The Gaps and Questions Surrounding ‘What Remains of Edith Finch’ (WARNING: Minor Spoilers)

A few years ago I watched my boyfriend play ‘Everybody’s Gone to The Rapture’ and I was entranced. I was hooked on the mystery, the environment and how excellent the storytelling was. So when I heard about ‘What Remains of Edith Finch’ being on the Epic Games launcher for free and being similar to Rapture I had it downloaded before you could say
antidisestablishmentarianism. I decided to stream it on Tuesday this week.

I hadn’t even loaded the game up pre-stream so it was a complete blind play-through for me.

Graphically, the game is dreamlike. It’s not your state of the art, crisp as a newly ironed work shirt, God of War sort of deal. But the slightly glowy, blurred edges make for a dreamlike visual that fits with the game’s theme.

The intro was a bit vague. You start off playing as Edith. She tells you about the family home that she has just inherited. She says she hasn’t been back since her brother’s funeral. All a bit mysterious since she doesn’t explain what happened to her brother but continues to talk about her ancestors who lived in the house who each had a story behind their lives before they were all hit by a “curse”.

Molly’s room had a fair few pets. And a sickening amount of frills.

Once you get to the house you get to have a bit of a walk around. The house is dis-symmetry gone completely awry, with castles and boats built on top of an ordinary looking house. It smacks of the Winchester Mystery House if it went to Vegas, got shitfaced and came back high on LSD.

Edith’s mum didn’t think it was helpful in any way to give Edith a key to the front door of her own house, so we end up climbing through the dog flap into the garage to get into the house that way.

We move through the clutter-ridden house, trying doors all over, only to find them locked tight. By peering in through the spyglasses, we see a perfectly preserved room from a period in the family history for that particular family member. Edith tells us that after her siblings died and went missing that her mother locked all the rooms shut. She grew up looking at the rooms through the spyglass and just assumed that was normal practice in a house.

It was a bit weird that all the rooms were kept as they were, especially since there were so many of them. I get the impression that Edith’s family were incredibly eccentric, but this quirkiness really added to the mystery of the story.

Edith manages to get into one room and discovers that her ancestor who built the house loved to put secret passageways in it. She begins in Molly’s room. The game takes you through each family member’s story as if you are reliving their last moments. It doesn’t end well for any of them, I’m not going to lie and this does eventually take its toll on you and I noticed that I’d stopped talking and became pretty sad during stream. Especially when you get to Gregory’s story – you’ll understand when you play.

Whilst there is a theme with the unfortunate endings of the family and the game is mostly one long walkabout, the stories themselves are all a little series of different mini-games – from flying about as an owl and catching rabbits, to trying to navigate through an imaginary town with one hand, whilst chopping fish heads with the other. I felt as though without this variation in the mini-games, which were SO very different, I probably would have struggled to finish it before becoming bored.

Barbara’s story walked you through a moving comic book.

I did a lot of fannying about if I’m honest and still managed to complete the game in two hours. I’d say a speed playthrough could quite easily be done in a hour, which is fine if you managed to snap up the game for free like I did, but would be really gutting if you had paid the £15.99 standard price.

The game also ended quite abruptly and left us watching the credits in the hope that we were told a little more as the story left both myself and my viewers with a fair few questions. Most of these revolved around the disappearance of Edith’s brother, which personally, was my main focus in the game. We never found out what happened to Milton Finch and I had to Google an answer by the developers to find out. Whilst the answer was really clever, I got nothing from the game and had I not Googled it, I’d have been pretty put out about not finding out anything more.

Positives: Great storytelling with the mini-games and art-styles

Negatives: Very short game with unanswered questions

Overall Score: 7/10

Inspire Now Journal Review – An Impressive Self-Help Aid

In my previous blog post I mentioned about how I was recommended a journal to help me manage my day-to-day life and stress. I did a fairly extensive search on the Internet for all the different types and styles of these journals (I did like the one that was recommended to me but I was really looking for one with a bit of colour to it) and after hours of searching, I ended up choosing one that was fairly close to the top of the search list on Amazon.

A great addition to my little place of organised thoughts.

The Inspire Now Journal, which I bought from Amazon, costing a steady £24.99 (which I thought a tad pricey but this is seemingly the sort of price range for all of these types of journals), arrived yesterday.

It feels nice quality straight away, which I loved and is a nice handy size so that it fits in my bag and I can take it everywhere with me. It now also means that the Collins 2019 diary planner I had been using at work can go take a running jump.

This little book is jam-packed with all sorts of planning tools for your everyday life, from general monthly calendars, to birthday reminder tables, contact details pages, fitness trackers, weight loss plans, short and long term goal planners, project ideas and big blank spaces for ideas or doodling. I love it.

Even the colour of the cover appealed to me.

The start of the book gives you advice on how to use the resources insides and it’s quite thorough, giving you examples of where to put your ideas and the wording you could use to get the best out of yourself. I spent a lot of time meticulously reading all of this before I even picked a pen up to write anything, which is unusual of me because I like to just get stuck in there and crack on.

The book is filled with little motivational quotes to pick you up and keep you going.

I started by filling out the calendar (which is a bit of a waste for me because I use the calendar on my phone pretty much to excess and rely on it a lot, but I do really like having a handwritten calendar to refer to) because this seemed like the easiest section to me, since I didn’t have to think about what I was putting in because I was mostly copying from what was on my phone screen.

It’s not until you SEE a handwritten calendar that you realise how surprisingly devoid of action your life is.

With the easy bit out of the way, I then went on to the hard part – thinking about my long term and short term goals and how I would get there. This really had me scratching my brain (like Doctor Finkelstein from ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’). I decided that I definitely wanted to be debt free. That I wanted to save for a mortgage. And that I wanted to be healthier. I wouldn’t go as far as to say I’m signing up to the gym anytime soon, but I do want to start drinking plenty of water, walking more and doing some yoga. I also thought it might be prudent to set aside some reflection time and meditate, collecting my thoughts. I started to use the ‘Headspace’ app a while back and really found that it help me a lot, so I think this is something I want to do again.

You get a nice little weekly goal summary page at the start of every week.

Next was to plan my week. At the start of every week, you get a nice little summary page of your week where you can put your tasks, check off if you’ve completed the habits you set yourself and write down the reward you’re going to give yourself if you do all this. A habit I’m trying to kick is mid-week drinking, so I would say that I’m probably not going to get my Sunday lunch this week…

After you’ve planned your week ahead, you then get a daily sheet to fill out your daily activities and targets. I decided to do mine the day before so I can set aside some time to plan tomorrow out.

A really organised way of planning your day.

The book told me that writing down your thoughts, plans, tasks and ideas was a great way to make your brain act on them. I’m hoping that if I persevere with this, my stress levels will reduce, I will be more organised and will feel happier and healthier in myself.

But I probably won’t get that Sunday lunch.