Forgotten Fields feels less a game, and more an experience, as you watch what happens to your character, Sid, a young man who writes fantasy stories, but for whom is suffering from a touch of writer’s block.
At the same time, he’s about to reconnect with his oldest friend, Ethan, whilst visiting the family home for the last time before his mother sells it. As he recalls his life spent there over the years, this game is about time flying by without us realising, and I certainly feel that a lot of the time, especially the older I get, and reminiscing about the house I grew up in, until the age of 11. It was a massive house which I’d love to revisit, but only if I could do so again at that age… which I can’t. That time is gone. Forever.
Quite often, this can feel like a game you just walk through, but with occasional choices, such as Before Your Eyes, but where that one excelled and which this one falters, is that that one had the voices of the characters reading out the dialogue, rather than it just appearing onscreen and having to be clicked through. I’d much prefer the former.
There’s also brief ‘tasks’, such as when you visit Ethan’s house, his mum’s washing flies off the line, and you and Ethan have to go chasing after it when it lands. One of the five items lands on a cow in the field. The first time I played it, I found a way to distract it that worked, as you’ll come across, but the second time (when recording for the gameplay), I accidentally brought the cow to the attention of a potential mate… it didn’t work, but it did make me giggle.
So, don’t expect complex puzzles, but do expect that after playing half the game (which can take 3-4 hours to play in total), you’re drawn more into the story than you thought, especially if you yearn for days which you’ll never see again.
I did notice a handful of issues along the way which I’ve fed back up the line to be fixed, such as the game ‘crashing’ with two actions. One was looking at a book – which normally you can flip around and then put back down, but this time, the scenario only opened partially and I couldn’t put it down. Another time, I’d done everything I needed to do by my house in the first section of the game, saved it and then loaded it back in, and it decided to show just a camera view from above the trees… which I then couldn’t see through, and I couldn’t move the camera to get them out of shot. Reloading the saved game solved that, though, but it was a bit annoying.
Another was that the dialogue text from Sid is in dark red against a black background. I’m watching it on a 50″ TV, but most people watch Youtube videos on a mobile phone, so if they’re watching my gameplay, they’ll struggle to make out his words, so I’ve asked if they can change that to a light colour like that of others.
Something else that’s come up since, on the occasions when I’m playing as Cyradil, the young woman in brief segues which form Sid’s fantasy story – in which she appears opposite an odd cyan-coloured creature called Bek, you have to escape guards while being locked up in a cell. When dashing down the second long corridor, I didn’t take a left into the tunnel I needed to go down, but continued walking… into the empty blackness onscreen. Yes, I’d fallen off the map and couldn’t climb back up, so I had to restart that scene, although it was only a couple of minutes to replay.
Overall, I did enjoy Forgotten Fields more than not – given its reminiscing feel, and how it looks beautiful with an evocative soundtrack – but it does rather go on a bit within Endless dialogue in text and nothing being spoken in aural terms.
Forgotten Fields is released on Wednesday April 14th on PC/Steam.
- Developer: Frostwood Interactive
- Publisher: Dino Digital
- Players: single-player
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.