When I first saw the trailer for Throughline Games’ Forgotton Anne, it reminded me a lot of a Studio Ghibli project as the artwork looks eerily similar. It’s also pretty neat that the same artwork is used throughout this action-adventure title that focuses more on telling an awesome story than fighting off enemies. It’s a bit rough around the edges, especially in the animation department, but it’s a game that anyone can play and come to like.
The story is pretty cool in its presentation, as players are taken behind the scenes of our high-tech, busy world and travel to a magical side of it called the Forgotten Lands where forgotten objects such as your missing sock, shoe, lamp, table, and such end up and can come alive like something from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. Things here are ran by a guy named Master Bonku and his enforcer named Anne that you play as. You soon find out that some rebel objects are causing chaos by sabotaging key buildings and places that are critical in keeping everything peaceful for all, and it’s up to you to set things right. You do this by using your mechanical wings to help Anne jump higher and reach far places, and by using a special glove that can harness the life-giving energy known as anima that will help you open gates, run machines and more to aid you in your quest to restore order.
It’s kind of hard to describe or label what the game is, as it does a little bit of everything, from platforming to solving some light puzzles. As I mentioned earlier, the puzzles you come across will involve you using anima to manipulate the energy flow of machines, gates, and more to restore power to a building, open pathways, and other obstacles you’ll have to pass. The platforming moments are good but can be a little frustrating thanks to the so-so animated, rotoscoped quality of Anne moving and jumping that are just enough to play, but can use some work. They’ll be plenty of times you’ll miss jumps, can’t climb up a ledge, or even run like you’d want due to the movement and animation being off somewhat.
Thankfully the game doesn’t punish you for these things as Anne doesn’t have a health meter, nor can she die from what I’ve played so far. So it’s good to know that if you miss a jump and such, you can just get up and try again. Besides the cool looking artwork, the sound is just as great thanks to having a Disney/Studio Ghibli-like soundtrack and voice acting. Nearly every character you come across talks and will sometimes allow you to make a choice in the conversation almost like an RPG where you can make Anne give a rude answer/comment or a kind one.
If you’re looking for something to play that’s not too difficult and focuses more on its story than fighting enemies, you’ll want to take a look at Forgotton Anne. It’s a bit rough around the edges with its controls and off rotoscoped animation, but you can see what the developers are pushing for…a deep, nice looking adventure puzzle game that probably would’ve been better off as a film, but still manages to be entertaining.