Forgotten Anne Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Forgotten Anne RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Forgotton Anne Review – A Real Puzzle Adventure https://www.gameskinny.com/pg3rp/forgotton-anne-review-a-real-puzzle-adventure https://www.gameskinny.com/pg3rp/forgotton-anne-review-a-real-puzzle-adventure Fri, 11 May 2018 16:44:41 -0400 TMSingle

The Square Enix Collective has released some truly inspiring and interesting indie games since it started providing smaller devs a (greater) voice in 2016. From Goetia to The Turing Test and beyond, some truly fantastic experiences have come from the Collective. 

Enter Forgotton Anne

A 2D cinematic adventure game developed by ThroughLine Games and published by Square Enix, Forgotton Anne takes players on a journey through The Forgotten Lands, which is an enchanted world populated by Forgotlings — creatures made up of mislaid objects, such as clothing or other items, who are longing to be remembered again. With an art style reminiscent of Studio Ghibli, Forgotton Anne is masterfully crafted.

It is more a puzzle-mystery than an action-adventure with its mild puzzle-platforming elements, but the storyline is no less compelling. The story draws you in for a thrilling adventure and leaves you wondering, constantly, where it'll take you next! 

The Story is Yours to Make

You play the titular Anne, who is known in the Forgotten Lands as the Enforcer. She has the job of keeping order and policing anyone not following the rules. Through the Arca device, Anne is able to wield and control Anima, the Forgotten Lands' power source. With her instructions from Master Bonku on how to proceed, Anne begins her journey.

During the game, you get the sense that Anne is both feared and respected (except by Strut, who seems to fear and respect no one) because of her appointed role. Anne and Master Bonku, who are seemingly the only humans here, are preparing to return to their world, but they are waylayed by an explosion.

Now you have more questions than answers -- and danger is on the prowl. And that’s what makes Forgotton Anne intriguing, these instances that draw you into the story.

Your Decisions Matter

As Anne sets out to find the rebels that caused the explosion -- and figure out what is actually afoot -- she runs into a mutineer, who is in the form of a scarf. The scarf arms himself with a shovel, and suddenly, Anne is presented with a choice.

She has the chance to stop the scarf then and there by draining him of the Anima that keeps him alive (known as distilling) or letting him escape. Whichever path you choose, the game will tell you how the outcome could have been different, giving weight to your decisions.

The game requires you question everything you think you know in any given moment. You cannot change your answer after you’ve picked it. The interactions are set based on your responses. Thus, it’s important to pay attention to the storyline.

You get a sense for everyone you talk to, but you never truly know who is working with the rebels and who is innocent — and you do not want the guilt of distilling an innocent Forgotling on your conscious, or do you?

Let’s take a moment of silence for all the innocents you’ll probably inadvertently attack.

Unlocking the Puzzle

There’s no set game level or skill leveling present. Instead, the gameplay is performed in a puzzle format. The earlier areas will be easiest, or course; however, as more options become available, the time spent figuring out how to move on will exponentially increase — unless you’re a puzzle master and can typically see the bigger picture right off the bat.

With the puzzle format, you are called to figure out where your Anima is best suited. Throughout the game, as you travel to different sections of the Forgotten Land, you'll find you need to use your Anima to progress. Using Anne, you must figure out where your Anima goes and how long it needs to stay there.

Sometimes, there will be empty Anima cylinders or devices that need Anima to help you unlock the next section, and other times, there will be empty Anima cylinders or Forgotlings who do not need to be reanimated. It is important to figure out where your Anima is best served, because you might find the Anima you need to open the door is being used to power the light in a room you'll likely never return to in the game. 

In this way, Forgotton Anne works like a strategy title, causing you to think before you act -- and save resources for their most optimal uses. 

MacGyver the Platform

Unless you are a serious PC gamer, reconsider the idea of playing Forgotton Anne on your PC. At first, things run smoothly as you’re given instruction on how to use Anne. You learn the usual things, such as how to walk from front to back or side to side, how to interact, how to leave a room, etc., in the beginning of the game.

Nothing too difficult, really, but if you happen to be new to PC gaming and forget some things, like how to jump, you can easily find the instructions again in the How to Play section.

However, movement, at least on PC, was sluggish. Anne wasn't able to perform precise movements as well as she should have -- so you might find maneuvering a little difficult at times, especially for the range of movement the game requires.

You’ll also find some areas harder than others to move through. For example, at times, you may not know if you need to jump, long-jump, or use Anne's wings. And of course, when you do, stiff movements don't help things. 

It’s not too problematic overall, but it can be a bit tedious and the process only grows when you gain the use of Anne’s wings.

The Power of Anima

Anima isn’t only used to distill Forgotlings. As the explosion from earlier in the game affected much of the power, Anne will need to use Anima to restore power to random areas for the sake of collecting momentous, and specific areas, so she can move forward in her mission to stop the rebels. To restore power, you must find empty Anima cylinders.

Using Anima isn’t too difficult. The first time you have to use it in the game, you’re given clear instructions on how, but you receive a refresher in the How to Play section.

When using Anima to restore power, you must use the Arca and enter Animavision. Be precise with the directional keys. While nothing bad happens if you sometimes overshoot where you need to be, it’s still time-consuming — especially once you need to figure out the flow of Anima.

Restoring power to certain cylinders won’t be enough after a while. Once you restore power to some areas, you must then change the direction of the flow of Anima. This may allow you to open a door that you previously couldn’t open, operate a crane or lift, or just turn the lights on. Either way, you might find yourself having to redirect the flow of Anima several times in one single area.

The main issue with Anima is once you’ve charged something, the Arca loses the energy to charge anything else. You have to find other full Anima cylinders or take back the Anima you just used.

Now, that might not seem like a problem, but as the puzzles get harder, so does the decision on where to use Anima. While you thought restoring power to a random test dummy might have been your best option, now you don’t have power to open the next door -- so strategy is important.  

Final Verdict

From time to time in Forgotton Anne, you may find yourself winging it since you receive no real direction in which to go. A few times, you might get lucky and Anne says to herself, “I shouldn’t go that way,” but for the most part, you run around a bit aimlessly until you trigger a new cutscene.

And with the exasperating task of controlling Anne, you might wonder if the game is worth it — especially when you find Anne trapped in a small room with no way out and you’re able to reach it after your 100th attempt.

However, Forgotton Anne is a beautifully-drawn, musically-pleasing RPG puzzle-adventure game. It has a captivating storyline littered with mystery and suspense. After every difficult puzzle, you receive another glimpse into the curious situation happening in the Forgotten Lands.

So, stretch your fingers, expand your brain muscles, and give it a go.   

Forgotton Anne is available digitally on Steam, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on May 15.

[Note: A review copy of the game was provided by the publisher.]

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Square Enix Collective Reveals Gamescom 2017 Lineup https://www.gameskinny.com/1939g/square-enix-collective-reveals-gamescom-2017-lineup https://www.gameskinny.com/1939g/square-enix-collective-reveals-gamescom-2017-lineup Thu, 17 Aug 2017 13:37:46 -0400 Josh Broadwell

The Square Enix Collective has announced its Gamescom 2017 lineup in a recent press release. Their showcase will include five indie games that are "full of contrasts" for a broad gaming experience. 

Below is a full list of all the games that will be featured on behalf of the Collective at this year's event.

Battalion 1944

Leading the lineup is Bulkhead Interactive's Battalion 1944, a multiplayer first person shooter game. The developers are seeking to recapture older styles of FPS gameplay, where skill and stats determined victory, as opposed to powerups and other add-ons. Square Enix London's  Director of Community and Indie Development, Phil Elliot, mentioned that this game has garnered quite a bit of attention and shows how popular both retro mechanics and World War II still are for gamers.

Forgotten Anne

Also featured is Throughout Games' anime adventure Forgotten Anne. Billed as a cinematic adventure with "light puzzle platforming elements", Forgotten Anne sees you take on the titular role of Anne as she tries to stamp out rebellion in the Forgotten Lands -- a place where forgotten things from socks to letters are refashioned into magical creatures called Forgotlings.

Oh My Godheads

On a lighter note is Titutitech's Oh My Godheads, a multiplayer game born out of love for classic franchises like Worms and Street Fighter. This title offers a variation of capture-the-flag where the flag happens to be a talking stone head.

Tokyo Dark

On the JRPG side of things, there's Cherrymochi's Tokyo Dark -- a title that combines psychological and anime horror. It also builds on the point-and-click visual novel style by adding various branching story paths that are uncovered based on your decisions as the main character, as you try to find your lost mentor in the darkness beneath Tokyo. 

Deadbeat Heroes

Finally comes Upstream Arcade's Deadbeat Heroes, another multiplayer title that's a 3D brawler. The goal in Deadbeat Heroes is to stop the new wave of 1970s super criminals from having their way with London -- only you play as civilians with no crime-fighting experience. You must borrow your powers from others, while "not getting shot, sliced, lasered, exploded, vaporized, eaten…"

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All of these games are part of the Square Enix Collective -- a curated platform for indie games where developers pitch their ideas, get approved for funding, and publish through Square Enix. All the titles above, and many others, will be taking the stage at Gamescom later this month.

What do you think of the Square Enix Collective's lineup for Gamescom 2017? Let us know down in the comments!

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EGX 2016: Day 1 - The Good, the Bad and the Indie https://www.gameskinny.com/llysq/egx-2016-day-1-the-good-the-bad-and-the-indie https://www.gameskinny.com/llysq/egx-2016-day-1-the-good-the-bad-and-the-indie Fri, 23 Sep 2016 12:46:47 -0400 ESpalding

Today the NEC in Birmingham, UK, opened its doors for this year's EGX expo. Fellow GameSkinny editor, Pierre Fouquet, and I were in attendance. The day started with queuing -- lots of queuing -- but eventually I got inside and immediately found myself in the Rezzed section.

Rezzed, for those of you who don't know, is Indie games. Nothing more, nothing less. As I kind of "specialize" in writing about indie games, I was akin to a kid in a candy shop. Let me introduce you to some of the great games I played today.

Forgotten Anne

This game, exhibited by the Square Enix Collective, was actually a mystery until I arrived. I had previously been told to check out the unannounced game at their stand so I was very eager to see what it was and my hands on some world exclusive gameplay.

Forgotten Anne is a delightful and well-crafted 2D adventure featuring a young girl, Anne, an elderly gentleman, Master Bonku, and a world of forgotten things. The things that we humans are notorious for forgetting, such as old toys, bits of broken things, that cardigan you lost en route back from the pub, and even that "other sock." They all find their way into the Forgotten Realm. With the help of beings made up of some of these forgotten things, Anne and Master Bonku are trying to find their way home.

It is due to release sometime in 2017 and will be available on PS4, Xbox One and PC.

Deckbound Heroes

One of my preferred genre of games is the collectible card games. Most CCGs will catch my eye and none more so than Deckbound Heroes. This unique game is so much more than just a CCG and that's what makes it really good. Not only are you presented with a whole selection of card abilities to use against your opponent but you also have to occupy outposts which, in turn, also grant additional abilities. All the abilities have a cool down and you have to figure out the best sequence to use them in to beat your opponent.

It has a pretty in-depth card system which you can read about on their website. The game is just about the launch into beta and is currently needing votes to get the project Greenlit.

HoPiKo

This game is a delicious blend of retro GameBoy music and bright, fast and taxing gameplay. HoPiKo has been developed by Leeds-based developers Laser Dog and it described as an "intense speedrun platformer where you get to save gaming". Speed is the operative word here, because the platforms explode if you say on them too long.

I'm going to be honest here and say that to begin with, I didn't quite get to grips with the very simple controls for this game (*hangs head in shame*) but when I did, it was addictive. Each level consists of 5 mini-stages and you need to complete them in one go to complete the level. However, if you crash into something and die, you have to start from the first mini-stage every time. So what happens is that you start to get quicker and quicker every time you die because you know how to solve the puzzles in the previous mini-stages and you just want to get back to where you were quickly so you can carry on.

Black the Fall

While Pierre got the opportunity to play this amazing game, I managed to pin down the developer for a chat about it and I am so glad that I did. Black the Fall is based on the experiences and general feel of what was going on in Romania during the fall of the USSR (the Soviet Union). The developer Sand Sailor Studio, from Bucharest in Romania, made the game using experiences from those who lived during the unsettling time to make this communist dystopian puzzle platformer.

Lost Castle

Lost Castle comes out of China from the Hunter Studios, and is being published worldwide by Another Indie. Already a complete smash in its native land, the game now has its sights firmly fixed on the World. Iain Garner, from Another Indie, described the game as "cute chibi crossed with the complexity of Dark Souls". Well, that makes an interesting combination!

The premise of the game is that your character has been taken prisoner inside Castle Harwood. A once noble castle, it is now overrun with goblins and other castle dwelling beasts and you have to fight your way out of it. Lost Castle is a 2D dungeon crawler with lots of randomly generated maps, items, mobs, and weapons.

Grimm: Dark Legacy

I'm a fan of the TV show Grimm, and I was excited to hear that the developers over at Gamesco had developed a game based around the lore of the show. Grimm: Dark Legacy takes place hundreds of years before what you see in the show today. The creatures and races, such as the Wesen, the Grimms, and the Daemonfeuer, will appear familiar to fans of the show but it is nice to get a different perspective on things sometimes.

The game is based around hunting. Players must learn to be vigilant and patient as they utilize tracking and hunting skills to find their prey. There is also a very heavy crafting element to the game which is in-depth and requires figuring out which elements go together to create effective traps, bombs, and other weaponry. Beware though, because the skills you are using to hunt and track will also be being used against you by the AI as the Wesen are hunting to kill you.

Grimm: Dark Legacy is available now and is free to play. It is available exclusively online which allows the game to be multiplayer, both locally or open to all.

Everything else

Even though my day was pretty booked up, I did get the opportunity to have a look at some other games which had caught my eye through the day. The guys from Ghost Town Games were there with their fantastic Overcooked (check out my review for Overcooked!). I got to talk to Abyssal Arts about their tactical story-driven fighting RPG City of the Shroud. And a game called Troll and I by UK-based developers Spiral House caught my eye -- it's a dual protagonist co-op action adventure set in Scandinavia, and sees a boy team up with a mountain troll after dire events destroy their separate lives and force them to work together to overcome threats.

EGX 2016 is on from September 22nd until 25th so make sure you check back to see what I get up to for the rest of the expo!

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