We all lose socks from time to time. According to just-released adventure Forgotton Anne, it’s because they were spirited away to a magical world of forgotten things and granted sentience. Less great for our errant footwear; it must now work to earn its keep or risk having its very life-force stripped from its body by the human Enforcer of this strange land. You get to be this enforcer, if you hadn’t already guessed. It’s a little bit like if Studio Ghibli produced Blade Runner.
I got to play a bit of Forgotton Anne at EGX Rezzed recently. Only the first couple of areas, but it gave me a taste of what to expect from the full game. It’s an unusual blend of elements – very story and dialogue-focused, with a clear morality system as the trailer shows, but also a focus on light puzzle-platforming (ala Flashback, albeit with a much reduced chance of painful death), and puzzles that lean more towards mechanical manipulation than matching inventory items to background objects.
It’s an offbeat blend of elements, and all sporting a faux-anime art style with some great character sprite animation, but some slightly wonkier full-screen FMV segments. While I’ve not got time to dive deep into this one myself, a cursory glance around shows that reviewers all over have been pleasantly surprised by it. While a few have mentioned that the energy-transferring puzzle mechanic is somewhat overused (a feeling that I was already getting just from playing it at Rezzed), general consensus seems to be that the storytelling holds strong til’ the end.
It’s good to see something so offbeat doing well. The game is being promoted by the Square Enix Collective indie incubator program, and on top of the game starting out on three platforms, it seems to have done wonders for getting it in the hands of reviewers. While I admit some early skepticism at early picks by the Collective, it’s nice to see something genuinely unique find its footing.