Tabletop Game Review: Vivid Memories

Vivid Memories by Floodgate Games
2 to 4
30 to 45 minutes
Perfect for:
Groups that love beautiful abstract games full of strategic decision-making with multiple paths to victory.

Vivid Memories is a game of holding cherished moments. Players work to ensure their favorite childhood happenings and events are with them forever by building pathways in their mind through a series of actions. Individuals who can create the strongest of collection of memories will ultimately be victorious.

To begin Vivid Memories, two to four players collect their individual gameboard: a brain. Next, five sets of color-coded memory fragments are placed into a bag to be drawn at random. These fragments will be used to fill up the brain board to create pathways. Next, double-sided cards (moment tiles) go onto the table, with some fragments scattered on each. On a turn, a player collects fragments from a card and if they take the last one, they also get to procure the card to use a powerup. As the colored fragments go onto the board, players create lines and patterns which score victory points. After three rounds, the player with the most points is the winner.

RELATED: Tabletop Game Review – Holi: Festival of Colors

What works in Vivid Memories is the fantastic combination of design, art, and theme coupled with complex strategy mechanics. Vivid Memories presents a game that is engaging on the first go round, but quickly evolves into an experience which can become increasing analytical. This is primarily due to the intricate and interwoven scoring paradigms. As a result, the replay value is incredibly high, challenging players to develop efficiencies and optimization. Bolstering this are high end components, as well as stunning illustrations which are a mix of playful and evocative.

Players who don’t enjoy games susceptible to analysis paralysis may not enjoy Vivid Memories as much as others. For a very basic set of rules, a lot of thought could go into making the strongest decisions. These include drafting fragments and cards, chaining special abilities together, organizing the gameboard, and choosing scoring goals to pursue. It can be a lot of variables to consider. While some players will love the depth, others may get frustrated or overwhelmed.

Vivid Memories’ biggest strength is that there’s really not a game quite like it, and it is highly entertaining. There’s cleverness abound amidst a fairly straightforward mechanic, wrapped in a gorgeous aesthetic. Highly recommended

Recommended if you like: Sagrada, Bosk, Holi

Final Grade: A

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Fox Troilo

Fox serves as an entertainment journalist in the Washington, D.C. When not covering cinematic news for LRM, he critiques films as a member of the Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association. Fox also has a Ph.D. in Higher Education and Strategy from Indiana University Bloomington.

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