What Remains of Edith Finch Review
What Remains of Edith Finch? is an adventure game that is strong on story and relatively light on gameplay. It's the kind of game that once completed makes you feel more like you've experienced it than played it, and that experience is unique, compelling, and fascinating.
Edith Finch is a seventeen year old girl and the last living member of her family. She returns to the ancestral Finch home on the coast of Washington state where she grew up, bringing with her nothing but a mysterious key left to her by her mother. Edith's mother didn't leave any note or explanation of what the key opens, but Edith knows that it will unlock something in the home. You'll know that you're in for an interesting experience from the moment you first lay eyes on the Finch home, a towering structure that looks like it sprung from the mind of Tim Burton. As you explore the home, you'll learn about other members of the Finch family going back several generations and how each of them met their untimely demise in the home or on its grounds. Each family member's story is told through a different and unique gameplay sequence, none of which I will spoil for you because that would ruin the magic of experiencing it for yourself. None of the gameplay can be considered to be challenging, the biggest challenge coming from figuring out what you're supposed to be doing and how to do it. This is only ever a minor hurdle, as the game keeps things pretty intuitive.
The Finches are in the habit of preserving each family member's room as it was at the time of their death and then sealing it off from the rest of the house. You'll need to find your way into each room in order to find the trigger for their unique game sequence to learn how they each died. Although the house is a bit of a maze filled with secret doors, making your way through the home is pretty straightforward and you won't ever find yourself lost or stuck. Although the house is filled with interesting things very little of it is interactive. Edith talks about her family and its history as you move through the house, though, so the game brings more of the house to life in that way.
The goals of playing What Remains of Edith Finch? are partly to answer the title's question for yourself, learn the tragic history of the Finch family, and see if the Finch deaths are part of some curse as the locals believe or merely a series of misfortunate accidents. The house and Edith's traversal of it, as well as the gameplay sequences for each family member, serve to drive that story and perhaps answer those questions. If you're looking for a more traditional adventure game, you may be disappointed by it and its short length. Otherwise the game comes highly recommended; it's an experience you'll remember for quite a while after you finish the game.
Final Rating: 90% - As much an experience as it is a game.