking up flowers, which all goes downhill pretty quickly.
Starting on the main Quest mode, you’re thrown into what looks like a standard Pac-Man looking maze, making it feel deceptively straightforward. There are flowers scattered around the maze like pellets and there are enemies roaming about, get to it.
Then the illusion is shattered when you see that your character is constantly shooting. Okay, maybe that’s helpful. Except it’s not. Like a traditional arcade game the screen wraps so your shots will wrap around – and hit you in the back. A first-time player’s first death might come from them accidentally shooting themselves apart. So, your first priority becomes getting the key. Aside from opening the gate that appears upon collecting the majority of the flowers on a level (getting all is a heal), keys protect you from back shots.
The problem is that enemies can also pick up the keys for themselves and use them as shields. This just adds to the peculiar nature of Forget-Me-Not<R’s enemies: they feel like player characters in their own right. Enemies are capable of harming other enemies and can also hurt themselves. Some variants of enemies can actually pick up flowers and other collectibles as well. I will have the nerve to say this: imagine 100 characters spawning into a Pac-Man maze for a battle royale game. That’s what this is.
The nature of the game’s enemies gives a chaotic feel to the game in that while you’re collecting flowers, enemies can be off killing each other on the other side of the map. There is no peace in this world, even between fellows. You can try sitting yourself out of the action, but screw around for too long and the screen is consumed by darkness as a Spelunky-like ghost roams around, making things significantly harder. For a quick glimpse of hell, try playing on a mode besides quest mode, where the monster spawn rate is hideous and everything will quickly spiral into madness. Pondskum mode is the best demonstration of this, as it’s essentially a survival mode.
The aesthetics of Forget-Me-Not<R reminds me of the remixed retro look found in Pac-Man Championship Edition and Space Invaders Extreme, though not as flashy. There isn’t any music, though as the game goes on, you don’t really need it, as everything becomes a chorus of sound effects anyway.
Forget-Me-Not<R is a cool arcade experience that distinguishes itself with a chaotic game world. It’s available on Windows, Mac and Linux, though my impressions are based on the Windows version. It used to be available as an iOS game, but because new iOS updates love to leave games in the dust, it unfortunately no longer exists. Thanks Apple.