You play as Edith Finch, who visits her family home for the first time in a very long time. As you walk around your old stomping grounds you learn more about the Finch family and their cursed history. You also seem to the last remaining member of the Finch family tree.
Most of the game is based within the family home, with its many slapdash put together extensions filled with rooms to explore. It’s a house that was very much lived in, and the game really puts an emphasis on the history of it all. From the trinkets, pictures and scattered rubbish it all adds to the house’s clearly sad past. All this before you even set foot into one of the Finch’s bedrooms.
Entering one of the many bedrooms isn’t always as simple as opening the door, some may require finding secret passageways or crawlspaces hidden within the walls of the house. When you do eventually enter a bedroom it seems that you enter a whole new time period, this is due to the fact that after that occupant has passed the room is sealed shut preserving each bit of that Finch’s memory.
Some games handle difficult subjects well, What Remains of Edith Finch handles death fantastically. Death, it’s an unfortunate certainty in life sadly. This game revolves around a ‘curse’ which kills off the Finch family, in a number of completely different ways. As you wander around the house you’ll unlock memories of those family members who have now passed.
To unlock that family members memory you need to interact with a certain memento belonging to that person, doing so will take you the moments leading up to their death. You take control over that family member, as their story is told you’ll learn more about the Finchs and their cruel history. A lot of these stories feature the death of Children, which from my recollection isn’t really done in Video Games. Especially not in the direct manner this game does, while not visual you are told how they die or at the very least it’s heavily hinted how they meet their demise. With varying styles, none of the memories looked similar which added to that person’s character whether it be a sense of innocence at bath time or someone’s sense of been disconnected with the real world.
This switch port ran smoothly, for the most part, it did look slightly blurry and not as sharp as its console/PC counterpart but for this experience to be on Nintendo’s handheld is great. Especially for those who have never played it before. It’s all very simple to play, using the analog sticks and one trigger button to move and interact. It works extremely well for this type of game.
I was absorbed into the world of Edith Finch, and while it may not have lasted hours, each minute I spent with it was fascinating. It was a harrowing tale that has since stuck with me after playing it, nothing has come close to this sort of experience before.
All the awards this game has been given are thoroughly all deserved, and the fact that’s it’s so widely available means you shouldn’t sit on this game as I have. Get this game played, it’s worth every penny.
*Code kindly provided by the publisher for review*