Uniting Nintendo Communities since 2013

Community Article: Indie Insights - What Remains Of Edith Finch

Written by John Edwards

"All stories, if continued far enough, end in death, and he is no true-story teller who would keep that from you." - Ernest Hemingway.

In the case of What Remains Of Edith Finch, there are many deaths in this story. Returning to your family home after years away, you explore the fascinating residence, examining the deaths and lives of the overgrown Finch family tree. 

While it may sound a little macabre to spend your time exploring the ways your various family members have died, the game is actually quite life-affirming. You may be seeing, and playing through, their deaths but you also get to appreciate their lives.

The Finch family is an eclectic bunch and the gloriously quirky architecture of the house reflects the personalities of those who have lived there. Your internal monologue narrates your meanderings through the abandoned house with text appearing as though hovering in the air around you.

When you come across a personal artefact for a particular family member, you enter their story. The style of these stories reflect the fate of the individual, Barbara's comic book tale or Molly's possession of different animals, you'll never be quite sure what the next story will bring.

There are some particularly heartbreaking stories but they are tempered by the compassionate narration of Edith, voiced by Valerie Rose Lohman. Her empathy for her departed family members is heartfelt and core to the experience.

There is a satisfying variety of gameplay in the different vignettes you encounter. While Edith's exploration of the house is on very familiar 'walking simulator' ground, the fates of the Finches offer a wide selection of things to do. Each gives a very tactile sense of the life you're exploring and their eventual demise.

Intertwined with the constantly surprising and labyrinthine route around the house, you feel compelled to keep exploring, to find out what's next.

For a game about death, What Remains Of Edith Finch is very life-affirming. The people you encounter have had rich, interesting, and sometimes short, lives. Their family is reflected in the architecture of the house, twisting, unconventional and haphazard but ultimately welcoming.

The Finch family may be cursed as they believe, but it hasn't stopped them from living extraordinary lives and getting to experience them through their eyes is a trip worth taking.