A downloadable game

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You used to be human, not so long ago. You are a transubstantiated mind, somehow slotted into a mechanical body and dumped in the blasted remnants of your memory palace. A junkyard full of touchstones, fading as your natural body dies. You only have a limited time to discover who you were, and perhaps, how you got here...

You awaken with only the dimmest understanding of who you were, but you know that you are in a junk archive of some kind, flush with memories. Your mechanical body can only explore so far, discovering and choosing memories before the archive is closed off. If you are stuck inside when the door closes, you will be doomed to wander endless possibilities, never knowing the truth and being unable to distinguish the realities. If you want to escape, have a semblance of a life, you must decide what to take with you before the end.

StatusIn development
CategoryPhysical game
Rated 5.0 out of 5 stars
(11 total ratings)
GenreRole Playing
Tagscarta, journaling, solo, sologame, Solo RPG, Tabletop role-playing game


Buy Now$3.00 USD or more

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I've been curious about solo journaling games for a while, but really hesitant to dive in. Punchcard Memories was a really great gateway to the genre. Initially, I felt anxious because I wasn't sure if I was supposed to make this about my real lived experience or create some science fiction reality, but after actually getting into the journaling I really appreciated the system's flexibility. The author was super accommodating with me when I reached out a couple of times, which is great. In the independent game space I feel like you buy into a creator more than just a specific system. I especially appreciated that Punchcard Memories accommodates for what I call "dad mode": playing/journaling for five to fifteen minutes whenever you have time. As long as you have a table that doesn't get a lot of use, you could do long term journaling indefinitely. Ultimately, I was the most pleased with how the journaling prompts got me in touch with myself and the things that matter. While writing about my kids being with me during a hypothetical upload into a camping lantern, I reflected on how they would react to such a solemn moment. It was really neat to think of the ways my young kids are already so different and how much I feel I already know about them. I appreciate that Punchcard Memories provided me that opportunity. Great game. I highly recommend it.

Full disclosure: I provided a gratis copy of the game to Koala Bear Swamp.


I played Punchcard Memories several times as different "characters."

However, the first time I ran through it, I just played it as a somewhat dystopian version myself so I could see what it could do for personal development and mental health. Doing that was an amazing experience and definitely allowed me to think about the people I'm close to, the things I've done in life, and what memories of my own are most important to me.

When playing as a character, I enjoyed the slow discovery of who that character was, what lead to their current situation, and what things they might have enjoyed, endured, and overcome. I played a few serious characters and a few weird and fun ones. Both work well in this game, but I personally enjoyed the serious ones more. As a writer, it enabled me to discover things about some of my main characters.

The wonderful thing about this game is that no two experiences can ever be the same. Each card prompt can evoke different thoughts and feelings depending on what character you've chosen to be or discover.

Everything is really well-thought-out and there are sections at the end of the document that are extremely helpful if you get stuck on something or if you simply want to let the game do the heavy lifting.

Many of the prompts really get you to dig deep and turn over rocks that might have a lot of dirt and grime on the other side, but sometimes you also find a shining gem of warmth and comfort. No matter what you find, this game has something for everyone.

Full disclosure: I provided a gratis copy of the game to Nerds Only Games.


Especially for being in development, Punchcard Memories is already a blast to play, allowing you to tell stories with a basic idea that's simple at it's core. That base idea expands outwards very nicely with the Carta card based board, and the wealth of fantastic prompts that come out of them. I've got some more Playtesting Notes^tm in my video playthrough of the game, but I had a ton of fun playing it regardless! This was my first foray into Carta engine games, and like I said, it uses that engine incredibly effectively. I'll have to come back to the game sometime, and I'm curious to see where else the game has to go as it grows!


Full disclosure: I provided a gratis copy of the game to Glacier Nester.