Forgotton Anne is the first game from new independent Danish studio ThroughLine Games and published via the Square Enix Collective initiative. Collective allows developers to pitch ideas to gamers. Games that garner enough public interest are picked up by Square Enix and supported through a Kickstarter campaign.
The game is nominally a 2.5D platformer. However it’s not a description that describes it properly. It’s not your typical faux-3D or isometric affair. It is very much a classic 2D game but every so often you’ll encounter a set of stairs that changes the plane of the action. However the action is always straight 2D with some parallax scrolling for the background planes.
This is combined with a very, I want to say Japanese, anime art style. If you grew up in the 80’s watching the likes of The Mysterious Cities Of Gold you’ll be very familiar with the art direction. The anime influences don’t stop there. The story exposition owes a lot to early 90’s JRPG’s. Think Final Fanstasy with all the RPG elements stripped out.
Indeed Forgotton Anne is less the action-platform it’s advertised to be, and more an interactive cartoon. A lot of the game is spent watching characters overly pontificate after which you’re usually presented with two options with which to continue the conversation. Your choices may, or may not, effect the final out come of the game. However don’t expect anything deep here, it appears to be a fairly shallow binary tree.
Anne and her father figure, Master Bonku, are forgotten humans living in this world and trying to find their way back. Other, non-human usually inanimate, forgotlings may not be too happy about their wanting to leave.The story is a bit on the strange side. It attempts to answer the age old question of what happens to all those odd missing socks? A parallel world exists where all the forgotten items from our world disappear to and live life’s of their own. Having conversations with ordinarily inanimate objects is a little on the surreal side.
While this is a puzzle platformer don’t expect too much from the puzzling on offer here. This is very much a story focused experience. All the action serves to push you along the story on a predetermined path. The puzzles are almost always of the variety of overcoming minor obstacles that block your path.
Don’t go away thinking I’m trying to be negative here. Far from it. In fact the story, art style, direction, puzzles and platforming combine in a way that’s reasonably tight and achieves the overall focus of the game play. While the dialog can over run on occasion, Forgotton Anne none the less manages to provide an enjoyable, memorable, gaming experience.