The first thing that blew me away about Forgotton Anne was the visuals. Then I was amazed by the characters and captivated by the story and the world. I realized Forgotton Anne is a masterpiece. The visuals, hand-drawn and animated frame by frame are breathtaking. It is like watching a Ghibli movie. The characters and atmosphere draw you into the world. With handcrafted scenes and great voice work to match, it’s like you are playing an animated feature. It kept me invested from start to finish.
Like I mentioned earlier, the visuals in this game are amazing. They translate fluidly and all the characters move smoothly. It’s just gorgeous to look at. The few 3d effects only enhance the experience. And the cutscenes look like they were pulled straight from an animated movie. The characters visibly express their emotions well, even the ones that don’t have proper faces. It’s easy to see how they are reacting to certain things because of how expressive they are. The backgrounds show off a watercolor style that remains beautifully colorful and melds with the finer details of the game. ThroughLine Games should be applauded for how truly beautiful they have managed to create this world. It’s eye candy in the truest sense.
The story is a well-crafted tale that goes down the usual routes that a story of this nature takes. You are Anne, The Enforcer, one of two humans in the Forgotten Lands, where everything forgotten ends up. Forgotten Lands is largely made up of inanimate objects known as Forgotlings. Anne wakes when the rebels attack the Tower, the place where she and Master Baku reside. She goes to stop the rebellion so Master Baku can finish building the Ether Bridge. The Ether Bridge is a device that will allow them to travel back to Earth.
The story is pretty simple but quickly delves into deeper themes. Choices you make affect how Anne is seen in the world. And these choices either pay off later or backfire. Some of these choices were a little harsh and some unfairly railroaded. Sometimes one misplaced dialogue choice would leave you with nothing but the worst choice. While that might be the point, it’s hard when you want to be diplomatic but the game has railroaded you into causing harm. It’s a minor gripe, but taking control out of the players’ hands like that just feels off. Itia my only major complaint in an otherwise excellent story.
The game’s controls work fine. There were some jumping puzzles I got frustrated by because the animation caused Anne to move slower than I really wanted her to move. But I contribute that more to my lack of patience. The controls do end up feeling a little stiff in some other places as well. But there is nothing majorly wrong with them. Other than those minor gripes, they seem to work as intended.
Finally, the game’s sound is phenomenal. The game’s score is beautifully composed and hits all the right notes. The music is perfectly suited to the settings and backdrops. There is a huge musical selection with a new song on almost every stage of the game. The music in the game feels almost just as important to the artwork and complements it brilliantly. In addition, the sound effects are of good quality. They don’t exactly stand out among everything else, but because they fit well. The last piece that completes the game is the voice work. Anne’s voice actor deserves a lot of credit, as she carries the role well, and really brings emotional depth to the main character. The sound overall only helps to enhance the story and makes it a complete package.
Forgotton Anne is probably one of the best indie games I have had the enjoyment of playing. The beautiful hand-drawn visuals, orchestrated score, and well-written story, make this a completely cinematic game. I heartily recommend it to anyone that’s a fan of story-based games. Forgotton Anne is an instant classic.