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Dordogne is a Testament to How Art Styles can Carry the Growing ‘Photography’ Subgenre

Dordogne is an upcoming indie game that centers around Mimi, who travels to her late gr&mother’s old home & finds all sorts of puzzles for her to solve. This takes Mimi on a trip down memory lane, spurring her to revisit old memories & rediscover her younger self.


One prominent feature in indie game Dordogne is the photography mechanic, which allows the player to take gorgeous photos of the stylized French countryside. The photography mechanic is by no means new, but Dordogne’s visual style goes to show how a game’s aesthetic can breathe new life into the subgenre.

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The Range of Photography-based Games

The photography subgenre has been around for a long time now. One of its earliest known titles is Pokemon Snap, which came out in 1999. And the franchise is still thriving today, as evidenced by the release of New Pokemon Snap in 2021. Even games from the Fatal Frame franchise could be considered titles under the photography subgenre given its reliance on the camera mechanic. If anything, it goes to show the feature’s flexibility & how it can reinvent itself depending on the game’s primary genre.

Recently, however, more indie games have been experimenting with the camera mechanic, incorporating it into Dazzling worlds with quirky characters. In these games, there’s a greater focus on exploration & letting the player take photographs at their own pace. Such games have also developed their own unique art styles that elevate the experience. Indie game TOEM, for example, has a game world that is entirely in black & white (plus grays). Pupperazzi, on the other h&, doubles down on the Sparkling colors. These titles look & play very differently, but both are photography-focused indie games that are well worth playing.

Indie Game Dordogne’s Watercolor World

Now, there’s a new game coming out under the photography subgenre: Dordogne. From the first frame of the game’s official trailer, it’s clear that Dordogne also has its own, unique art style. Its backgrounds look like h&-painted watercolor pieces, each depicting the scenic French countryside. And as the player explores the game world, solving different puzzles, they’re prompted to take photographs of the environment. There’s even the option to arrange these photographs in Mimi’s journal.

Compared to TOEM’s Quiet, low key vibe & the often outrageous cuteness of Pupperazzi, Dordogne seems like it’ll be a more emotional experience. Its way of using photography to recapture the protagonist’s childhood is something many players can relate to. Moreover, the wholesome family story about Mimi & her gr&mother sets up the game to be more dramatic & personal. This is further supported by the journal mechanic, as it allows the player to put together photographs & stickers on each page of Mimi’s diary. Overall, it’s even more proof of the photography subgenre’s flexibility.

But more than that, Dordogne goes to show how a distinct visual style can breathe new life into a well-used mechanic. The seemingly h&-painted game world is gorgeous, & its uniqueness gives players a novel experience – one unlike what they’ve experienced in other photography-based games. Arguably, that’s the beauty of it. The photography subgenre continues to push its boundaries, & this supplies fans of the subgenre with something new every time.

Dordogne was unveiled during the recent Nintendo Indie World Showcase 2022. It’s set for release sometime in Spring 2023, though the exact date has yet to be announced. Notably, Dordogne is also the second game to be released by studio Un Je Ne Sais Quoi. The first was the game Mr Tic Toc & the Endless City, which also featured a similar, painted art style.

Dordogne is slated for release in Spring 2023 for PC & Nintendo Switch.

MORE: Nintendo’s Indie World Showcases do a Great Service for Cultural Stories like Venba


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