Originally released back in May on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, Forgotton Anne has finally landed on Nintendo Switch. Developed by ThroughLine Games, and published as part of the more indie focused Square Enix Collective, the game follows magic force controlling Anne through a hand animated world. However, is this just another port for the Switch or one worth not forgetting about? Let’s find out!
The main protagonist, Anne, is a human whom is stuck in a fantasy like world, one full of lost everyday objects. These aren’t just inanimate everyday objects, referred to as the Forgotlings, as they are somewhat anthropomorphised. Being one of only two humans in the realm might be daunting to some but not Anne, as she has a spot of magic up her sleeve – being a wielder of anima. This is a powerful magic that can be drawn from enemy Forgotlings and used to unlock the path for Anne.
Players will get to see a variety of uses for anima, though the main use to enable progression in the many puzzles the the game throws Anne’s way. The concept and the visual flair of anima is unfortunately a wonderful mask to the gameplay that lurks below. Puzzles can be fun and challenging but the ones found in Forgotton Anne swiftly become overly similar and are more of a distraction from the meaningful storyline that players find themselves journeying along.
The storyline is something that players will feel drawn into, full of intriguing causing players to want to find the answers to the questions. There are elements that hint towards deeper meanings of class and morals, without the need for copious amounts of humans. Good writing in a game isn’t overly commonplace and thankfully Forgotton Anne’s presentation makes sure the impact is not lost. From the strong voice acting performances to a stunning soundtrack and simply beautiful artwork, there isn’t an element that lets the story down. Instead, each element helps to elevate the title.
The visual design is clearly a selling point of Forgotton Anne and it doesn’t disappoint. In a gaming environment where 3D is the norm the 2D side scrolling is almost a refreshing change. From the lights flickering to the weather effects, the world becomes believable due to the quality of the artwork – despite the fantasy-like elements that make it. Looking closely there could be more animations outside of the cutscenes but these do little to diminish the overall look.
Port wise there is nothing to fault, with the experience handling well on both docked and handheld modes. The experience is built upon the glorious artwork, so it is almost a shame to play on the go with a smaller screen but the option is there for gamers to decide how they want to play. As with most of the releases for Nintendo Switch that are late compared to other platforms there are no additional features to make it worth owning the game on a new platform. While this sounds negative, it can be seen as positive that Switch content hasn’t been padded in, diluting the experience, just to say something is there.
When the weakest part of a game is the gameplay often it is enough to see the game instantly hitting the bargain bins or at least strongly criticised. Forgotton Anne manages to break that logic by featuring a compelling, deep and questioning storyline and jaw-dropping presentation that makes the mediocre puzzles worth muddling through. Taking around seven hours to complete the game isn’t super long and a few hours of that time can be attributed to journeying across the 2D screen. If you appreciate the art style this doesn’t feel like wasted time, instead time for indulging and enjoying the world. A world that is the perfect mixture of the believable and bizarre. Forgotton Anne might not be for everyone but those drawn in by the art and the promise of a story won’t be disappointed.
[Editor’s Note: Forgotton Anne was reviewed on the Nintendo Switch and was provided to us by the developer for the review.]