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What Remains of Edith Finch review
by nthnlcllns

3-4 hours to play through

Other reviews20

The art and the narrative of this game is amazing!!! i take so many screenshots in my switch!
Absolutely compelling story that had my emotions up and down and pulled every-which-way. Completed in 3 hours, and has very little interactivity, but all that would have drowned the absolutely wonderful narrative.
«Blew my mind»
Great story, beautiful visual and sound, controlling is just find like how the way to interact things but sometime it's very difficult to move around when you play with mouse (keyboard can help but very slow to move things) too sad that it is very short game but it's still great.
This is a very simple game but I think that this story is in my opinion deep with very interesting ways to tell different stories.
«Blew my mind»
«Sit back and relax»
What Remains of Edith Finch is what you would generally hear called a “walking sim”. Walking sims are exactly what they sound like – games that have very little in terms of actual gameplay and are essentially just a hallway that you walk down to experience a (hopefully) well-crafted story in. Typically these stories happen around you rather than you actually having any effect on them, and Edith Finch definitely fits that description.

There are a couple little minigames, but there’s no failure condition in these minigames and things will proceed no matter what you do in them. With all that said, we’ll be focusing on the story today, since that’s really all that this game has to offer.

This story, about a cursed family who keep dying, has really one major misstep that I think a lot of fiction that’s trying to be sad and deep commits – they seem to think that death, in and of itself, is enough to create an emotional narrative even without the proper buildup – and maybe for some people it is, but personally I think it’s a crutch more often than not.

Pretty much this entire game revolves around walking into someone’s room, finding maybe a paragraph of generic background info about them if you’re lucky, and then taking control of them for their death.

The problem is – these characters aren’t nearly built up enough for me to care about them dying. The longest and most characterized segment is probably the weird stoner kid with his fake kingdom, and even in that case, you’ve known of the existence of this kid for about 15 minutes. The other characters you’ve known for even less than that before they die.

So in effect what this game is is just watching a death compilation on YouTube from a TV show you’ve never watched before. You don’t care about these characters, you barely know anything about them aside from the most basic surface level, you certainly aren’t going to be particularly effected by their deaths aside from the base “well, that was kind of messed up” reaction when you see a fictional baby drown in a bathtub, and you can’t build an entire game around that reaction or it’s going to wear thin very quickly.

I suppose there’s also the “mystery” of whether the curse actually exists or if it’s just a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you’re really invested in that, you may be slightly disappointed to find out that the climax and ending provides literally no closure whatsoever – not even enough that the player can reliably come to a conclusion themselves. It’s like reading the first 3/4ths of a weird grimdark mystery novel and then finding out the last few chapters have been ripped out of the book.

Did they run out of time? Did they just not care? Or, and this is my theory, did they forget to actually come up with the answers to these questions themselves and leave it open in hopes that the player would fill in the gaps and pretend that they just experienced a full five stage story structure instead of just the exposition and rising action?

Who could ever know?
The game leads you through the story in the most charming way, and that is always something many struggle to accomplish with comparingly great result.
Games like this and firewatch have legitimized walking sims as legit gaming experiences.  Also, emotions.
I haven't been able to finish this because of nausea and always having to stop after 10 minutes. But I did play a good hour in total and really love the mysterious atmosphere.
Journal Style Review:

I hope these stories have something that ties them together nicely. They aren’t interesting enough on there own. 

Just finished the 6th death and so far I don’t really get why this game has such good reviews.

Some of the activities they get you to do while the story unfolds are fitting, But never fun, this game is still entirely storytelling so the story has to be able to carry the whole game. 

Boo. Dumb ending. I don’t understand this games deal. I don’t see what critics and users are seeing. Like what’s the deal? This family has a curse or mental issues or something it doesn’t explain because I guess the point is  life is fragile and we don’t get answers or something. I don’t even know.  

The stories weren’t good enough to carry this game. They weren’t even good. 

Final Score: B-