Bonjour, readers – are you ready for a tug at the old heartstrings? Then The Wreck is just what you need. You see life through the eyes and memories of a writer, Junon, as she deals with some hefty issues in her life, not least of which is what happened during the pivotal crash that changed everything.
Upon starting The Wreck, you’re greeted by what looks like a PC desktop, with a document open. I like this touch, it feels immersive and shows us immediately that we’re playing the role of a writer. Another unique touch is that any time you pause the game you’re transported back to the PC desktop, where the scene is written out in the document. This is especially handy if you need to step away for a while, as you can easily pick back up where you left off without forgetting what happened.
The writer in question is Junon, a very likeable and relatable character who we follow through the events and listen to as she narrates them. During The Wreck, we discover a lot more about her as we delve through Junon’s memories, and watch as she interacts with those around her.
After opening up the document, you’re transported to a scene with Junon in a hospital. It immediately gets a bit heavy finding out her mother is in a bad way and now it rests on her shoulders to figure out what to do. Understandably, she’s a little lost and needs some time to think.
As she remains in the hospital, Junon starts reflecting on her past. Every so often you come across a fight or flight moment, the first time you encounter one, Junon runs to her car and drives away from the hospital. You then get a repeated scene of her swerving off the road to avoid a deer and then enter a still-life scene from her past. These memories give you a good look at her childhood, personality, and how those around her act and treat her. Some findings are integral to the story and what pans out.
After these initial memories, Junon re-does the scene and carries on without going to her car, giving you a second chance. Personally, I think these moments are her thinking about driving away and getting lost in her memories, not repeating the same moment over again.
The game is an emotional journey, that’s for sure – thanks to (as the name suggests) the traumatic crash that occurs and also Junon’s family coming to terms with themselves and what’s happened. Every one of us has a past, and it often involves trauma, family issues, and dealing with how changes can affect a family, such as illness, accidents, and changes in mentality. The Wreck highlights this and deals with a sticky situation where tensions are high, allowing you to try different speech options and replay decisions and get them right.
It becomes evident that Junon isn’t speaking to you, the player, but speaking to a person she knows. You find out who this is, but we won’t spoil it as it feels like a pivotal part of The Wreck. Just know that you’ll likely need tissues as the story progresses – I know I did! It’s not just sadness, though, there are bittersweet moments which are the most impactful.
During the events of the game, I started to wonder if what we see in the hospital was Junon’s current situation, or actually her thinking about what to write. Reliving scenarios and changing things seems to suggest she’s workshopping her script, or it could just be a way to bring the two aspects together. Her PC background, however, is a picture of a crashed car. Would you use this if you had been in a crash? Or is it a stylised artwork for her script? That’s up to you to decide, I think.
In terms of the technical side of things, there are no issues to be seen. The Wreck has touchscreen controls which feel very natural and a small cursor shaped like a dot that doesn’t interrupt the gameplay. The voice actors really add a lot to The Wreck – Junon’s in particular sounds like someone talking casually to you, it doesn’t feel acted at all which is a refreshing change.
When music makes an appearance in the game, it’s an original soundtrack composed by Adrien Larouzee and Colorswap – two electronic artists who came together to create a wonderful synthwave sound that adds to the melancholy, while providing some easy listening.
To conclude, I highly recommend The Wreck. It’s a great and emotional story – I’d say fabulous, but I feel like it doesn’t fit the mood. The emotions and experiences you go through with Junon are raw and very well written. She doesn’t hide her feelings no matter how heavy they are but we see her grow and get past her roadblocks. The Wreck is very well written with the occasional slice of comedy to lighten up the darkness.
Take yourself on an emotional journey in The Wreck – a perfectly crafted melancholy story for the Nintendo Switch that makes you laugh, cry, and everything in between.