What Remains of Edith Finch is a narrative-based adventure game in which the player assumes the role of Edith and explores the sprawling and mysterious Finch house. During this time, you will attempt to solve the puzzling question of why Edith is the last living member of her family. By exploring rooms, and reliving the last moments of Finch family members through a series of interactive stories and memories, Edith will uncover the truth behind the family curse.
Pro Mysterious story
This award-winning story takes us step-by-step through the tragic and mysterious history of the Finch family. We learn of all the family members, the stories of their lives, and how they met an unfortunate and untimely end. By it's thrilling conclusion, the player has been led on a strange journey filled with all sorts of reveals, surprises, and plot twists. At the end, the game closes by answering the titular question: What exactly does remain of Edith Finch?
At the beginning of the game, the player is informed that teenager Edith is the last living member of her family. She speculates and half-jokes that her family suffers from some kind of curse. Throughout the family's history, all of the members have met unfortunate and bizarre deaths. The origins and nuances of the alleged curse are a mystery to Edith and the player alike. The overarching storyline for the game expands deeply on this mystery and features two major themes as it progresses.
The first theme is Edith's journey through the sprawling house as she tells of her childhood growing up there. Through Edith, we get to hear family stories and learn of the struggles the family has endured over generations. She comments about the family members as she goes from room to room telling us pieces and parts of her past. As the game progresses, much is revealed about Edith and her family through her tales and observations.
The second theme revolves around the various family members and how they met their untimely demises. During the course of the game, the player relives memories of the various family members. These memories are always tragic events that result in an untimely or strange death for those involved. By seeing the story not just through Edith's eyes, but the eyes of the deceased as well, we get a complete, deeper and more intimate look into the lives of the family.
Pro Instills a sense of wonder
From the opening scene to its final moments, What Remains of Edith Finch, seeks to instill a sense of wonder through it's detailed game world. The house itself is a mix of various unconventional architectural styles and flavors. From it's towering bedroom spires to it's dark, claustrophobic basement, each area of the house is different and varied with different decor and textures. Moving from room to room is sometimes done with interesting travel mechanics such as secret passages that act as a seamless transistion between two vastly different rooms. This makes each area feel fresh, new, and exciting. The player is never quite certain what they're going find beyond the next door, which instills a deep sense of wonder of what other secrets the house holds.
Pro Every story features a new gameplay mechanic
As Edith travels throughout the house and surrounding areas, she will encounter objects that tell the history of the various family members and how they met their demise. Upon inspecting the objects, an interactive story will be triggered and the player will take on the role of the family member portrayed in the story. Each one of these stories has its own gameplay mechanic, making for a new gaming experience each time a piece of the family history is discovered.
For example, when exploring the room of a young, imaginative child named Molly, the player will come across a handwritten story hastily scribbled in crayon. By examing this note, the player assumes control of Molly for the duration of the tale. This particular story involves taking on the form of different animals and hunting various prey. By the time the story ends, the player not only learns about Molly and her imagination, but they also learn of how Molly met her end. Throughout the game, you will experience the memories and last moments of each family member in unique and interactive ways.
Pro Expert pacing
The game sets an excellent pace by never giving players a chance to become bored. While detailed and varied, each room only has a handful of objects that can be interacted with. This limited interaction ensures the player will never linger in a single room too long and acts as a gentle nudge to keep moving onward. This encourages a comfortable pacing that allows the player to explore at their own pace, yet doesn't allow for much downtime between important story elements.
Pro Amazing attention to detail
Every room in the Finch house is unique in decor and style, and plays its part in telling the story. No two rooms in the game are alike and each is filled with it's own charm and personality. While exploring the hallways and rooms of the sprawling home, the player will find various notes, photos, trinkets, and old momentos. While not all can be interacted with by Edith, the player is still free to zoom the camera in for a deeper look. Old photos and post-it notes often contain untold stories for the player to ponder.
When Edith is narrating, the words she is speaking appear within the gameworld and then dissappear with a variety of different effects. They melt, burst, and fade away depending on her emotions. When Edith mentions a specific object, the words will take shape around that object. This is much more involved than the simple subtitles that most games opt to do.