Forgotton Anne is the first game to be developed by TroughLine Games and was published with the help of Square Enix’s Collective program which helps indie developers make their dreams become a reality.
After failing to find his sock, we see a man who seems to be late for something leave his apartment in a hurry. As soon as he leaves, his missing sock is swallowed up by a bright light and falls into another world filled with other forgotten belongings. In this new and enchanted world, it seems as though all objects can come to life. They are referred to as the ‘Forgotlings’.
Soon we are introduced to Anne who is the heroine of the story (as you may have guessed from the game’s title). Anne and her master ‘Bonku’ seem to be the only human inhabitants and they work together in keeping the Forgotling’s world running. Not all of the Forgotlings seem to be happy with their leadership however.
Anne is woken up by an explosion and the lights in her home going off in the night. When she goes to investigate she sees that the whole city is in a blackout and smoke can be seen coming from one of the buildings below. She quickly blames the rebel Forgotlings for the chaos and leaves to track them down for the trouble they’ve caused and put a stop to them.
Anima is a mysterious power source that you will encounter throughout the city, apparently the attack disrupted the Anima in her home which is what caused the lights to go out. Anne and Bonku each have a device on their hand which can be used to collect Anima. Since Forgotlings are made of Anima, the device can be used against the Forgotlings to either torture them or even out-right murder them.
Killing Forgotlings is always a choice for Anne and there is more than one ending possible ending which changes depending on her treatment of the Forgotlings. This means her actions do have heavy consequences but it also gives you more reason to play through this game’s wonderful and touching story more than once.
Forgotten Anne is an incredibly beautiful and charming game with a hand-drawn style similar to that of Studio Ghibli’s. Even though the weather is always grim, the environments never feel drab, instead they feel rich and full of charm. The only times where visually the game falls short is during the intro FMV where some elements look poorly animated. It’s easily and quickly forgotten though as everything in-game looks so truly wonderful.
The musical score always fits well with every scene and never fails to to help bring the world to life. Overall the voice acting is superb and seems to fit the personality of each character very well. English audio is the only available but there are other languages provided as subtitles.
This is an unusual game as there is no way to die, the challenges presented all come from the game’s puzzles and platforming sections. None of the puzzles were particularly difficult, but this does help to keep the momentum of the game going and to keep it feeling story focused. The device on Anne’s hand plays a huge role in solving puzzles as all of them require Anima manipulation in some way, whether that be transferring it or altering its flow.
Whenever Anne goes to use her device everything in view becomes silhouetted except for anything that use Anima which instead becomes highlighted. This removes any chance of puzzles being visually lost to the background.
There are some helpful features such as the diary Anne keeps so you can always review what happened last. There’s also a scrapbook style feature where Anne puts any collectible ‘mementos’ she finds. The mementos are scattered throughout the game and add a little more to the replay value if you missed any on your first play through.
Forgotton Anne is a fantastic and highly polished game with very little you can fault it for. The story and characters are memorable and so well done that you’ll really care about them and always want to know what will happen next. If you like the Studio Ghibli style and prefer more story orientated games then this is definitely not to be missed.
Forgotton Anne (PlayStation 4) - 9/10
- Beautiful art style.
- Great voice acting.
- Touching story.
- Some poor animation during opening FMV.
- The puzzles are a bit too easy.
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