Between all the high-octane shooting, 90 minute countdown, and tense races it’s nice to just kick back, relax and throw up your feet. Maybe make yourself a nice hot drink, slide into a book, or pick up your Nintendo Switch and dive into the world of Forgotton Anne.
Now Forgotton Anne has been reviewed previously here on n3rdabl3, but with that in mind, we want to see how the game fairs on Switch, as well as taking a deeper dive into the story. Spoiler Warning!
The story of Forgotton Anne focuses on the titular Anne who lives in a world populated by sentient lost possessions also known as Forgotlings. Anne is one of two humans, the other being her father figure, Master Bonku, and you quickly learn that Bonku is finishing a device that will allow everyone to return to what they call the Ether a.k.a the human world.
However, as with any story, nothing is as it seems. Forgotton Anne has a fairly textbook story progression with a tale of ulterior motives and do-gooder rebels looking to expose the truth of their totalitarian overlord. Classic story of the good guys aren’t really the good guys and the bad guys aren’t really the bad guys.
There is a vast amount of Forgotton Anne’s story which is easily predictable. It is very easy to guess what happens next and feels very cliché. The opening act shows us rebels sneaking into a facility to enact their nefarious shenanigans as well as shortly introducing us to our main character Anne.
Shortly after Anne confronts a rebel who managed to penetrate far enough to be met face to face with Anne. Here you are given a choice; leave the little Forgotling be, or take HIS LIFE! Literally. Anne is gifted with a contraption known as the Arca. This has the ability to drain the life force from the animated inanimates or stores of anima (electricity) and use it to power other contraptions found throughout the world.
After you deal with your little intruder you are then tasked with taking Anne on a trip through the compound which is her home, and, eventually into the city. All the while solving a few puzzles all for the sake of, ahem, ‘gameplay’. This is all to find the rebel leader you learn to be known as Fig, a mannequin with a penchant for flair and copious amounts of charisma. After a few more puzzles you find the elusive man and proceed through a good old-fashioned rooftop chase.
Alas, you are not meant to catch Fig, and instead end up falling down to the ground. After more puzzles, Anne ends up being swarmed by Lost Piece Forgotlings who feed on anima. She proceeds to be saved and escorted to the sewers which, turns out, is a trap and she ends up on trial in front of the rebels. Here, the actions you have taken as Anne are recapped and any decisions you have made can help or hinder your case, which is being fought for you by Fig. See, a bad guy who actually isn’t a bad guy.
Anne’s Arca device gets taken from her body and you learn that it was the only thing stopping her from Crytalizing and dying. You need to distract a high-ranking rebel so Fig can retrieve it for you. After this tedious task is ticked off your to-do list, you can finally leave the rebel base (there’s a meme for this somewhere).
You and Fig then make your way to ‘The Plant’, a facility used to generate power to the city and Master Bonku’s compound which all criminal Forgotlings get sent to for work. Once there, Anne and Fig have to sneak through the facility so that Anne can be shown something… Can you guess what it is? I did. The aforementioned criminals are shipped en masse through the facility in large containers and have their anima drained from them. This makes Bonku the good guy who, unsurprisingly, is not actually the good guy (dun-dun-duuuuun).
After learning this and confronting Bonku about his abominable act via video chat, you and Fig then destroy the facility with EXPLOSIONS! The disappointing part about this is that there is no time constraint and makes the tense situation feel very relaxed. During this whole sequence you learn that Bonku has learned of the rebel base (insert meme here) and after escaping and a brief argument between our protagonists, Fig rushes off to try and protect his friends and home, leaving Anne behind.
Anne eventually finds herself in a cave which holds the memory of the first Forgotling. Here Anne goes on a stereotypical journey of self-discovery as both the player and Anne learn how she came to be in this world Spoiler Warning! She. Was. Forgotton. ROLL THE CREDITS!! Not only this but you learn that if Anne and Bonku leave this world, then it will end… for some reason or another.
After finally leaving the cave of the Obvious Plot Point Anne finds herself at the water entrance to the rebel base (I’m not writing it again) but you learn that Bonku turned up and ended the lives of many of the rebels, including Fig. Soon after though Anne learns that her time in La-La Land has allowed her to restore the life of the dead Forgotlings.
Now with your rebel buddies back you are ready to take the fight to Bonku. Guess how you get through to him. That’s right, more puzzles and piss poor platforming. Eventually, you confront him and no matter what you try there is no stopping the activation of Bonku’s device. But before Bonku is able to leave and destroy an entire world he is stopped by one of the rebels who manages to incapacitate him.
Finally, you are given the final choice, how unexpected… The ending takes a leaf out of Life is Strange’s book by giving you a choice between two bittersweet endings; the many or the few. That’s it. It all comes down to a moral choice. You can either leave or sacrifice yourself so that everyone else can live…
Honestly, I didn’t mind the story despite its clear lack of originality. This is a nice entry for the Nintendo Switch’s swelling library of titles. It isn’t particularly long (my completion time came in just over 3 hours) but makes for a fairly compelling, albeit short, story.
There is not a huge amount of gameplay in Forgotton Anne. The little features that you have feel very clunky when moving. Two main features to the movement are set upon the too-close-for-comfort shoulder buttons, these being the sprint and wings features which occasionally needed to be pressed simultaneously for the bigger jumps needed to progress. Though the saving grace here is that the two front shoulder buttons are for one feature and the back for another so you can use one from either side as opposed to the same.
On the small screen of the Switch Forgotton Anne looks absolutely fantastic. The art style of the game isn’t overly complicated but you could miss out on some nice little details within the backgrounds found throughout the game. Thankfully this doesn’t take away from this little title.
I must say that I did overall enjoy Forgotton Anne. There is a huge world within that has yet to be explored and many characters to meet. It does tease that your actions throughout the game will affect what happens throughout, but there seems to be very little consequence and is strictly limited to two dialogue sections, so it feels like it falls a little short on that aspect as well as the gameplay’s sluggish feel. But I digress. If you are after a game with a beautiful world and a sweet little tale that plays on your morality, then I would recommend grabbing a copy.