A downloadable game

Buy Now$8.00 USD or more

PHYSICAL COPIES AVAILABLE AT:

Indie Press Revolution

Knave of Cups

See bottom of page for discounted damaged copies, and free community copies.


Anamnesis: Designer's Commentary Version has been nominated for a 2022 ENnie for Best Electronic Book!


What is Anamnesis?

Anamnesis is a 24-page solo journaling RPG about self-discovery, reflection, and identity.

You play as an individual who has woken up with memory loss. You do not remember who you are, where you are, or what you care about. As you draw tarot cards, you fill the blank spaces of your past and learn more about your present.

All that is needed to play is a deck of tarot cards and a way to record your thoughts.

Included is:

  • A PDF copy of Anamnesis (spreads & pages)
  • A Designer's Commentary version of Anamnesis
  • An audiobook of Anamnesis, narrated by the author

Click here for a Spotify playlist of background music for Anamnesis.


Praise for Anamnesis

"Anamnesis sent me down an eye-opening rabbit hole as far as what a TTRPG could be. Tender, personal, thought-provoking, moving, terrifying, raw."

Shawn Drake, designer of HEDGE and Court of Blades

"As an author, I love the potential of Anamnesis to help me generate random fictional scenarios. As I played, it became obvious that the game could also be used for self-reflection. Samantha has created a unique, powerful experience - I absolutely recommend Anamnesis for everyone who loves stories."

- Tanya Schofield, author of the Melody's Song trilogy

"Anamnesis invites you to sway and stumble through a journey of Proustian discoveries. Dwelling in the quiet connections between loss, discovery, and renewal, the game guides you through the creation of a world that can bloom and welcome, overwhelm and frighten, asking with a quiet persistence: Who are you?"

- Sean Patrick Cain, designer of Long Haul 1983


Interviews and Actual Plays


Friends at the Table - Anamnesis was featured in Sangfielle episode 52 (Six Travelers: Lyke) which contains an entire playthrough of the game.

Sangfielle: Friends At The Table Soundtrack, Season Seven | Jack de Quidt


Planet Arcana - Full actual play of Anamnesis, modified for 2-players.

Planet Arcana


The Lost Bay Podcast - Interview about the design process behind Anamnesis


Yes Indie'd - Interview about Anamnesis and other work in the TTRPG world

Interviews with indie tabletop roleplaying games creators - Yes Indie'd Pod


Draw Your Dice - Interview about the TTRPG scene and a playthrough of Act 1 of Anamnesis


Midgardia RPG - Interview about Itchfunding with a demo of the game

The Team:

Anamnesis was successfully Itchfunded, which allowed the game to have an artist, editor, and layout artist, and later the game was successfully Kickstarted for a print run. Thank you to everyone who supported the project!

If you like the art from Anamnesis, merch is available at Victor Winter's store

Physical version available at Indie Press Revolution and Knave of Cups

Purchase

Buy Now$8.00 USD or more

In order to download this game you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $8 USD. You will get access to the following files:

Anamnesis Spreads v1.1.pdf 1 MB
Anamnesis Pages v.1.1.pdf 1 MB
Anamnesis Designers Commentary v.1.1.pdf 6 MB
Anamnesis Audiobook v.1.1.mp3 11 MB
Anamnesis Optional Character Sheet.pdf 21 kB
Anamnesis Optional Character Sheet Form Fillable.pdf 25 kB
Anamnesis v1.1.html 25 kB
Anamnesis v1.1.txt 15 kB
Anamnesis v1.1.epub 1 MB

Exclusive content

Support this game at or above a special price point to receive something exclusive.

Community Copies [PDF]

If you are from a marginalized group or experiencing financial hardship, please help yourself to a community copy PDF free of charge.

Damaged Physical Copies [shipping included]

Both the PDF and a slightly-damaged print copy, shipping included. Must email shipping address to BlinkingBirchGames@gmail.com. Ships anywhere in the world (except temporarily Russia due to sanctions).

These copies might have scratches on the front or back cover, odd coloration, ink smudges, or bent corners. All are still readable and contain all pages.

Regular print copies are available at Indie Press Revolution and Knave of Cups

Development log

Comments

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(+1)

Anamnesis is about deciding who you are in spite of who you’ve been. Your memories, even if they’re forgotten or manufactured, aren’t as important as what you do with what time you still have. Your past is undoubtedly important, and it may follow you long after you’ve forgotten it. But it’s not some all-powerful force like gravity or destiny. With time, even the past can be re-written. And the good news is: you always have time to become someone new.

(+1)

Eventually, I plan to do a recorded play through of this game. But for now, I took a VERY short look at the game for a Youtube Short.

OK, OK... I might just be posting this here now just to help Sam get a signal boost on this game, but hey... she didn't ask me to, I just think Sam deserves it for all the work she does to promote other people's games.

Found Anamnesis through the Sangfielle episode above, love it to bits. One question: at the end of each act, where it says "Shuffle the three Major Arcana back into the deck" -- shouldn't it say "Minor" Arcana?

I'm so glad you're enjoying it, thank you!

To answer your question, major arcana is correct - putting them back into the deck allows the possibility of drawing the same major arcana cards in the next act. You can actually put the minor arcana aside at the end of the act because you won't be using them anymore. Hope that helps!

Oh! Of course! That makes much more sense, thank you.

No problem! 😊

I really enjoyed this game! I love the incorporation of tarot card meanings, and I'm really excited to replay Anamnesis using different characters. (I initially played as a scumbag who has to confront his past, lmao). You can read a full review of my thoughts on this game on my blog.

I'm relatively new to solo journaling games and this is the first one I played that used the Tarot. This game was pretty cool and definitely has a lot of replay value. Going into it I wasn't sure how much each prompt should reveal, but once I just let go I fell into a pretty cool character (that ended up being spy x family inspired.)

(+1)

Just finished playing through this with my Tarot of the Divine (Yoshi Yoshitani) deck, and let me tell you, it was such a cool experience. I went into this not planning on playing as my current D&D character, but my first pull matched so well and so did every pull afterwards. In the end, it basically acted as a huge in-character reflection for what my character's been through, and I enjoyed it so much that I shared the journal entries with my DM.

Fantastic game.

(+1)

played this through earlier this week (with a waite-smith deck) & am about to start again with the london lore tarot. I've played a few tarot-based games but this is the first that made me immediately go 'oh I wonder how it would play with that interesting deck??' it's also just really enjoyable, elegantly structured, & the prompts are great. likely to become a go-to character generation/exploration game for me.

(+1)

I JUST started playing this tonight, and I already love it! It scratches an itch I didn’t know I had, I love the mechanics, you made such a cool balance of guidance and chance without making it feel too random or too open-ended. I’m so excited to see where the game goes from here. I’m sure I’ll be back again when I’m finished to shout at you with more delighted praise!!!!

(+1)

This game is absolutely fantastic! I played it for the first time last night using an audio recording, and I could never have guessed at where the story would go... I want to play it again immediately!! The prompts are open yet evocative, and the inclusion of all the Major Arcana provides so much surprising inspiration. Wow!! This game packs so much into a very slim volume, which is quite an achievement imo

(+1)

This game is fantastic. I wrote a full-length review on my website! It's not an amazing read, but my journal is posted here

(+2)

This game was one hell of a game. Bought it on an impulse while having a rather emotional day, but over the course of gaming and using the tape-recorder style gameplay,  I couldn't help but get lost in self-reflection and yearning for what I wanted in my life.

Played it with the Tarot of the Divine deck, and I just felt so much yearning for life and love. It was a bit heavy but that was definitely what I was looking for. A fun ride when you know what you're getting into!

(+1)

This game is amazing, I’ve not played games that use tarot cards before but I love how they work in this.

(+1)

In Anamnesis, you play as an amnesiac on a journey to rediscover themselves. It is a solo game played with a tarot deck, and explores the themes of loss and renewal. The writing of this game is very good and evocative!

(+1)

This is a beautiful, well put together game. Highly recommended!

(1 edit) (+2)

Hi, Samantha, I made a video right now in Spanish, explaining the game (although I didn’t translate the prompts) and narrated a story created playing loosely the game. https://www.youtube.com/video/JQryAydllpA/

This is so wonderful, thank you so much for sharing!!

(+1)

My first playthrough was with a very scattered and tricksy deck (The Alleyman's Tarot), but I got a very cohesive character from it, one I've been able to take right into roleplay with a very good understanding of who they are, what they want, why they do as they do. 

Really useful tool. Lots of fun to use. Thanks!

(+1)

Honestly loved it. You can write as much or as little as you like, and the prompts are flexible enough that a narrative emerges extremely easily. I used my Cultist Simulator deck to incorperate the lore of a different game into the story I followed, and the end result turned out beautifully.

(1 edit) (+1)

Hello ! I've just fiinished my first game with Anamnesia and I wanted to congratulate you for bringing it to the world ! I am a writer (and a big fan of Tarot) and I think this is going to be a great way for me to create new stories and characters! I used the Modern Witch deck for this first game and ended with a story I didn't know I had in me. Such an awesome experience ! I am sure there will be many others and I will recommend the game to so many people ! Great job ! 

Hey there, i was wondering what deck of tarot to use best? Is there a special one recommended?


I live in germany and tarot is not a big thing here.. 🤔

Any tarot deck would work! When designing the game, I used the Rider-Waite deck designed by Pamela Coleman Smith, but any tarot deck is fine.

do you know when the physical copies will be ready? :)

I think they'll be on sale in April!

(+2)

This game has been a wonderful experience so far! It makes me wonder, is it possible to use all the tarot cards to create a story cover to cover about the struggles of memory loss, followed by a sense of renewal at the end? Because I would honestly play it again to do just that. ❤

I've been a journal writer for a long time, and have been using tarot cards for a bit too. To put these two things together into an RPG is an amazingly cathartic experience, and I would definitely enjoy future games of this nature. 😊 

"Anamnesis" in my playthrough, is about a girl who suffers from amnesia but finds love along the way. It's kinda like the movie "50 First Dates," with the idea that when my character goes to sleep, her memory does a factory reset. The amnesia began the night after she left an abusive relationship because her memory couldn't handle all the trauma.

(+1)

I loved this game as soon as I saw the cover and read the contents, but I was not prepared for the emotional ride it was about to take me on. 

Every card pull felt so significant, and the prompts were so solidly on the line between open-ended and specific that I was hit with a shock of inspiration every single time I saw my next card.

I cried playing this game, and so will you - can't recommend it enough for self-discovery and, in my case, a decent dose of catharsis. Don't sleep on this.

(+2)

Anamnesis is a game of self-discovery through evocative prompts and tarot cards! I love that it encourages you to interpret the cards however you want, it reminds me of childhood games of make-believe and the best parts of Mysteruim. 


The layout is clean and neat, and the game plays quickly as you delve into a forgotten character.

(+2)

An incredibly intense experience. The use of the Tarot deck is wonderful, with the Major Arcana playing an inspirational role throughout the entire game rather than being just additional prompts (like the minor arcana) and really shows what a Tarot deck can do for a journaling game. Due to how the Major Arcana are often highly unique from deck to deck, playing with different decks will yield different inspirations, especially with decks that have detailed Major Arcana. 

My first game I used as self reflection, remembering a point of time in my life when I was lost and walking through it to finding myself again.

My second game was entirely about a fictional character that the game built with depth as each act passed. I was not prepared to find myself playing a lawyer fired from their law firm because they walked away from prosecuting a case against a nature activist who, it turns out, was protecting an ancient tree in the city that someone wanted destroyed. It did not go well for anyone, and in the aftermath my lawyer remembered her partner, who left her an acorn from said ancient tree, and now she is going to go find a location to plant it that is more worthy than the city (which no longer exists).

I highly recommend this game as one of the best character exploration engines.

(+6)

Anamnesis is a solo journaling game about memory loss. In practice, it's a mystery, but that mystery is one of self-discovery.

The PDF is 10 pages, with a relatively bare layout but a cool cover and a good structure.

You play as a person who has woken up in a state of anamnesis. 

Mechanically, the game uses tarot cards to add detail and color to its story. Gameplay is divided into five acts, with each act consisting of three card draws. Each drawn card is a prompt, giving you a chance to explore another facet of your lost memory.

I think a lot of games would use this framing device to weave in some slow-burn horror, but Anamnesis resists that temptation. There's emotional intensity, but it comes from you, not from the cards. Prompts like "You realize you are crying. Why?" hit hard with an economy of motion. All of their force comes from you.

This can make the game a bit tough and intense, but it swerves in an interesting way at the end, and I don't think it's ultimately about putting the player into an intense emotional state. It's about asking the player to consider who they are.

Overall, this is a really cool solo game that explores a condition rather than a setting. If you like journaling games, emotional intensity, or introspection, I would strongly recommend giving Anamnesis a read.

(+2)

This is such a kind and thoughtful review, thank you!

(+1)

:D