by Matt Porter
previewed on PC
The Forgotten Lands is a place where everything that has been lost and forgotten goes. However instead of being filled with car keys and French vocabulary, in Forgotton Anne, it is inhabited by Forgotlings, magical creatures composed of these lost items whose sole purpose is to be remembered again. There are two humans in this world, and, playing as Anne, you need to prevent an uprising which threatens to stop her and her master Bonku from returning to the real world.
Forgotton Anne is described as a cinematic adventure game. You move around the 2D world, engaging in some puzzle solving and light platforming sequences, but there is no fail state. There’s no way to die, and you’ll never reach a game over screen. The game is about telling you the story of Anne and this world, and the developers don’t want anything to get in the way of that.
The first thing which strikes you about the game is the art style. It’s entirely hand drawn and animated, and it looks gorgeous both in screenshots and in motion. It has a great soundtrack and sound design too, so the overall aesthetic is reason enough to make the game enticing.
As for the gameplay, a big part of Forgotton Anne is Anima, a power source which gives Forgotlings life and which is also used to power contraptions in the Forgotten Lands. A demo showing off an early part of the game has a simple puzzle solving sequence where Anne has to collect Anima using a device on her wrist, and use it to correct a power outage. When you activate this device, a cursor appears on screen which you can move around to manipulate this power source by picking it up, storing it, and moving it around.
When not platforming and puzzling your way around the levels, you’ll also be talking to various characters. There will be dialogue options, and as the enforcer in this land, Anne may often have to make tough decisions. She is attempting to keep order in this realm while investigating the rebellion of certain Forgotlings. Early on in the game you have the option of “distilling” a potential rebel Forgotling, a scarf who bursts into Anne’s home, named Dilly. This process is essentially sucking out the Anime which comprises the Forgotling’s soul, so is quite the moral quandary. The outcomes of certain situations will depend on your actions, and the story and choices you’re faced with won’t always be black and white.
Lots of potential
Forgotton Anne is due for release later this year, and developer Throughline Games will certainly be hoping Anne won’t be forgotten. The game has many of the components to succeed, and we will have to wait and see if it lives up to its potential.