Dordogne Review - Screenshot 1 of 4

Un Je Ne Sais Quoi's Dordogne first appeared on our radars all the way back in 2020 via a delightful gameplay trailer that showcased its charming watercolour style and sun-dappled setting. What we got a glimpse of three years ago has now finally arrived on Xbox, and it's a genuinely touching little journey through long-lost childhood memories that we thoroughly recommend checking out via Xbox Game Pass.

Dordogne tells the story of Mimi, a 30-something professional who returns to her recently deceased grandmother's home in the French countryside to collect a few possessions and investigate some artefacts that her nana has left to her. Over the course of the next three hours or thereabouts, players are taken on a wonderfully heartfelt trip back in time to one particular summer in Mimi's childhood.

It's a road that's been well travelled in other games by now, revisiting the past, rifling through a house full of old memories and connecting the dots to discover things that, as a child, the main protagonist may not have fully understood or been aware of at the time. However, Dordogne manages to imbue its short tale with a wonderful sense of physicality that really connects you to Mimi and draws you back into your own childhood, thanks to a surprising number of gameplay elements and a smart control system that tasks you with carrying out the blandest of tasks in minute detail.

Bland tasks? Yes, the blandest, but for once we mean that in a good way. Making a cup of tea, pulling weeds, chopping up ingredients for a picnic...not exactly the sorts of things that get the old gamer heart racing, for sure, but these little chores have been chosen for a reason here. Many of us will have memories of the banality of pulling weeds during summer holidays, visiting somewhere new and noticing all the slightly different ingredients used for meals, helping to prepare food for a picnic and so on, and by having these little things presented in such detail, the game aims to draw you into your own summer memories, adding a personal sense of emotion and rediscovery to proceedings, and helping you get into a similar headspace as Mimi as she slowly unravels her past.

Of course, there is more to this tale - albeit nothing we're going to ruin here - and some more difficult aspects of growing up, the intricacies and intrusions of adult life, and buried traumas inevitably begin to rear their head. Through all of this though, Dordogne manages to keep things wonderfully uplifting. As you investigate your nana's home and the surrounding area, as both adult and child versions of Mimi, you'll rediscover forgotten aspects of yourself, parts of your character now buried under the weight of grown-up life. You'll get to carefully construct a binder of daily memories, one for each chapter of the story, sticking in a picture you've taken with your dinky polaroid camera, adding sounds that you've captured with your Walkman, placing collected stickers and creating poetry with words that you've discovered along the way.

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For a such a slight game, Dordogne really does manage to pack in lots of lovely little gameplay elements. Taking a kayak trip down a river feels like a proper adventure, and snapping pictures or recording new sounds allows you to pan around your watercolour surroundings, drawing you down into the game's picture-book world and giving you a sense of time and place, whilst also allowing you to personalise your journey as you go.

Moments where you shift from child to adult Mimi in order to investigate the same rooms, fields and rivers some thirty years later are filled with a genuine emotional heft too, especially for those of us who've returned to places now quiet and empty that were once so full of sunshine and life. The shift from a kitchen filled with sunlight, gentle chatter and the smells of food, to one now darkened and empty real does hit home when you've experienced it yourself. We love how adult Mimi has a mobile phone too, a thoroughly annoying device that constantly buzzes with messages, pointed intrusions from the outside world that vibrate through this momentary escape to a simpler time.

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It may not be the most ambitious in terms of the overall story it presents, some gameplay mechanics work better than others, and a lot of the emotion and connection here may be lost on those of us who haven't been lucky enough to form memories of sunny days spent discovering new places and bonding with a relative. However, for the most part Dordogne is a delight. Its brevity adds to its appeal too, this is a game you can easily complete in a single sitting, and if you give it a chance you may find yourself surprised by the emotions and memories it stirs in you as you play. What a lovely thing.


Dordogne is a delightful indie trip down memory lane that's packed full of emotion, alongside a surprising number of ways in which to interact with its watercolour world. Mimi's story may be a slight one, but the short running time and simplicity of the narrative add to the charm here. This is a game about reconnecting with your childhood, rediscovering long-lost memories and re-engaging with the things that make you who you are. If you've got a Game Pass subscription and a handful of hours to spare, this is one heartfelt little journey that's well worth taking.