Have you ever wondered what happens to the things that you lose? Eventually you stop looking for them and forget about them entirely. In most cases, those things are never to be seen again, as if they’ve been transported to another world. Imagine if that world involved the forgotten objects becoming sentient, similar to those in Beauty and the Beast. If you can manage that, then you’ve gotHave you ever wondered what happens to the things that you lose? Eventually you stop looking for them and forget about them entirely. In most cases, those things are never to be seen again, as if they’ve been transported to another world. Imagine if that world involved the forgotten objects becoming sentient, similar to those in Beauty and the Beast. If you can manage that, then you’ve got a start on what to expect from this.
In Forgotton Anne you play as Anne, the Enforcer and one of the two humans that are in this world, and you serve under Master Bonku. His goal is to build what is known as the Ether Bridge, a way back to the real world. He serves as your father figure, having raised you for as long as you can remember. Of course, things aren’t always so simple, as not everyone is on board with the plan to go back to the Ether. As with any movement or ideology, there is always a resistance of sorts that rise up against it, even if their reasoning doesn’t make sense.
The game begins with the rebels attacking the Tower’s (home of Anne and Bonku) power source and damages the way in, with a scarf finding his way into Anne’s room. It’s here that Anne is tasked with the choice of taking away the life of the scarf, or letting him go. This is the first decision you are tasked with making in the game, and you’ll find many more throughout your time exploring this world. Whether these are deciding to kill the inhabitants or simply deciding a particular dialogue option, each decision you make carries consequences, and what you choose to do will change the way you are viewed.
Playing through this for the first few minutes, I couldn’t help but be reminded of Whispering Willows, with its handcrafted aesthetic and changing of the game’s view to solve puzzles. But it becomes apparent early on that this is something altogether different, with a sweeping story and a charming cast that feels very much alive thanks to the wonderful voice work and stellar soundtrack that made me think I was watching an animated film at times. The camera work and transitions are some of the best you’ll see in 2D games, and all of the animations in addition to the world itself make this a visual spectacle you need to witness.
While the story is fairly predictable with two potential outcomes at the end of the story, it doesn’t take away from the execution of the narrative. The characters are wonderfully imaginative, and both sides of the fight have a sense of humanity and purpose once you’re far enough along. After completing the game you are able to go back to different parts of the story and make different choices, clean up collectibles, and see a different side of the game. It also offers the ability to collect the many skill based trophies the game has to offer.
The genre of this at first glance is a 2D puzzle based adventure, but platforming and skill soon become a factor as well. None of these elevate to levels of frustration, and the game is easily beatable within a few hours, but it’s a very welcome change from what I had expected. Many of the puzzles involve using your Arca, a device that stores energy and the very thing that makes the forgotlings fear you as it allows you to distill them, or take away their very life and use it for puzzle solving. These often times involve transferring the energy to different outputs, and ask you to use switches to change their pathways. You also have a set of wings that require you to have a full store of energy to use, which essentially doubles your normal jump height and distance.
The game is very inclusive for players, as you keep a diary of the events that happen, keeping tabs on the story and giving hints into what you’re doing next. Anne will also have an inner monologue if you have trouble, such as reminding you of something you were given previously when attempting to figure out a password. It’s not said immediately, but after attempting to solve the puzzle and failing to do so, she makes mention of it. Admittedly, I don’t like having hints like this given so early on as I like to work through things myself, but it’s hardly an issue. There was also one instance where I walked into a building and I continued seeing the outside of it instead of the inside. Walking out and back in fixed this, so this is far from a game breaking bug.
It’s hard not to judge things at a glance, so when a game looks drop dead gorgeous, chances are it’ll get more plays than something that looks like an Atari 2600 game. But in today’s world, there are plenty of good looking games that are absolutely atrocious. Luckily, Forgotton Anne is not only gorgeous on the surface, but tells a beautiful (albeit familiar) narrative with an eclectic cast and concise gameplay. Do not pass this up if you have the chance to play it; it’s an experience you won’t forget.… Expand