A story between mother and daughter, in Dear Mom.
A review copy of Dear Mom was provided for this review. No compensation was involved and all thoughts are my own.
Format: PC via Steam
First playthrough time: 15 minutes
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Dear Mom is a short adventure game, focusing on the relationship between a young woman and her mother. As the player explores the house and surrounding land, they can trigger both dialog from the main character and memories of their mother’s advice. Floating hearts direct the player around the scenery to trigger the voiceover dialog. Players can also interact with items when the sun cursor appears to trigger memories of the mother’s advice in the form of text in the top right corner.
The biggest struggle of Dear Mom is how short it is. I played through the game in 15 minutes while interacting and exploring everything I could find. While the game aims to make an impact with its story, it doesn’t have enough time to build up the characters and ends up feeling generic and predictable. The voice acting also feels a bit unnatural and like the actor is trying too hard, lessening the impact of the story.
Dear Mom also feels off in terms of movement. While exploring the house, it’s incredibly easy to accidentally walk up on top of furniture. The game also has some strange coding around elevation, with the character seeming to sink into the ground later in the game. Maybe this was intentional given the narrative, but the execution felt bizarre. The graphics also looked quite strange if the character dipped below the surface of the water.
Overall, I found Dear Mom to be too short to be enjoyable. It struggled to establish its characters and tell their story. The graphics were decent, but navigating the world had some strange hiccups. The voice acting also felt a bit forced, like it was trying too hard for a dramatic effect. I can only recommend Dear Mom as a demo-like piece to study and learn from.