For most people, games are a time killer that allows them to disconnect from reality and pressing problems for a while. But there are also projects of a different kind. They, like elite alcohol, leave a unique and deep aftertaste. Some games throw up philosophical questions, so much so that you want to stop, think and go somewhere in yourself. Others, with their created visual images and music, take us to a special world that we want to breathe.
Download a game What Remains of Edith Finch (App Store)
Sometimes even the story itself fades into the background. Such games are always an event and always mini-masterpieces, showered with the attention of critics and true connoisseurs. It is no coincidence that the adventure game What Remains of Edith Finch has received numerous nominations and victories in various categories. This is exactly the case when the creators managed to create something that does not leave you indifferent and makes you think about things that are important for every person.
How such works are born is another interesting story. Giant Sparrow made its debut in the award-winning Swan Sketch game. The developers realized that their ideas find their admirers – the next project should be something sublime, in a similar way interacting with the beautiful and at the same time stunning. Interestingly, the original foundation of the idea was completely different. The head of the studio, Ian Dallas, decided to use his scuba diving experience – this was to be the theme of the game. The immersion of the ocean in darkness at depth beckoned and guaranteed a mystical experience and mysteries. But in the end, the developers did not like the ideas of diving, but the images of the shark, fish and pop-up inscriptions in What Remains of Edith Finch were found. However, the game is not at all about the ocean and its inhabitants, but about something else – about death and its place in our life. Apparently, the bottomless depths just inspired something like that. The topic seems scary and gloomy, but the developers approached it carefully and carefully, which prevents depressive thoughts from developing.
The main character of the game is Edith Finch, and the action itself takes place on Orcas Island, Washington state. The woman’s great-grandfather in 1937 decided to move to America from Norway, fleeing the family curse. For some reason, all Finches died prematurely, only one descendant remained alive to continue the family line. But fate did not leave the fugitives alone – the head of the family drowned near the shores of his new homeland, and his descendants built a house on the island, which will become the main game stage. Finches continued to die tragically, after which the bedroom of the departed relative was left untouched in the house. At first it was the paranoia of the inconsolable mother, and then it became a kind of family rite. And for new family members, additional floors and rooms were completed. Edith received the keys to the house from her mother. Her brothers, of course, died. And our heroine finds herself in an abandoned, mysterious, mysterious place to try to unravel the mystery of the family curse or find out more about the origin of the Finches. It turns out that the rooms are sealed, but each of them has a peephole, and the key opens secret passages.
Each room is a kind of epitaph for the departed relative of Edith. Everything in the room remained exactly the same as it was at the time of the death of the owner. With the help of furnishings, objects or an unfinished diary, we are invited to find out what this member of the family was like. Moreover, we can observe with our own eyes the last moments of his life. Magical realism is provided by short locations and emotional interactive sketches. The ability to “live” important minutes in someone else’s body makes the player an accomplice and allows you to feel more deeply in this story. The gameplay itself is simple – we just move from room to room, looking for hidden loopholes. Interaction with some “shrines” in the rooms frozen in time reveals more and more new stories to us. To run them, you need to flip through a notebook, then watch a drawn cartoon …
The initially gloomy picture with a series of deaths becomes acutely emotional and close. The journey around the house itself is very interesting – like the island itself, it is full of vivid and precise details. It seems that everything here has a meaning. And each room has its own secret, its search turns into a mini-game. The habitats of the deceased Finches are literally permeated with their feelings, thoughts, character traits. And every little thing can make a difference, deeper revealing the character of the owner of the room. These are his photographs, books, personal belongings.
The deceased inhabitants of the house are constantly taking our attention. We are invited not to save them, but to bring them to death. And it is pointless to resist it, you can only postpone it for some moments. The developers are trying to convince us that we should not be afraid of the inevitable (especially since it does not happen to us). We must accept and appreciate the aesthetics of these moments. The stories themselves are short, but different in presentation. There are both whole short films and just episodes or parables. We may not always find ourselves even in a human body – this is the mind that one of the Finches had. And in a couple of stories and from a place you will not have to move, just waiting for the inevitable. All deaths are unique in their own way, presented as an incredible adventure. Not without a riddle, a family monster. With the passage of the game, the family tree in the heroine’s diary comes to life, and each of the stories can then be relived anew.
The creators of What Remains of Edith Finch managed to fit a whole family saga into several hours of gameplay. The game is often compared to the novel by Marquez “One Hundred Years of Solitude”, but the similarity is only superficial. Still, Marquez has a much more spreading family tree, and the aftertaste is completely different, more painful. The compactness of the game, its story and world, made it possible to provide charm even on such a slippery plot field. True, some understatement remained, allowing us to think out the ending ourselves.
The game What Remains of Edith Finch touches with the fact that it very carefully touches on an important topic in the life of every person – death. Here we are faced with a whole series of them, but not just watching, the game presents them under the guise of a mysterious family curse. Observing strangers to us, painstakingly written by artists, one involuntarily ponders what will remain after us. Those who are not affected by What Remains of Edith Finch will see it as a fleeting walking simulator or just an uncomplicated quest, but most often the game is perceived as some kind of atmospheric philosophical parable. Each product of this kind is a kind of work of art that you want to recommend and live again.
Download a game What Remains of Edith Finch (App Store)