Name: Forgotton Anne
Developer: ThroughLine Games
Publisher: Square Enix
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Reviewed on: PlayStation 4
Acquired: A copy of this game was provided from publisher for review purpose
Forgotton Anne was a game I just forgot (haha, laughing hysterically), but no seriously I honestly hadn’t heard much about it. But after looking at the trailers, it got me interested with its anime vibe. Forgotten Anne can be described as a “Cinematic Puzzle Adventure” taking place in a world with special connections with our own world.
You play Anne, an enforcer in a realm known as the Forgotten Lands. This place is populated by ‘Forgotlings’ forgotten objects, which have slipped out of our world and into theirs where they have their own personalities and can talk. Anne and her master, Bonku, who both appear to be human, are trying to return to their world. A nearby attack by a group of rebels now threatens that return, and Anne have to find out who and why they are doing these attacks. As the “Enforcer” you will have to do some detective work, but also work as the Judge, Jury and Executioner (optional). You will interrogate, threaten and punish those you see fit. How Anne will behave is your choice, and dialogues will have options. So it is up to you if you want to be bad cop, or maybe feel more like a good cop. You will have to balance that as you progress, since not everyone will start talking if just threatening them, but if you are too kind they will be just think of you as a fool with a badge. The story will vary by your choices, and it’s nice to have options to make it more personal.
There is mysteries to uncover, and questions that needs to be answered. It’s very interesting and you will feel intrigued to play to find out what’s going on in Forgotten Lands. Why is Anne here if she’s human? Who are really Master Bonku? And why would someone sabotage their path to freedom?
Forgotton Anne looks beautiful, with stunning animated scenes and drawn backgrounds. It looks and feels like classic japanese animation with european aesthetic. It could have been a movie with the quality this game is showing. It switches fluently between cutscenes and gameplay with it’s beautiful hand drawn animation. There where on occasions some drop in frames, but not enough that makes it a big deal. But one thing was weird was the frame, it was too big for my 42” TV (that isn’t exactly new by today’s standards) some of the dialog and very often names of characters would be out of bounds. And there were no settings to fix it, that should have been implemented.
Forgotton Anne is a mix of platforming and puzzle solving, Anne carries a device called an Arca. Which has control over the Forgotten Lands’ power source, Anima. Most of the early puzzles are spent finding Anima batteries dotted around the environments, sometimes hidden in secret rooms or basements, and using that power to activate devices that can open the way ahead. You can also use the device to change the direction of Anima in a circuit if you’re looking to activate a particular object. Anne also has a pair of metal wings that she uses to leap even higher or longer when jumping. Arca is also a weapon (kind of), that Anne can use to take energy from the forgottlings that will make them vanish. It can then be used as a tool to interrogate them by scaring them to cooperate. The gameplay fits really well with the style of the game, but the puzzles aren’t that difficult with the help of the Arca highlighting what it can be used for. There were some occasions where I would struggle to understand where I should go, since you don’t have any map.
Forgotton Anne controls pretty much straight forward like a platformer, except for the layout. If you are used to pressing X/A to jump unlearn it straight away or you will fall a lot. There one button to go into “Arca Mode” where you will be controlling the environments. You hold down R2 or L2/LT or RT to run, but also when standing still to take out your wings. Unfortunately, this makes the game feel static at times, since you have to stop to use your wings. And there is some delay from pressing the button to the action is happening. But when it comes to the running and jumping it works fluently, and there is no problem controlling Anne.
Forgotton Anne is a single player only, there is no challenge mode or anything when finished. But with the variation in dialog and outcomes of your actions, there is opportunities to play through once more to get different outcomes. How different those are, will be up to you to find out. The game is a good experience, but you might feel done after one playthrough.
Forgotton Anne delivers a beautiful game in an interesting setting, showing how good hand drawn animations can look in a game. The voice acting is good and fun at times, with objects having jobs that fits them well (Chief Cop is a Desert Eagle). The platform part is not exceptional, but it works, and puzzles will require some thinking. So I must say Forgotton Anne delivered a good experience, that interested me a lot.