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Forgotton Anne

Posted by GG Goblin On November - 28 - 2018

Forgotten dictionary?

I wouldn’t want to say that Danish developer ThroughLine Games has a slight problem with spelling, as I am equally sure that the spelling of their cinematic, animated 2.5D adventure Forgotton Anne is exactly as they intended. But still, it does make this game difficult to Google. It doesn’t really matter though, as Forgotton Anne is now out on Switch, meaning yet more players can enjoy what is a remarkably well crafted game.

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For anyone who has found themselves talking to their coffee cup or calling out to lost keys, Forgotton Anne has a story that may well make sense. However, before moving on to the story, it is kind of important to frame the narrative with an overall feeling of the game. Forgotton Anne is a spectacle from the very beginning, offering visuals and theme that could put many feature length animations to shame. The idea of interactive movies have been around for quite some time, but Forgotton Anne manages to pull off the idea of being a playable movie. Of course, this will resonate with fans of Anime more than regular movie goers, but still it is quite an impressive feat.

The animated style carries through the cut scenes and the gameplay, from the beautiful backdrops to the movement of the actual 2D characters themselves. Even the lighting and camera movement work in a cinematic way, enhancing the beauty and special feel of the game.

And so we come to the story, which again just seems so perfectly suited to an Anime style. Forgotton Anne is set in a world that is mostly inhabited by lost things. Think about all of the little objects that you have lost over the years, and chances are they will be here. However, when they arrive in this world, they become sentient, so you have things like talking socks and cutlery. Master Bonku is one of only two Humans in this world, and he is in charge, putting the Forgotlings to work in order to build a bridge that will allow Bonku, and presumably the lost items, to return to their world.

The other Human is controlled by the player. This is Anne of the title, a young girl who works for Master Bonku as an enforcer, keeping the Forgotlings in line. As the game begins, a rebel faction of Forgotlings have been causing more trouble, and Anne has been sent to investigate.

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The story is just great and never misses a beat. Everything is very well written, and the voice acting is way above par, bringing every character, no matter how much screen time they have, to life. An impressive orchestral score further enhances what is going on in the game, rounding out a very well polished package.

When it comes to the actual gameplay, there are a few different threads. Perhaps the most affecting are the narrative choices that the player has to make. There have been plenty of games in which the player has to make a choice under the possibility that the choice will have an effect further down the line, and this is exactly what Forgotton Anne does. The choices, offered mostly as a narrative decision, although choices to do or not do something also pop up, are generally black and white, with one being obviously good, and the other bad. But that doesn’t mean that simply choosing the good decision is the right way to go, and even then it can be difficult to gauge what the consequences will be. The game has multiple endings, so going back and trying different choices could have its rewards.

There are also puzzles in the game. These tend to be fairly simple and are infrequent enough as to not really cause any frustration. The puzzles mostly revolve around Anne’s Arca, the device she wears on her wrist, and its ability to manipulate the energy found in this world, known as Anima. This could mean activating switches or valves and the like. The Anima energy powers everything in this world, even down to being the life force of the Forgotlings, which will raise some interesting moral dilemmas along the way for the player.

Finally, Forgotton Anne will see a reasonable amount of platforming. For the most part this works well, in a rather solid way. However, when the game asks for more precision or quicker reactions, things can falter as I don’t think Anne s designed to move that way. The platforming is probably the weakest aspect of the game, but that is quite easy to forgive when the rest of the game is so well done.

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Forgotton Anne breaks down some boundaries, being the type of game that can be enjoyed by gamers and non-gamers alike. Sure, the puzzles are not exactly taxing, and the platforming can cause some concern. But the wonderful story, packed with interesting characters, and amazing visuals that really suit the Switch, can honestly appeal to everyone. Coming in at around eight hours, non-gamers may well struggle with that kind of commitment. But then, once they get pulled in, it may be difficult to leave the world of Forgotton Anne before the ride is over.




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