It can be difficult digging up old memories.
Some things you’d rather stay buried. But then again, taking the time to remember can help to give closure. The Last Show of Mr. Chardish covers this sensitive topic in a way I haven’t seen before in a game. While it is reminiscent of What Remains of Edith Finch, it tells its story in a different way without the use of a single narrator. It jumps between a few different places which makes the story engaging right from the start.
As the game starts, you take on the role of Ella who has taken a trip out to Linfield Theatre, a place she is very familiar with. It is here that she used to work with the titular Mr Chardish. Chardish, an actor and a playwright, was her partner but he’s since passed away. As Ella, you’ll revisit some memories you shared together. To move the story forward as well as provide much-needed narrative, Ella listens to an old interview where Chardish is more or less on his way out the door, so to speak.
During other moments of the game, you’ll be jumping in and out of different, dreamlike worlds. In the very first one you’re playing as a man venturing through a theatre. You can move lights, props and more to help you solve simple puzzles. While the first-person sections of The Last Show of Mr. Chardish, where you take control of Ella, are gorgeous, these dreamlike sequences are more colourful and at times playful making them the highlight of the game.
A unique presentation coupled with excellent voice acting really helps to bring The Last Show of Mr. Chardish to life. Its art style is captivating, but it’s as you learn more about the characters that the game really draws you in. As you progress, you really begin to feel for them. It’s never easy revisiting old memories, and Ella and Mr. Chardish’s struggles are utterly heartbreaking.
The Last Show of Mr. Chardish is a lovely game. I was hooked pretty much from the very beginning. If you’re a fan of narrative-driven games like Edith Finch and Firewatch, The Last Show of Mr. Chardish should be up there on your must-play list.