What Remains of Edith Finch

Developer: Giant Sparrow | Released: 2017 | Genre: Adventure, Facile

This is probably the best walking simulator facile adventure game I have played so far. The variation of the minigames told through the stories of the family members was out of this world, as was the detail of the abundance of small prefabs inside the house. A lot of love went into this game.

The game told the story of the Finch family, as the protagonist moves through the many rooms of a house with strange protruding expansions on top. At first it felt a lot in the vein of Gone Home, which also moves you through various rooms of a house, telling a story. But this one was superior because of the individual stories of the Finch family. It turns out all of the family members are deceased, and most of their stories explain how their death came about. It was often weird or dramatic.

Spoiler: The family stories

The interactive stories by the Finch family:

  • Molly (1937-1947) – imagined herself as a cat hunting a blue bird in trees, then as an owl catching bunnies, as a shark rolling downhills into the ocean and catching a seal, and finally as a long snake eating the singing captain of ship.
  • Odin (1880-1937) – I was flipping pictures in a view master, telling the story of Odin’s demise in a house ripped into the ocean in a storm.
  • Calvin (1950-1961) – going too crazy in a swing, eventually flying over the edge.
  • Barbara Finch (1944-1960) – a horror story masterly told through the panes of a comic magazine that eventually became interactive. I could swing a crutch to defend myself in first person. Let’s just say it ended with an impressive scream.
  • Walter (1952-2055) – was living in a bunker below the house, opening and eating the contents of can after can, then finally climbing outside only to be run down by a train.
  • Sam (1950-1983) – snapping a few photos, then setting the timer of his camera to take a photo of him and a girl crying over the corpse of a reindeer she begrudgingly just shot. But the animal was actually not quite dead yet. It shook its head and forked Sam into his inevitable death, because of course they had to take this photo on a tall cliff.
  • Gregory (1976-1977) – as a baby in a bathtub playing with various plastic toys. I could control a frog that could jump really high by bouncing off a big whale toy. Eventually the tap was kicked on by the frog toy and poor Gregory drowned.
  • Gus (1969-1982) – controlling a kite on a grounded line at the beach. The weather got worse, chairs started flying around (following the kite in a snake formation) and… I’m actually not sure what the cause of death was here. Getting everything in his face?
  • Milton (1992-2003) – I was using a flipbook to tell a story about this talented young painter in a small observatory. Slightly underwhelming. I’ve already forgotten what it was about.
  • Lewis (1988-2010) – as a console gamer working at a fish factory, cutting fish heads. Eventually he started daydreaming and this led to marvelous pseudo console gaming sequences. First in a black 2D maze, then on foot in an RRG picking up followers, sailing in a boat on a river with fork choices, in third person in a castle getting crowned, and finally having his head chopped off.
  • Edie (1917-2010) – the grandma, trying to tell a story about a tide at night that made it possible to walk through the fog all the way to the old house that was originally washed asea. But just as I was about to enter the old house, Edith’s mother tore grandma’s book out of my hands.

Finally, the game came to an end with Edith’s mother dying at the hospital after getting sick, and Edith presumably died in child birth. The child grew up as a kid to actually be the protagonist I was controlling in the house. Edith was just telling the story along the way as the kid read it from her diary.

All the family rooms in the house were sealed shut and I could only look at them through peepholes. All of them had to be entered in alternative ways, e.g using secret passages, through a window, or by procuring a key. As mentioned before, the house was amazingly detailed inside, but most of it was books. I don’t think I have seen so many books in a computer game before. They could have built a fortress with them.

The game had body awareness, and some interactive things like drawers, doors and windows had to be dragged with the mouse. After each family story, a drawing of the person was entered into a book showing the entire family tree. By the way, why wasn’t it possible to view or change the controls?

I had to try out commonly used keys myself to figure out how to interact with things.

But all in all, an amazing experience and one I would recommend to anyone. If I had to put my finger on anything, it would be the slightly blurred quality of the house prefabs up close. It was jarring enough that I decided to deduct one from the final score. But even so, it was a solid…


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