Put the book down! I mean it. Put it down!

A little wierded out by what I just said because I’m an editor and book lover? Don’t worry, I haven’t lost my mind or anything; I just want to bring  up another way to enjoy the beauty of storytelling. Storytelling is the one gripping detail that ties all of my interests together.

I’m really happy I stumbled across this game! This past week, after long days of staring at printed words running across a computer screen and more printed words peppered neatly across sheets of paper, the last thing I wanted was to look at a book. So, I searched through Steam–my account is InsanePizza3 by the way, if you’re on–and found What Remains of Edith Finch.

The PC game version cost me just $20. And though its strong story-base means there’s not much left in terms of replayability or open world-freedom, like in Fallout 4 and Skyrim, What Remains of Edith Finch is still a great experience worth having.

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What Remains of Edith Finch’s book-style home screen.
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Words that unfold on-screen, white orbs and hand icons lead the player.

What Remains of Edith Finch is an interactive storybook-style game that tells the player the legacy of the cursed Finch family. After several deaths and years passing, a surviving descendant of the Finches returns back to the property to revisit the past. It is here that the player is invited to dive into the worlds of the Finch family to uncover each member’s heartbreaking story.

I really loved that playing this game was like reading an interactive book, with words even popping up on-screen. The gameplay is simple enough for those unfamiliar with gaming to catch on quickly. There was only one story, the one about Gregory Finch,  where I struggled a bit because it wasn’t obvious to me that I needed to knock down a bar of soap! By far, my favorite Finch’s story is Lewis’, a Finch uncle who floats farther and farther into his fantasy world after getting a job at a fish cannery.  The “Lewis part” is beautifully illustrated; the player visits his tower-like home; as the player travels through Lewis’ story the player simultaneously works the conveyor belt and travels through mazes and sails a ship; and you get to watch Lewis crowned ruler.

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Gregory Finch’s story takes place in a bathtub.
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The player is immersed into a secret passage-rich world with unexpected entrances.

My only gripes are that the game isn’t just figuratively dark–it’s literally dark even with the game’s brightness turned all the way up. I also wish that it had been longer! You can blow through the game in just a few hours if you rush through it; but, this is just a personal gripe because I just wasn’t ready for the game to end when it did.

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Molly’s room is dark and beautiful–literally and figuratively.

I’m looking forward to seeing what else Giant Sparrow and Annapurna Interactive have in store for the future. Giant Sparrow is currently working on a new project with little publicized details to date. Hopefully, they’re working on another award-winning game like What Remains of Edith Finch.

For more on this game and a complete listing of the awards it’s received visit: http://edithfinch.com/ .

-E

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