The GWJ Adventure Game Club - Game 8: What Remains of Edith Finch

What Remains of Edith Finch (2017)


Wow. Third time in a row, my "pick" has been picked. And it's What Remains of Edith Finch. A collection of strange tales about a family in Washington state, the game is basically a mishmash of different genres and tones. As Edith, you’ll explore the colossal Finch house, discovering the stories of her family history and figuring out why she's the one who remains.

It's really hard to talk about this game without spoiling it. It's a very story heavy game. But it's gorgeous. And powerful. Small wonder it's received multiple awards.

You can find the wikipedia page here, though the usual warning for spoilers should abso-freakin-lutely apply. How Long to Beat estimates about 3 hours to completion, and it's playable in one sitting. I'll be broadcasting my playthrough on my Twitch channel later this month.
Available on Microsoft Windows, Playstation 4 and XBox One. I believe it's currently free with PlayStation Plus and it was recently free on the Epic Games store.

You can find the main thread over this way. We'll be playing What Remains of Edith Finch in June 2019, with an extra month if needed. Have fun, folks!

I will throw in a couple of trigger warnings right here at the top.


Death from multiple causes including dismemberment, decapitation, cancer and suicide as well as child death and animal death
Themes surrounding mental health

There's a very extensive list of trigger warnings right here. (Obviously, it's very spoiler heavy.

Looking forward to heading in and hearing people’s thoughts.

This was my #2 game last year. Looking forward to everybody's impressions! Glad more people will get to play it. If I get a chance I may replay some chapters, but seeing as we're moving this month it's probably for the best this is a repeat for me.

Sounds like it's based off my family history in the same part of the country.

Gosh, it's almost like a bunch of people got a copy in the past month or so! And still can for the next few days, PS Plus people.

ActualDragon wrote:

This was my #2 game last year.

Made 6th on mine.
It's solid stuff.

Now this is one I'd love to jump in for! Nice and short, and thematically appealing. Tagging myself in the thread for later!

June. Maybe I can do this one

This is on xbox gamepass too.

I just finished this one. In one sitting. Some extremely effective use of interaction in storytelling. A great piece of work.


The kid in a fantasy land while in the cannery is very affecting.

The baby in the bath is joyous and tragic at the same time because, by then, you know what is going to happen.

Being on the swing is a weird feeling, again because you know the consequences. When your feet start waggling around as things get out of control is amazing.

There is just enough repetition in the basement story to get the point.

I thought it was a strange mixture in tone at times with serious issues in the unlikely story of a cursed family. By no means a deal-breaker though.

There is a melancholy feeling a lot of games have where there is no interaction with people directly even though these are people in a large family in a house full of people. You get it second-hand finding snippets but this just adds to the isolated feeling- they are poignant in light of tragedy. I'm thinking about Fallout, Prey, The Last Of Us (I just finished this too) and I'm sure there are others.

There is a good amount of variety in the presentation and the game is short so I came away feeling it was a rich experience. This is the opposite of the empty feeling I often have with open-world games where I can spend a whole night playing and not done anything different from the previous night in the same game.

Just played this in a 3 hour sitting this past Monday. Such a great game. Still thinking about it.

Think I'll be scheduling my rerun of my playthrough on Saturday, June 8th, if anyone wants to join. GOG has this for $8 right now for anyone who needs a copy

I had picked this up as an Epic freebie and I've been burning myself out on long games lately. I figured this was a perfect way to cleanse my palette. I'm generally not a fan of these types of games - heavy on story but without much game play, but this is one of the best ones. Each individual story was interesting, some predictable and some not. The narrator was perfect and I think part of the reason I enjoyed it. She was soothing and calm and added normalcy to the stories.

Also had a misty eye'd moment in there too.

Veeeeeeeeeeeeeeery misty eyed, indeed.

Also reminder that Amoebic had a great spoiler section episode on What Remains of Edith Finch

I played an hour tonight. I had avoided this game, due to the knowledge of some of the content warnings listed above, but since it came up on the club, I decided to give it a try. It is a very lovely looking game, and since I live in the Pacific Northwest, quite close to home. I absolutely have family in Tacoma that had books stuffed everywhere in their house.

I don't want to spoil anything, but it is intriguing so far.

Skraut wrote:

Also reminder that Amoebic had a great spoiler section episode on What Remains of Edith Finch

Oh, I'd totally forgotten about that!! I need to give it another listen. Thanks, Skraut!

Started and finished today. I'm another one with a personal connection to the region. We stopped on Orcas Island on the way to my grandparent's own quixotic retreat on Waldron Island.

Beautiful, sad game.

I just played through over the last two nights as well. It was my first time.

Tanglebones wrote:

Beautiful, sad game.

This is a great summation. I'm feeling lots and most of it is sad. I want to hug my family and not let go. I'm glad this one got picked and gave me the extra push to play it.

I just downloaded the game from the PS store, so I'm in!

Played the first little segment. I like that it's incredibly forgiving in terms of the activities you are expected to carry out while in 'story mode.'

Moving around empty environments in the house I'm very conscious that I'm steering myself through the various rooms to get to an interactive spot. It tends to bring me out of the experience. The one game of this type where I haven’t felt like that was Tacoma which, having thought about it, was the one I played with mouse and keyboard.

robc wrote:

The narrator was perfect and I think part of the reason I enjoyed it. She was soothing and calm and added normalcy to the stories.

Yes, the narrator is excellent. Lovely natural speech.

Edit: I’ve edited the second paragraph to better explain what I’m on about

Yeah, I was a bit confused, but I wasn't sure if it was just because I was tired.

Really great seeing you all post, feels like there are a lot of us into it, and many already done with it!

I finished it a few days ago, and I'm still composing my thoughts, which is a complement to the game.

Just downloaded it as part of Gamepass. Looking forward to it!

I just ran my rerun on my Twitch last night, watched the whole thing (which allowed me to multitask a bunch of other RL things).
It’s such a powerful game. Some things are a little far fetched, but it’s all part of the game and the universe and I’m very much into it. Small wonder it made my top ten last year.

Well, I finished the game three days ago, and I have been struggling with whether or not to post anything about it, so I'll be brief. Basically, I did not connect with the game, which is unfortunate and saddens me. I know I'm in the minority, because pretty much everyone seems to love it, but I was rather bored and couldn't really get into the story. Most of it is my fault due to what I tend to like and dislike in games, so I am by no means blaming the game --it was totally me. I'm glad I checked it out, though, and even happier it was free with PS Plus. Hopefully, I'll enjoy our next pick more!

Never be afraid to post! The vast majority of games aren't for everyone, and there's no shame in not connecting with it (exhibit A: me and fighting or racing games). You do say you've finished it, so that means you sat through the two and a half hours of it, so I'm curious to what didn't work for you, if you don't mind me picking your brain. Was it the magical realism? The vignettes? The pacing?

You are so kind, Eleima !

Since you ask, I'll elaborate, but please know that this is just my opinion and this was my experience, and by no means am I trying to convince anyone of anything. As a matter of fact, I wish I had loved the game! But I did not, and here's why.

To begin with, there is the matter of the first person perspective. I don't play FP games because they make me motion sick, but in slow-paced games like this one, it is manageable (and yet, the swing scene made me nauseous). Somehow, I had not realized this was a first-person game, so I had that little unwelcome shock right off the bat. As I said, I didn't get motion sick, but the other thing about first-person games I just can't get over (and this is a "me" thing) is the complete disconnect I feel when I don't see my character on screen. I know this is stupid, and it is actually the opposite effect the first-person perspective is supposed to have, but that's how it is for me. Out of the four FP games I've played in the last fifteen years, not even one of them managed to pull me into the story because the lack of a character to control on the screen and go on an adventure with makes it impossible for me to relate to anything that's happening, and I instead feel a strange sense of impatience. So, in this game in particular, I felt completely detached from the main character and the different stories that were being told, and try as I might, I couldn't feel invested in anything that was being told.

Now, as for this game in particular, I thought the stories were somewhat interesting (enough to make me see them all through the end), but the whole thing struck me as "tragedy for tragedy's sake," and that's something else I have found throughout the years I simply don't respond to. I do like drama in my stories, and even enjoy "full-blown dramas" every now and then, but it is not a genre I usually seek because I tend to disconnect after I fill my quota of misery.

I did like the way the stories were told, as far as the vignettes and the magical realism are concerned, but as for the stories themselves, I just shrugged. The story I enjoyed the most was, perhaps unsurprisingly given everything I have just typed, the one in which you control a character using the third-person perspective (I won't spoil anything else). That one I did like, and I got into the story, sad as it was. The others... meh.

I think by now you probably agree these are all "me" problems, and I can see why so many people like the game, so I'm not faulting it for anything. However, I'm pretty sure that if Edith had been walking around in the third-person perspective like Chloe in Life Is Strange: Before the Storm (a game I adored), I would have enjoyed it a lot more. As a matter of fact, I would say the pacing, which you also mentioned, is not dissimilar to Before the Storm's, but since I was completely invested in Chloe's story, I didn't think it was slow or boring in that game, but I did feel like What Remains of Edith Finch was never going to end.

All that said (and it's a lot, probably more than you wanted, haha), I am glad I got to try the game, because it is one of those games so many people have played and loved, but it just wasn't for me... like fighting or racing games aren't for me either .

I started this a couple of nights ago, played maybe half of it. It’s OK so far. It’s engaging enough to want to see what happens next, but the story isn’t really connecting to or resonating with anything in my experience yet - will see how I feel by the end.

Thanks for elaborating, Mario! That’s so fascinating to me, because I actually get pulled out of an experience if I’m not in first person perspective. Speaking of this game’s character:


Did anyone notice that if you look down, you can clearly see her belly bump?