Enlarge / Your first view of the teetering Finch house doesn’t really do justice to its cluttered, circuitous insides.
The average big-budget video game story is a sprawling power fantasy quest focused on saving the kingdom/world/galaxy, told in fits and starts amid dozens of hours of often repetitive puzzles and challenges.
As far as narrative is concerned, video games as a whole usually focus on the epic end of the scale.
So it’s nice to come across a game like What Remains of Edith Finch, which tells a much more human and much more focused story that can be completed in a single evening.
In an industry glutted with sprawling epics, Edith Finch is the equivalent of a tightly written short story collection packed with interesting ideas.
Stately Finch manor
As the game begins, the titular Edith Finch makes her return to Washington State’s Orcas Island as a 17-year-old.
She revisits the childhood home she hasn’t seen since departing in a hurry one night years ago. Words from a journal Edith is writing flutter across the screen (and your speakers) as you explore the house, slowly filling in the story of an ostensible Finch family curse that Edith herself is just learning the true extent of.
Armed with a key bequeathed by her recently departed mother, Edith can now get in the rooms of her departed siblings, aunts, and uncles going back three generations.

Those rooms were sealed when each family member passed on, a physical reminder of the metaphorical wall that separates Edith from the full knowledge of her past.
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