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Review | Dordogne

Summer fun, sunny blues.

A new summer is about to start. You’re thinking about all the fun you’re about to have with your friends and the people around you. But before you know it, you’ve been taken to the countryside to spend the summer with your grandmother while your parents go on a long trip. That leave our protagonist, little Mimi, a bit dismayed. Being left behind by the Dordogne River where she’d rather be elsewhere—but that’s all the present-day Michelle remembers. Developed by Un Je Ne Sais Quoi and Umanimation and published by Focus Entertainment, the player takes on the role of an older Michelle as she returns to that old house by the water to reclaim memories lost to her and find out what happened to her that fateful summer.

Despite the key art’s beautiful and happy rendition of a lovely countryside, Dordogne had me doing a bit of reflection on the ties of family and how complex emotions often test those bonds. Even to the point of injury. As the player switches between the present and past of our heroine, the pieces that point to Michelle’s amnesia come to light in a thoughtful and mature manner. The player will feel the relationship she has with her grandmother, Nora, and how that’s impacted by the older lady’s strained connection with her son. How Nora tries to keep her composure despite the passing of her husband and how sometimes that manifests into frustration with little Mimi, and in turn impacts the little lady’s decision-making.

These beats are paced through simple minigames that will have the player either investigating an area for objects, cleaning and clearing obstacles, brushing her teeth, and all that good stuff. It helps the player fit into Mimi’s world and how she’s feeling. And this is doubly helped by the scrapbook the game offers the player. Little Mimi has a camera, words of poetry and stickers she picks up exploring her world, and a little recorder she can use to collect sounds.

These can be used to create pages in her scrapbook for players to be creative with. But besides a few mandatory pages, the player can ignore this and simply choose to indulge in the narrative and the beauty of the Dordogne. Water colours and sharp pencil lines bring the countryside to life alongside a mixture of 2D hand-drawn environments and 3D objects and characters. The cutscenes are a treat (especially in French) and I found myself spending quite a bit of time simply looking around and feeling the life of this quaint little French town.

Though bittersweet, Dordogne offers a thoughtful, well-paced narrative that is accompanied by beautiful visuals and sounds. It’s a pleasant adventure title through-and-through. One that I recommend to just about anyone.


Played on
Xbox Series X


  • Beautiful animation work.
  • A well-paced narrative that feels good even through its bittersweet tellings.
  • Gameplay mechanics that accompany the narrative well.
8.0 out of 10
XboxEra Scoring Policy

Genghis "Solidus Kraken" Husameddin

I like video games, both old and new. Nice 'ta meetcha!

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