This Is What a Video Game Inspired by Murakami’s Writing Looks Like


Memoranda, a video game project currently soliciting funding through Kickstarter, seeks to bring magical realism to the world of interactive storytelling.

A two-dimensional “point-and-click adventure” in the style of Myst and The Secret of Monkey Island, Memoranda revolves around a woman in a small European town who needs to find out why she’s slowly forgetting her own name and keep herself from losing it completely. The four-person development team Bit Byterz specifically invokes the short stories of Haruki Murakami as the inspiration for the game. From the Memoranda Kickstarter page:

…We thought that the vague, surrealistic reality of his fictional world would have a great potential for being turned into something visual and could lead to the creation of odd characters, an essential element in game design.

See also: The Murakami Offensive: Is This How Bookstores Beat Amazon? Haruki Murakami’s ‘Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki’ and the Emo Pleasures of His Endless Clichés

As Kill Screen points out, magical realism — a narrative with events odd enough to suggest a supernatural element, without explicitly stating it — is extremely rare in the world of video games. To be fair, successfully pulling off magical realism takes a fair amount of storytelling nuance, and the average game story has as much nuance as a bag of bricks.

Memoranda will seek funding on Kickstarter through November 15. According to the developers, they’re on track to release the game on Steam for Windows, Mac, and Linux PCs “within two or three months” of reaching their goal. The developer also listed an iOS release as a stretch goal, though it would likely release at a later date.