Disclaimer: This review of Forgotten Fields was conducted using a code supplied to me by the game’s publisher. This does not affect my judgment of the game and is explained for the purposes of transparency.
The passing of time is something that all of us must deal with. We grow older and become adults, and adopt the responsibilities that come with adulthood. We move out from our childhood home, and maybe even become distant from those we call friends. This theme of time passing, and moving on, are the core themes of Forgotten Fields.
The story of Forgotten Fields follows the story of Sid; an author struggling with writer’s block. It’s summer, and Sid is attempting to think up a story and apply for a grant. Not only is writing his passion. but Sid also has bills and rent to pay. On top of this Sid’s mother is selling her house; the house in which Sid and his friends grew up. Today is the farewell party, as well as the deadline for Sid to apply for the grant.
Yet Sid is incredibly unmotivated to write this story. Not only is he experiencing writer’s block, but Sid is also extremely down. To the point where I wondered if Forgotten Fields was suggesting he was experiencing depression. Sid hasn’t left his house in weeks, and neither his friends or his family have really seen him.
Sid sets out to say goodbye to his childhood home, caught up in the past, and unhappy with the pace at which life moves. Throughout the story, we meet Sid’s family and friends and learn stories from his childhood. The story of Forgotten Fields is one of fleeting times, growing up and hesitation to move on from the past.
The gameplay switches between two different environments; the real world (where you play as Sid), and the world of Sid’s story (where you play as Cyradil). Despite this, the gameplay stays the same mostly. When in the real world Sid essentially completes fetch quests. Be it obtaining a neighbour’s keys, finding lost laundry, or setting a table. The gameplay leaves much to be desired.
During these fetch quests conversations will take place between Sid and those he is close to. Be it his mother or his friends, conversations will reveal events from Sid’s childhood. Sid will reminisce about the events, and comment about how time has passed and those days are gone.
Unfortunately, there isn’t much more to the gameplay. Forgotten Fields is much more about the narrative and making the player think than its gameplay. The fictional world tells the story which Sid is writing. The player experiences the story as it is being written, but again the gameplay involves simply walking around and experiencing the story.
However, there are many issues with the gameplay of Forgotten Fields. The game clips very often. A few times I even clipped into the walls or the furniture of the houses. It’s unfortunate, as this can really take the player out of the moment. The game loses it’s charm when Sid becomes embedded in a wall …
Graphics & Audio
Forgotten Fields is a very beautiful game. The art style is magnificent, and has an almost hand-drawn look to it. While rather simple, the art style matches the narrative of the game. Cozy and heartfelt. The audio of the game is also amazing. The ambient music again matches the laidback feel to Forgotten Fields.
Overall, Forgotten Fields is an interesting game. Albeit one that unfortunately falls a bit flat. The plot of the game, while very thought-provoking, feels extremely stretched out and slow-paced. The gameplay is tedious, even for a narrative-heavy walking sim. Add to this the bugs and what you’re left with is a slow-paced walking sim, with a seemingly promising plot that fails to hit the mark.