Past Memories is an auto-running platform game from Give Me Five Entertainment. It uses shadowy artwork and a consistent sense of bewilderment and fear to drive its story home, punctuating the gameplay with somewhat realistic controls that remind you not all humans can jump across canyons and bound from walls as if gravity didn't exist. Playing as a woman reliving important memories from her life, you feel a subtle connection to her as you both survive the trials of an oppressive past returning to haunt the present.
Past Memories doesn't ease you into anything. There's no tutorial, no info buttons, nothing. It's rare to find a game that doesn't hit you over the head with "helpful" tips, so these facts alone make Past Memories worth your attention. The main character runs on her own, all you have to do is tap the right side of the screen to jump. Leap over enemies and obstacles, hop across gaps, and try to stay alive until you reach the end of the stage.
Past Memories does a phenomenal job with its narrative design. You and the protagnoist share a common bond of being totally overwhelmed by what's going on. Neither of you know what those enemies are or what they represent, and even when power-ups come along to help you out, there's no explanation as to what they do. Just like her, you have to keep running, keep experimenting, and hope you stick around to see another stage. Surprisingly poignant, especially since there are no words, cutscenes or other interruptions.
An emotional experience that plays everything subtle with deep levels of intrigue. Past Memories brings its own brand of game design to the auto-running genre for an experience that's unlike the competition.
NOTE: This game was played and reviewed on the Nexus 4. Game was available in the North American market at the time of publication, but may not be available in other territories. Please see individual app market pages for purchasing info.