Games of the Decade #5 – What Remains of Edith Finch

Indie games often get labelled as “walking simulators” due to the style of gameplay that many of them have. However, while there is truth to this in some ways, it isn’t so ‘black and white,’ where the simple gameplay can be relaxing and lead to a more focus on narrative and exploration. There are also games that bring something fresh and unique to the table. What Remains of Edith Finch is an experience like few others, offering diverse gameplay, impeccable atmosphere and a powerful narrative that sticks with you long after finishing.

You play as young Edith Finch as she returns to her old family home on the coast. As you explore the house, you discover the tragedy and the ‘curse’ of the family. This aspect of wondering around the abandoned home plays out like many other indie games of its genre, but this isn’t all you do. At many points, you learn about a specific member of the family and play through their final moments from their perspective. Something that would seem generally morbid and uninteresting is turned into a unique sequence of almost dream-like events. In many ways it turns the game and genre on its head, where it feels more like an anthology of various different styled mini-games. It’s such a smart way of telling the narrative, where we as the player can get a better understanding of their emotions and thoughts. We get to know these individuals despite their lack of screen presence and dialogue.

Screenshot 2020-03-01 at 10.20.30

The game easily blends the intriguing narrative, and mystery with gameplay that suits the themes so well. As you slowly piece together the various bits of information, the revelations become more apparent. The peaceful yet haunting atmosphere help build the sense of unease in the player, complementing the story perfectly. The very ambiguous ending felt perfect for the type of narrative and the ideas presented throughout. I don’t want to spoil the story too much, as It’s a game I think everyone should play if they have the opportunity. It may only be 2-3 hours long give or take, but the experience is worth every penny. 

Thank you so much for reading and what are your thoughts, have you played it? Let me know in the comments. For all things gaming, stay tuned to Honest Gamer.

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