Shamelog #030 - The Magical, Dark Whimsy of Edith Finch

The “Walking Sim” genre gets a bad wrap, but to be honest, good narrative games that can be played through in a single sitting are increasingly becoming one of my preferred gaming go-tos. Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, Firewatch and The Stanley Parable are all games I hold in high regard - and now, What Remains of Edith Finch sits right alongside those as one of the best available to date.

To speak in more than basics about this game is to cause it to lose some of it’s magic, but in the briefest of explanations: Edith Finch is a 2-3 hour first person game that does some clever things with game mechanics through the experience. The game tells a somewhat dark and engaging story revolving around the last remaining Finch who is discovering the roots of their family. This game is so well executed - nothing is lingered on for too long, always keeping the pace up with new story beats and delightful surprises at every turn.

It certainly helps that this game is absolutely gorgeous, and is meticulously crafted. The game is set entirely in a single house, and in order to draw you into the story that house has to be believable. The nature of the environmental storytelling on display here is above and beyond what we’ve seen in similar games before - the house is a character unto itself, exuding personality and truly feeling like a once inhabited space. Books line the shelves and litter the hallways, the walls are covered in photo frames, pots and pans of all sizes fill the kitchen hooks and benches.

I enjoyed this game so much that I played it through twice in a single day - first on my own, then again with my partner. For the game to keep both our attention the entire way through was proof enough that Edith Finch is a well directed piece. Honestly, if you have even an inkling of curiosity about this game, I highly recommend just jumping in - then comment or message me your thoughts, because I’d love to discuss!

As a small side note, I gave another PS4 game on my list a try - an isometric puzzler called Lumo. An hour of playing this game was enough to see what it was - a cute little puzzle platformer that builds on nostalgia for a long lost genre of gaming - but unfortunately falls flat if you don’t share a love for the classics. The puzzles were creating mroe frustration and less feelings of accomplishment, so Lumo will be shelved and moved on from.

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Games Left to Play: 111
Currently Playing: Horizon Zero Dawn