"Dordogne", Proust's madeleine of French video games

“Dordogne”, Proust’s madeleine of French video games

The middle of the video game has better watch out! With its relaxing sound universe, its hand-painted watercolor decorations and its tender scenario, Dordogne disrupts the imagination of digital entertainment. Designed around an intense narrative thread, the game is close to the animated film and borrows certain cinematographic processes from it. And for good reason, its creator, Cédric Babouche, is an author of comics and a director of short films.

In Dordogne, you will play Mimi, a thirty-year-old who has just lost her grandmother, with whom, as a child, she spent her holidays. Back in the family home of Sarlat, a small town in the Dordogne department which gave the game its name, she rediscovered the surroundings.

An intergenerational game

The player has control over the character and evolves in two distinct eras: Mimi’s childhood (in 1980) and today. By making the adult Mimi do certain actions, he triggers reminiscences of the heroine’s youth. The game’s plot speaks to everyone, everyone can find the simple pleasure of going to the market with their grandmother or spending long afternoons exploring the countryside. Like Marcel Pagnol’s summers in The glory of my father Or My mother’s castle. The player is invited to immortalize these moments, thanks to an old polaroid and a tape recorder. He can then write a travel diary by adding his patchwork of photos and recordings… Notice to scrapbooking enthusiasts!

The design does justice to the hilly landscapes of Périgord. This accuracy, Cédric Babouche worked on it for a long time by observing and drawing the landscapes of the South-West. As a child, he used to spend the summer season in the Lot, with his great-grandmother. So Mimi’s story is a bit like hers. Of course, the artist also appealed to his imagination. In an interview at World, he says he wanted to remain faithful to his region of heart, without making it a tourist guide.

The Dordogne in the spotlight

This game is a real publicity stunt for New Aquitaine. Its rather unique name, Dordogneresonates in the ears of all French people, but not only… The opus produced by the Bordeaux studio A je-ne-sais-quoi made a name for himself on the international scene. He has distinguished himself in several major video game fairs: at the Gamescon of Cologne (Germany) in 2022 and will be on display at the Paris Games Week next November. Can we expect a craze for this idyllic little corner, with Japanese or American travellers? It is still too early to tell. The game was released on June 13, 2023, but with the approach of the summer holidays, it can be a good lead for those who wish to explore the Périgord region.

Dordogne offers a nice overview of Sarlat-la-Canéda. The medieval town is home to a Gothic church, transformed into a covered market in 2001 by the architect Jean Nouvel, at the origin of world-famous feats such as the Quai Branly museum in Paris or the Louvre Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. The bell tower of the building even houses a glass elevator that offers a breathtaking view of the city!

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