What Remains of Edith Finch Journal #1
I chose to play What Remains of Edith Finch. At first, I wanted to play Gone Home, but after looking into the game, I realized I would probably end up scared haha. I bought the iPhone version of the game.
From the very start, I was confused because there were no instructions. It took me a few seconds to figure out how to move (clicking the screen and dragging the circle) and change my viewing perspective (I scrolled with two fingers). I liked the narration because her voice was calming. When she was walking in the woods before getting to the house, I noticed how slow she was walking. I tried to make her speed up, but it didn’t work, so I had to deal with the slow pace.
When I got to the house I immediately went to the side of the house instead of the front, because I was going to go back to the front after checking out the side. It was funny because by going to the side of the house, I immediately found a way inside.
I got frustrated very early in the game because the shifting perspective feature and walking feature were hard to understand. I ended up looking on the app store and online trying to find instructions, but couldn’t find any so I decided to just keep trying. As for the actual story unfolding, I liked how there were captions as she narrated and how many colors there were inside the house.
Even though she was alone in the house, the feel of the house was comforting instead of lonely. I also liked how everyone got their own room and you could see their personality through their rooms.
When I entered Molly’s room and there was a new narrator, I thought it was so cool and I was immersed in her story. However, navigating the tree as a cat was very difficult and I had to take a break because of how frustrated I was. I got super close to completing it but I messed up on a part so I just swiped up to refresh the app and redid the entire bird chase. I finally got the bird and then became an owl. I didn’t understand how to play that part so I just soared as an owl for a while, enjoying the scenery before figuring out to use the controls and I ate the rabbits. The shark was easier to play and then I got to the snake.
At that point, I had actually forgotten about Edith and was so consumed being Molly that when her story ended it was almost jarring going back to being Edith. I also enjoyed how every room is connected through secret passageways and tunnels.
One aspect of the game I didn’t like, other than the fact that there were no instructions and it was hard to navigate, was the background sounds. I kept hearing creaking sounds and other noises and it started to freak me out haha. It made me wonder if it was the curse trying to get Edith.
Playing as Calvin on the swing was something I didn’t enjoy because I had pretty much no choice but to push the swing even though I knew it would lead to his death, which was upsetting since he was so young.
After the twin's room, I had the option to go left or straight and I chose to go straight, decided that I would go left after exploring what lay ahead. Since I chose to go straight, I ended up learning about Barbara, the child star. Playing as her through the comic book was difficult but I managed.
I was also a little confused at that point because so far, I had played as all these different family members but not all of their stories made sense. Did Molly die because her parents were starving her? Or did something else happen to her because she wrote in her diary that she was good enough to eat? As for Barbara, what actually killed her? I was shown a group of monsters killing her and so I wonder if they were a metaphor for what the radio was warning citizens about.
At this point, I decided to stop playing because I had five drawings and didn’t want to finish the entire game in one play-through. Overall, I’m happy I chose the game because I’m really enjoying it. I like the graphics, narration, and how even though it’s a story unfolding, there’s still an interactive aspect. I look forward to finding out what happens next and if Edith ends up dying.