Forgotton Anne – Xbox One Review
If you’ve ever watched a Studio Ghibli movie and wondered what it would be like to be able to control those characters in a video game, Forgotten Anne has come to your rescue. A visually stunning game that wouldn’t look out of place in a cinema but as we all know gameplay is king so does the game rely to heavily on its gorgeous visuals or is the gameplay more than a match for its pretty looks?
Forgotton Anne wears it’s love of Anime on its sleeve while placing you in a 2.5D puzzle/platform environment. You step into the shoes of Anne who is the enforcer in the World of Forgotten Things but your not alone. With you is your Master Bonku and as the only two humans in this realm it’s up to you to keep everything in check. Everything here is alive and you can barely walk from one screen to the next before seeing or bumping into another object that is full of life and vigour. It’s a wonderful environment to be in unfortunately that’s about as good as it gets.
Forgotton Anne has a bit of an identity crisis that leaves the game’s themes dangling in the middle of nowhere. One minute it’s trying to delve into politics and the next it’s trying to decipher humility and the meaning of life. All these philosophical questions are wrapped around some of the most mundane and frustrating gameplay I’ve had the misfortune to play for a long time.
Forgotton Anne is all about exploring mazes and completing puzzles. Nothing groundbreaking there but it’s in the execution where everything begins to fall apart. Everything looks beautiful but the gameplay is just dull and dated. Anne wears a magic amulet that gives her the power to suck up energy and transfer it to another area. This is the game’s main mechanic for solving puzzles but the solutions are very hit and miss. I found myself moving back and forth a lot just trying out various solutions to puzzles until one worked. Wandering from point A to point B only to have to walk all the way back to point A because the solution didn’t work for the fifth time in a row was unbelievably frustrating.
The controls and the way Anne moves around are incredibly frustrating. Anne has a tendency to meander everywhere. Her slow movements and even slower response time to actions sent me mad. Nothing here feels precise and even though Forgotton Anne isn’t a twitch game it still needs to have tight controls which it doesn’t. Everything you do feels sluggish and unresponsive.
I’m sad to say that the game does not play half as well as it looks. It’s a frustrating experience that had me quitting in rage more times than I care to remember. Forgotton Anne is visually stunning but that’s all that is good about it. It’s unresponsive controls and hit and miss puzzle designs drain any joy away from what should have been a a joyful puzzler.
Forgotton Anne is available now for £15.99
Review code supplied by Renaissance PR.