What Remains of Edith Finch is a narrative exploration game about the memories of the title character and her family. The Finch clan is quite an unusual bunch, and rumor has it the family has been living under a curse for many generations. Exploring the Finch property and interacting with personal effects let you learn more about each family member.
What Doesn't Remain of Edith Finch
If you're wondering why I haven't posted the VOD of the Friday playthrough here, it's because the video has been blocked worldwide due to a music copyright claim. Here, take a look:
Both of the claims come from in-game music, which is a sad reality most gaming content creators have had to deal with for a while now. Playing games live and with no spoilers (aka "blind"), it's impossible to know if the game includes music that will get flagged by YouTube's system. Some games don't even have an option to mute music independently, in which case you're just screwed. I've learned to live with videos being monetized by claimants - I'm not earning ad revenue from the videos anyway - but blocking the video entirely is a bit ridiculous. Just another day (of disappointment) on YouTube, I guess.
Since the video is blocked, I'll reiterate what I said in it below. Some **SPOILERS** below, you've been warned.
So How's the Game?
Edith Finch is a sad but beautiful experience. Most of the family stories put you directly in control of that person, letting you see and hear the world as they do... or did, before their tragic end. It's no secret that the Finch house is abandoned by the time you get to it, but as you wander the grounds learning each family member's story, you quickly realize they're never going to end well. The real question then becomes, "exactly how does each character's story end?"
Thanks to some brilliant writing on the part of the developers, you shouldn't quite be able to guess how each tale ends until you get there. Along the way, Edith Finch shines with presentation by delivering a unique account of each family member - from the whimsical tale of a hungry little girl, to a Tales From the Crypt style action comic, to the isolation of someone unwilling to leave an underground bunker for several decades. There was one story in particular that really hits hard, but strikes this weird balance between the joy of a child's imagination against the dread of what you know is inevitably coming.
While tragic, many of the stories found in Edith Finch leave things slightly ambiguous as to what exactly happened to each family member. Since you're seeing things from a specific perspective each time, the nature of most tales are open to interpretation. It's easy to ascribe most of the family's "curse" to some combination of abuse and mental illness, though there's just enough to support the possibility of supernatural and occult influences at play, too. The end result is the same, but the means to get there are very much open to discussion, which is perhaps what I like most about this game. Each person could play this title exactly the same way, but form different reasons behind how the tales (collectively and individually) end.
The narrative obviously drives this game, but Edith Finch has more than just a good story to immerse players. Exploring the Finch estate stays interesting by adding light puzzle elements and a heavy dose of atmosphere. Each person's room is a unique reflection of their personality, and the occasional commentary by the main protagonist provides several surprising twists.
I'm quite happy I picked up What Remains of Edith Finch when it was free. It's very much worth more than that, as it's a finely-crafted experience. I'm intrigued enough by the game to wonder what other tales the developer (Giant Sparrow) will be telling next.