We lose things constantly. But where do they go? What happens to our lost items that we seemingly can’t find? Forgotton Anne gives us a glimpse of what happens to our lost, or forgotten, items. Forgotton Anne takes place in a dreary realm where our lost items live out their existence. The world is pretty bleak when you think about it. All the Forgotlings (as they are called) are sorted, verified, and given jobs, yet they are still sad and yearn for a return to the human world.
All good stories need antagonists, and we learn that rebels are trying to sabotage the realm and make life difficult for Bonku, the master of the realm. At this point, we meet Anne. Anne is a wonderful protagonist. She is a strong character who has a responsibility to oversee the realm and enforce her master’s wishes. She can be compassionate or become forceful and to the point. As you control Anne, you will be able to make decisions that will more compassionate or feared.
In a way, the story goes through similar motions that you might expect from an adventure movie. What starts as a typical mission becomes cloudy and difficult to judge, thanks to antagonists who may not be as bad as they say. This is where Anne needs to make some tough decisions. Each decision you make with Anne can change the outcome of the story. While I thought I was making the right decision, I realized soon after that I could have (and maybe should have) done something differently. I’ll try not to spoil too much here, but some of my early decisions were immediately regrettable. This has a lot to do with the characterization of the Forgotlings themselves. They are cute, yet tragic. It can’t be a good feeling to live out the rest of existence as a forgotten or tossed away item.
Anne’s role in the game is an Enforcer. This is a highly respected role in the realm because of her power to essentially draw the life essence from the Forgotlings. She does this with a device called the Arca. The power that runs the realm and gives the Forgotlings life is a key component to the puzzles in the game. Throughout your playthrough, you will use the essence to power doors and platforms, light up areas, and, transfer power from one object to another. This power also brings a great responsibility, since you can essentially take the life from a Forgotling and use it in your adventure.
The puzzles themselves can be a bit of a challenge, especially if you need to figure out how to transfer power to certain areas. Usually trial and error is the option to go with. Luckily, the puzzles are not so challenging as to make the game frustrating or not enjoyable. For the most part, you will most often find the power you need to solve a puzzle. There may be some backtracking or exploration to find what you need, but it isn’t too burdensome. The story is the focal point, with the puzzles giving some meat to the game.
Besides puzzles, Anne will get from one place to another with some basic platforming. In my opinion, the controls on the keyboard were a bit challenging. It’s your typical WASD movement, but there seemed to be a little delay when it comes to turning around and moving from the typical walk to a sprint. This messed up my timing a little, but I was able to compensate as I played the game.
I wanted to touch on the art design in the game. The entire game is hand drawn and looks absolutely gorgeous. The game looks like an anime, and the color palette really reflects the dreary feelings of the Forgotlings themselves. After all, would your world be bright and colorful if you were forgotten? Each character is wonderfully drawn and they each have an interesting personality. I wanted to spend more time with each of them and learn about their loss and their desires to return to the human world.
Above all else, Forgotton Anne is a wonderful game that is more focused on the story than groundbreaking gameplay. And in this case, I am perfectly fine with that. The story does have some twists and turns that you might see coming, yet your decision making makes these story aspects intriguing and emotional. I can still think about the decisions that I immediately regretted, and want to replay the game and change how I handled it. The Forgotlings are wonderfully characterized and are beautifully voiced and animated. In a world of forgotten things, don’t forget to play Forgotton Anne.
Forgotton Anne arrives on PC, Playstation 4, and Xbox One on May 15th.
Note: GameOctane Editor Ryan Welch received a digital code for the purpose of reviewing this game. Any code or product intended for reviews is distributed to the team to review and stream for our audience.
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A wonderful cast of characters
Beautiful art design
Some aspects of the story have a been there/seen that feel
Platforming not as crisp