Forgotten Fields drags you into the story with its cinematic and interactive approach. I was captivated from start to finish.
Genre: Adventure, VN
Developer: Frostwood Interactive
Publisher: Dino Digital
Release date: 14 April, 2021
Brought to you by the same developer who made Rainswept, Forgotten Fields is an atmospheric, narrative driven, cinematic experience, chronicling the events of one Summer in a quiet town. The inspiration gained from the developer’s own home town near Goa, India.
We play as two characters; Sid in the real world and Ciradyl in the fantasy world which Sid is trying to create for his book.
Sid is a fiction author who is currently experiencing a creative block. It used to come easy to him in his care free days but now he feels like the magic has disappeared and he questions his ability.
A deadline is fast approaching and he has hardly any ideas to present. The prize is to win a grant which will help him write his third book.
Meanwhile, he receives an invitation from his mother to attend an important family gathering. His mum is selling the family home and downsizing to a flat. She wants him and his friends to say goodbye to the house for the last time before the move the next day.
Sid returns to the home he grew up in. The visit stimulates memories of his childhood and we watch as his family and friends spend a last evening in the house.
There are two endings, which I highly recommend viewing, so make sure you save at your mother’s house and reload afterwards.
Most of the game is narrative driven, talking to characters about your fears, hopes, dreams, and questioning if you still have the ability to write one more book.
There is no voice acting. All discussions are text based, displayed in different coloured speech bubbles above their heads. There is quite a lot of text to view but the fonts are easily readable and certainly not as much as your usual visual novel, for example.
Now and again, you’ll be asked to perform menial tasks. This helps embed the character into the story and gives that slice of life feeling.
There are also opportunities to interact in mini games to immerse yourself further. They are usually silly things like throwing stones to get a football out of a tree or collecting washing that has blown off the line. They’re all really simple but a welcome distraction from the text-based dialogues.
You possess a backpack and occasionally will be able to pick items up and use them in the game. Items are picked up and used almost immediately though. It is more of a novelty than a proper inventory driven game.
Running alongside the narrative storyline, we also enter the mystical world of the story in Sid’s novel. A tale of magic and intrigue. As Sid gets bursts of inspiration, we watch as the story in the book develops and even have a couple of opportunities to influence how the story progresses.
During the visit to his childhood home there are numerous flashbacks depicting memories of events in the house.
For most of the game however you are a passenger, watching events unfold in the life of the protagonist. We get to unravel and learn about past relationships, reminisce about old times and hear about the plans of his friends and family.
Some of the graphics are impressive and incredibly atmospheric and immersive. I loved watching the waves on the beach and the trees swaying in the wind. The art direction was wonderful. It felt like such a cinematic experience with different camera angles and attractively framed shots.
Even watching cut scenes with Sid driving in his car were attractive, and along with the excellent music, it just felt pleasant to watch.
Colours are warm, bright and vivid creating a Summer atmosphere.
There are no facial expressions which is a shame but doesn’t really distract from the emotional content.
On occasions you are brought out of immersion by some graphical glitches like running in mid air or swimming out of the water.
The music for Forgotten Fields has once again been made by Micamic, who also made the very well received soundtrack for Rainswept.
It is absolutely amazing and does a brilliant job of creating extra emotional prowess. It truly is spellbinding.
It’s a shame the crowd funding didn’t reach $15000 as this would have included voice acting which would have been very interesting.
What a beautiful game.
I was completely captivated by its charismatic and cinematic outlook.
The game is paced wonderfully. There is quite a lot of text to read but it does a great job of interweaving you into the story. We learn about his friend’s hopes and dreams as well as his own, and travel the journey with them. You care about what happens to them, and their back stories and experiences are carefully planned so you know exactly where everything fits in.
The conversations range from everyday mundane issues to deep and thoughtful relationship talks. There aren’t that many characters in the story but each one gets a decent amount of story time to showcase their personalities.
The story is told imaginatively through some amazing art direction, different camera angles and interesting asides. We experience flashbacks of his childhood, interactive mini games and even get to watch and participate in his novel. The story is presented so cleverly that you never feel like you are being bogged down by text.
The music is astounding and really emphasizes the emotional pull of the story. It does sometimes end abruptly which can feel irritating when you are enjoying it so much. I’m sure it could be refined to fade in and out of scenes a bit more.
There are currently some graphical glitches and anomalies you might notice. Characters walking in mid air or swimming oddly, for example. They seem to occur now and again but don’t distract too much.
The controls are also a bit annoying occasionally. Often, you get hampered by furniture when moving around as the controls feel loose, and the camera angle doesn’t give you a good perspective of the room. When climbing stairs or entering rooms the camera can be tricky to navigate. Outside, trees and buildings often obscure your view.
The camera can be “adjusted” but it often doesn’t work or spins around uncontrollably.
These are minor irritations considering the plus points of the game.
I really enjoyed the interaction with the fantasy world and playing a different character. The story is very cleverly done, developing as Sid gains inspiration from events in the game.
I was disappointed when it finished. I just wanted it to continue. There is scope for another chapter I’m sure. There were a few loose ends but I understand the game can’t go on forever, even if I wanted it to.
If you enjoy games like Life is Strange then you will feel at home playing Forgotten Fields.
It is incredibly atmospheric and immersive with a slice of life appeal that makes you feel completely invested in the outcome.
There are a few rough edges and even a few bugs here and there but they are completely forgivable considering the engrossing and undeniably charming experience you’ll receive.