Forgotten Anne is an adventure-platformer developed by ThroughLine Games, and published by Square Enix Collective. Set in the fantastical Forgotten Lands, where all forgotten things go, the player embarks on an adventure as Anne. It’s your job to guide Anne through puzzles and platforming segments as she unravels the mysteries of a rebellion, who she is, and who she will become.
I stumbled across Forgotten Anne in the IOS App Store and was instantly taken with its hand drawn aesthetic. By the time I finished the free opening I just had to get the full game. Forgotten Anne is imbued with a charm reminiscent of a Studio Ghibli movie. With fully fleshed out cast of characters, with some truly hard decisions to make, Forgotten Anne didn’t just live up to my expectations but fully surpassed them.
Forgotten Anne opens when a group of forgotlings, object that were forgotten in our world and have been given life and sentience here, attack an installation called the Ether Bridge. The bridge is the grand project of the ruler of the Forgotten Lands, Master Bonku. He has promised that, when the bridge is complete, the people of the Forgotten Lands can return to the human world. Anne, as Bonku’s enforcer, immediately springs into action in an attempt to capture the rebels. Right from the start the player faces one of the hallmarks of this game. Choice.
Throughout Forgotten Anne, the player is faced with many choices. These choices can be hard, and often times, it doesn’t feel like either decision is really a good one. This is part of what made Forgotten Anne so compelling to me. The game didn’t shy away from forcing me to deal with situations that have no easy outcome.
There were even a couple of occasions where I felt I did the right thing, but my action leads to unexpected consequences. And unlike many games that boast narrative choice, the player can be assured that the choices you are making effects how the world around Anne is dealing with her, as previous choices are brought up, and if not consistent with what the player claims, the game calls you out on it.
By the end of Forgotten Anne much is revealed, and Anne must make choices as to who she wishes to stand with. While some of these revelations were more surprising than others, they were always well-executed and handled with care. Leaving the player to enjoy the tale that was unfolding around them.
The gameplay of Forgotten Anne centers on puzzle solving, along with the occasional light platforming sequences. While I sometimes struggled with the platforming touch controls on my IPad, the game’s pacing and approach never allowed these frustrations to get too bad. Anne never dies in the game, and there is never a sense of rush during the platforming, encouraging players to take their time with it.
The puzzles in Forgotten Anne were, for the most part, enjoyable. Most of them were just difficult enough to make me feel clever, while avoiding the realm of out and out frustration. The elements used in reaching the solution are generally very obvious. It’s just up to the player to use the pieces in the right order. I can’t recall a single instance where I my progress was stopped, and I had no clue what I had to interact with.
The visuals of Forgotten Anne are the real treat here. With hand draw animations and character designs that would fit in any children’s book, Forgotten Anne delights the eyes. Every action Anne takes is detailed and clean. From opening doors, to dusting herself off after climbing a ladder, the visuals enhance the players understanding of the characters and feel for the world immensely. I highly recommend checking out the story trailer here to fully appreciate the feel and tones the visuals create.
Forgotten Anne is a visual joy, that tells a meaningful story. While some story elements are predictable, and a few of the platforming moments are a little subpar, the package as a whole is one I would recommend to anyone searching for a fun, thought-provoking adventure. It took me just under seven hours to play through giving it enough meat to feel fully realized, but not letting it drag on.
Forgotten Anne is available on Mac, PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and IOS.
Forgotten Anne is a visual joy, that tells a meaningful story. While some story elements are predictable, and a few of the platforming moments are a little subpar, the package as a whole is one I would recommend to anyone