Review: The Dark Eye – Chains of Satinav + Memoria

Beautiful backgrounds, intricate point-and-click adventure in 2D with hand-drawn graphics, depth and advanced story.

The role play The Dark Eye (Or The black eye, as it is called in the original language German) debuted as a classic pen-and-paper role-playing game as early as 1984 and has since been published in countless editions and versions. Chains of Satinav and Memoria was released PC and Mac already in 2013 and is only two parts of more than a dozen computer games released in the series since 1992.

Press image: The Dark Eye - Chains of Satinav - Daedalic Entertainment - copyright 2021 - getting information.
Press image: The Dark Eye – Chains of Satinav – Daedalic Entertainment

I personally have not heard of The Dark Eye before, neither as a role-playing nor as a computer game, and I do not think I am alone in that. So now the German publisher Daedalic Entertainment releases Chains of Satinav and Memoria as TV game then I became curious.

Press image: The Dark Eye - Chains of Satinav - Daedalic Entertainment - copyright 2021 - bath house
Press image: The Dark Eye – Chains of Satinav – Daedalic Entertainment

First out I test Chains of Satinav on Xbox One and is instantly struck by the incredibly beautiful environments. These are hand-painted and it’s really like stepping straight into a fairy tale. What quickly becomes clear is that the game is really designed to be played with a mouse on a computer screen; it sometimes gets difficult to find the different things that you can click on. The dialogue is read by actors and even if they do their best, it is not always as it reaches all the way. There are some slightly silly emphases and exaggerated extravagances that unfortunately reduce the impression and rating a bit.

Press image: The Dark Eye - Chains of Satinav - Daedalic Entertainment - copyright 2021 - epic looking cottage by the sea
Press image: The Dark Eye – Chains of Satinav – Daedalic Entertainment

But if you look past the role interpretations and start to get into the story, you quickly become surrounded by an incredibly rich world. These adventures have been on file for almost 40 years – and it feels good. It really is a world full of mystery and adventure.

Press image: The Dark Eye - Memoria - Daedalic Entertainment - Copyright 2021 - meeting in a dark place.
Press image: The Dark Eye – Memoria – Daedalic Entertainment

Memoriapart I test on the Nintendo Switch and it is laid out exactly as Chains of Satinav in terms of game mechanics, but this story takes place in two ages. At first, maybe a little confusing, but it all pays off towards the end.

Press image: The Dark Eye - Memoria - Daedalic Entertainment - Copyright 2021 - looking out of a window
Press image: The Dark Eye – Memoria – Daedalic Entertainment

What was really cool and the first time (what I have seen) is that in the Switch version the size of the speech changes. So when you pick the console out of its dock, the text becomes larger and thus easier to read on the small screen. Brilliant!

Press image: The Dark Eye - Memoria - Daedalic Entertainment - Copyright 2021 - Dark Castle
Press image: The Dark Eye – Memoria – Daedalic Entertainment

In summary, these are two really tricky point-and-click-adventure with completely crazy advanced stories. Unfortunately, the rating drops a bit due to some technical details, such as the fact that the animations are extremely simple and clumsy and the rather rigid acting efforts. Although the positive things still weigh up and the whole thing is therefore definitely worth a recommendation.