Adventure Indie Narrative Review

Don’t Forget Me – Review | Forget Me, Forget Me Not

Released for PC in six languages on 20 April 2021, Don’t Forget Me is an indie cyberpunk mystery adventure game by The Moon Pirates. In this four to seven-hour game, play as Fran, an amnesiac who is trying to make sense of what is happening around her after Bernard, the owner of a memory clinic, took her in when he had found her lying unconscious at his doorstep. 

Volunteering to assist Bernard with running the memory clinic, a place visited by people who wish to have their memories copied to a backup drive, Fran is soon shown the ropes. As Fran and Bernard delve into their patients’ memories during their work routine, they inevitably discover secrets — including those that could change their lives and the world they live in forever.

Content warnings for this game include alcohol, blackmail, character death, drugs, firearms, manipulation, mild language, murder, physical abuse, suicide, violence, and the presence of flashing colors and glitch effects.

In this spoiler-free review, let’s find out whether Don’t Forget Me has left me with an unforgettable experience.

Story and Characters: What is going on?

The story of Don’t Forget Me starts with a mysterious protagonist who does not remember anything, runs through a series of mysterious events, and ends on a mysterious note. For this mystery game, its entire story oozes with mystery but not everything is accounted for.

As a case in point, “Where are you? Who are you?” are leading questions posed at the beginning of the game description on the store pages. Yet, even with several hours of gameplay, the game does not provide satisfying answers regarding its world and Fran’s identity.

Where is Fran in Don’t Forget Me? She is in Bernard’s memory clinic almost all the time, though there are other places in their world too, such as a bar run by a robot named Georges, a casino, residential units, factories, research laboratories, and government offices. As expected, conflicts exist between members of the government and a resistance group in that cyberpunk world. But what is that world’s name? I have no idea; the game only ever refers to it as “the world”. Where, specifically, are Fran and Bernard residing in that world? Somewhere in “the world”, I suppose.

Don't Forget Me - Clinic

And who is Fran? She is an amnesiac who never gets to learn about her identity, her past, and why she has ended up at Bernard’s doorstep in the first place. Apart from her enthusiasm to help with Bernard’s memory clinic, I know as much about her in the end as I do at the beginning. One thing is for certain, however: Fran has been baited when Bernard told her outright that she may learn something about her past if she joins him on a cause.

World-building in Don’t Forget Me is generally sparse and leaves me with little knowledge about the game’s world. Players are told about the world via conversations and radio news, though a bulk of the information is found within the memories of the people who visit the memory clinic. However, these memories offer only short and superficial descriptions of various locations, like a generically named “workshop” and minimally, described “cutting edge equipment”, which does not give much substance for building a mental image. There are no accompanying visual illustrations shown most of the time either. While some memories do provide important insights into the world’s past events that have led to the current situation, all hidden memory bubbles (i.e. the text-based portion of the puzzles) have to be unlocked in order for one to get the full picture.

Both big and small mysteries are seen in Don’t Forget Me but the smaller self-contained ones are generally handled better than the overarching main mystery. When considering the backstory that explains the current events — that is, minus Fran’s presence — there is technically no gaping loose end to be found. Still, reaching the conclusion of the main mystery yields little satisfaction as the answers leave much room for more follow-up questions. Not to mention, some significant details are intentionally withheld until certain plot points, most likely intended as plot twists. These mainly come as perplexing information dumps because of a lack of well-planned foreshadowing. In contrast, the smaller mysteries presented in the reconstructed memories scenes have surprised me with their twists more effectively even when the twists themselves are not particularly mind-blowing.

Final endings are all open-ended, which is fine as there is enough closure felt. However, the four fixed endings are not affected by any of the previous choices made in the game; only the final choice selection carries weight. It is also important to note that there are short animation sequences created for each of the final endings, and two of them depict gun-related character death. For players who wish to skip those scenes, they should avoid the apology and silence options.

Memory Schema

Due to minimal appearances and subsequently minimal characterizations, the bulk of its characters are rather unremarkable. Despite most of them having unique backstories and personal motivations and thoughts, none of them feel fleshed out enough to stand out strongly. It is a shame to see that some of the patients who visit Bernard’s memory clinic only once have stronger characterizations than the few key characters crucial to the plot. Furthermore, there is no discernible character growth for any of the characters. Nevertheless, my favorite characters are the four cats, no doubt because of my personal penchant for cats. I especially appreciate that we can pet Franklein in the game.

Gameplay: Choices, Puzzles, Exploration

Various dialogue and decision choices are included throughout Don’t Forget Me to drive the narrative and while some of them feel extremely decisive at first, they are all inconsequential in the big picture. In spite of that, minor differences to future dialogues and scenes are implemented rather carefully for different choices, allowing the story to unfold slightly differently during different playthroughs. There may be a few disjointed conversations observed, especially when talking to the mother after exiting from her memories upon uncovering everything, but on the whole, sub-plot and other minor variations are accounted for quite well. The only disappointment I have felt from the choice system is how tersely the outcome of two major decisions are concluded in two lines. Imagine being emotionally invested in making supposedly big decisions and the game responds nonchalantly with succinct words about the result of your selections, which, by the way, have no bearing on the overall story whatsoever.

Puzzles form the next gameplay portion in Don’t Forget Me and they come in two forms: pure text-based puzzles, and the typical exploring and searching through a given location to find the things one needs. For this game, neither of these two puzzle types require much intensive thinking. In addition, they are untimed, low-stress, and forgiving.

Text-based puzzles are used whenever Bernard has to unlock the patients’ encrypted memory bubbles. They are mostly reading comprehension tasks where players have to find the relevant keywords from a given paragraph. There is one instance where players are required to find a synonym and another to solve an anagram. Besides these two cases, all other keywords can be found within the provided texts — one just has to read everything carefully. The number of times one is allowed to get the keywords wrong (this includes wrong guesses as well as misspellings) is unlimited when cracking regular memory bubbles but “limited” to twenty when solving hidden memory bubbles. Although players will be booted out of the hidden memory section after twenty wrong attempts, they are allowed to re-enter the same section an unlimited number of times.

Don't Forget Me - Unstable

A tutorial where Bernard explains to Fran how the text-based puzzle works is weaved in as a story event. The instructions provided are overall clear, though the game could make it clearer that in order to go to a specific memory bubble. One example is to reread a previous bubble’s text, one has to key in the name of that memory bubble. It took me some time to realize that navigating the memory bubbles is akin to navigating folders with a command prompt.

The second type of puzzle is introduced for memories that Fran can enter virtually. Basically, Fran would walk about and interact with things in the scene, a typical routine common in point-and-click mystery games. The difference is that passive exploration is sufficient to solve the puzzles here. There is no need to rack one’s brain to figure out what item to use on what object, in what sequence, etc. All the player has to do is to be thorough with their investigation of the location and answers will be handed on a plate to them.

Two mini-games are hidden within Don’t Forget Me but both are, I believe, RNG-based and require very minimal input from players. For one of the mini-games, I did not realize I had to press the spacebar to continue and ended up staring blankly at it for some time while wondering why it was not stopping on its own.

Note that there is no mouse support and all interactions are done through WASD or arrow keys with Spacebar or Enter key. The controls are okay for the exploration puzzles though some item interactions require Fran to stand at certain spots to properly register. Outside of the game, the keyboard control scheme feels a little clunky when navigating the Timeline menu for the first time, mainly because of the numerous radio buttons to toggle through.

Don't Forget Me - Apartment

There is no fast forward function in Don’t Forget Me, but if one wishes to cut some time for their subsequent playthroughs, they only need the final keyword of each memory to get those text-based puzzles over and done with.

Visuals: Pixel Art with Intricate Details

Don’t Forget Me is rendered in 2D pixel art and I am in awe of how detailed its environment art is. From Bernard’s memory clinic, for instance, we can see buildings with neon lights outside and illuminated virtual screens inside. Every illustrated location has elements that constantly remind players that they are in a cyberpunk world. It is also a delight to see reflections added to give the marble floor a shiny, marble look.

Animations are generally good and smooth. Glitch effects, which are normally not eye-catching to me, have been utilized cleverly during hidden memory segments as a strong unsettling visual cue to indicate an incorrect keyword entered. Much ominous air has stemmed from the glitching memory bubbles too. My only complaint is Fran’s laughing animation being reused for her yelling, which threw me somewhat off guard.

The user interface design looks pretty neat and clean, and the design choice to use different colours for different character’s speech bubble outlines is good. However, I do not like the default font, where it is easy to mix up a, e, and o, and the lack of an accessibility option to choose a different font or change the font size.

Audio: A Jazzy Futuristic Collection

Based on the information from the Original Soundtrack downloadable content, there are twenty-six music tracks in Don’t Forget Me. This is a rather huge library of tracks for a relatively short game. In fact, many are only heard once, such as the ending music for the different endings. Apart from jazzy tunes, there are a few other genres in the mix as well. Their arrangements generally fit the high-tech atmosphere of this game’s world. I especially love those few tracks played during the text-based puzzle segments that have the right energies to heighten the mysterious moods.

Don't Forget Me - Music Change

Compared to the music, ambient sound effects (SFX) are less noticeable but still help add life to the venues. General SFX is also implemented primarily for appearing texts, with different characters given a different tone. For those who prefer the characters’ dialogue texts to appear without a sound, they may mute the SFX channel under the game settings without affecting the ambient SFX or background music.


Don’t Forget Me turns out to be a rather baffling game, not because of its puzzles but its story and characters. While the puzzles are perfect for a relaxing play, they are likely to disappoint players who enjoy challenges. As for mystery lovers, the dissatisfaction that lingers on after the mystery closes is likely to put some of them off. And with a story and cast that feel one-dimensional, this title is a hard sell. Thus, even with beautiful pixel art and nice music, this game has not compelled me enough to recommend it in good faith.


Platforms: Steam (PC), (PC)

If you would like to see more narrative titles, you may be interested in our review of Necrobarista.

Many thanks go to The Moon Pirates for a PC review code for this title.

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