Review: Forgotton Anne (Computer)
- Release Date (NA): May 15, 2018
- Release Date (EU): May 15, 2018
- Publisher: Square Enix Collective
- Developer: ThroughLine Games
- Genres: Platformer
- ESRB Rating: Teen
- PEGI Rating: Twelve years and older
- Also For: PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Single playerLocal MultiplayerOnline MultiplayerCo-operative
Where the Lost Things Are
We’ve all lost some of our possessions; a sock, a paper clip, an action figure, a coin, you name it! Forgotton Anne is the story of the place where these lost items, called forgottlings, end up: a magical land where an energy form called anima runs everything like electricity but is also the life source of every forgottling who are able to move and talk independently as a result.
In this land of the forgotten, Master Bonku is hard at work creating the Ether Bridge that will enable all fogottlings to go back to their respectful owners while her aide Anne the Enforcer maintains order. However, there has been a growing rebellious group who oppose the construction of the Ether Bridge and wish to stay in their own established world.
One night, Anne is woken up by a loud noise. As she goes out of her balcony, she sees smoke in the watchtower and a blackout in the city... The rebels have attacked and are planning to sabotage the final phases of the Ether Bridge!
As Anne goes on to chase the rebels, she learns more about the world around her, about herself, and about the dark secrets of the world she lives in…
Anne In Cartoonland
Even if many are calling the game’s aesthetics anime-like, I personally find them closer to cartoons. To me, it was very reminiscent of Les Malheurs de Sophie, a French cartoon that aired in my childhood. That does not go on to say that the game's look is bad. On the contrary, Forgotton Anne’s universe is very diverse and well animated. Throughout the game Anne will be moving across different landscapes, each more vibrant and unique than the other. From the town to an underground pub to a library, the meticulous details are there for you to take in if you take the time to appreciate the scenery.
Run Anne, Run!
Most of the time spent in Forgotton Anne is getting Anne to run from place to place as the story progresses. At times it even feels like an interactive visual novel with the numerous dialogues and Q&A segments. It should be noted that all dialogues are voice acted which is a very welcome feature.
Nevertheless this title has some hands-on action in the form of light puzzle sequences where you can use Anne’s anima-powered arca device to move switches and platforms to help her progress. However this mechanic feels overused as it is practically the only way to clear puzzles throughout the game.
Anne can also use her arca to execute one of her terrifying abilities as the Enforcer, that of distilling forgottlings. This will take out the anima out of a forgottling, effectively devoiding it of “life”. While not always available, at a certain sequence, deciding if Anne should distill or not distill a forgottling is left up to you. And your decision will actually have consequences later! This is one of the highlights of the game whereby it allows the player to decide Anne’s approach when dealing with the other characters in the game. Even if these have few consequences, it is still a nice addition as a means to get the player more engaged. But the biggest and most decisive choice is left up to the player at the very end of the game. Not knowing what the ending might be should your choice have been different will give you enough reason to come back to the game.
The main highlight of the game for me was its plot. Even if it has few challenging puzzle sequences, an overused mechanic and feels like a visual novel, the narrative was redeeming in that it is original and refreshing. A few hours in, I was hooked. As I dug around with Anne for more information about the rebels, I was intrigued about their motives and being hinted at a deeper, darker secret in the lands of the forgottlings kept me going.
Forgotton Anne also packs some interesting and original gameplay sequences. For example, there is a point later during the game where you have to control Anne and her reflection who will mirror her actions. You’ll have to use them both in concert in order to progress. At another time she will face her memories as frozen copies of herself and mimicking the actions of those "frozen" Annes will make the them disappear and allow you to progress.
+ Unique animation
+ Gripping story
+ Fun exploration
+ Music score
+ Alternate endings
- Feels too straightforward at times
- Overused mechanic
An original and refreshing plot presented in a beautiful universe.
Most of the game is spent having Anne run across scenes, questioning forgottlings and solving light puzzles with an overused mechanic making it feel somewhat like an interactive visual novel.
With the different options that dictate Anne’s actions and even provide alternate endings, players can come back to the game to experience a different playthough.
out of 10
(not an average)
‘Forgotton Anne’ has a little bit of each of cartoons, platformers, interactive visual novels and an overused mechanic but a whole lot of originality in a refreshing title.