“Río Alto: forgotten memories” is a choice-based game with an elaborate, versatile interface.

Gameplay: The game is large and slow-moving. The exploration itself is enjoyable, and the UI is convenient for that purpose; in particular, visited locations appear in its bottom menu, and clicking on them allows the player to instantly return to them. Despite the size of the world, I ran into an apparent dead-end in my playthrough, with no objects in the current room or inventory available to interact with and no other location available. 5/10.

Mechanics: The main appeal of the game is its interface, which is clever and well-designed. There are tabs for the character’s thoughts, inventory objects, and locations, and interacting with them is generally smooth. There are some unexpected difficulties with navigation, such as some issues with the row of quick-slot entries, but the UI is solid overall. It occupies an unusual niche between the interfaces of a graphical adventure game (e.g., later Sierra games or LucasArts game) and of traditional text-only IF, and I’d be interested in seeing how it applies to other games. 7/10.

Presentation: There are some errors (or mistranslations) in the game, e.g., “The doctor recommends me to take walks in the pine grove near the village to relax and acquire vitality,” or “Is he taking me for a crazy?” The characters and setting are promising, though they could use a bit more detail. 5/10.

You might be interested in this game if: You’d like to play a game with an original, well-designed interface.

Score: 5

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