Released in 2018 by EA, Fe is an audio-visual focused story about a little creature named Fe. After a brief tutorial, you begin your adventure into the wild to figure out the story of the forest. By communicating with the animals in the wild, you are guided through an adventure. There will be some spoilers in the story section, so if you want to remain spoiler-free, please skip ahead.
The game is set in an unknown land, which is a brilliantly colored forest setting. There are tablets scattered throughout the environment that help explain the story when you sing to them. You take on the role of Fe and explore to find your bearings and meet other animals. By listening to the animals you encounter, you learn that the Silent Ones are the enemies and that they are entrapping the animals of the forest. Along your journey, you will befriend other animals and learn their songs. These different songs will allow you to unlock their abilities, such as opening up seed-pods, flowers that shoot you into the air, or a burst of wind that propels you upward. Using these mechanics you can explore the world further.
In the end, you gather your arsenal of animal friends and find your fox brethren, which have been captured by the Silent Ones. They are being held on an island, where the Silent Ones sit, captivated by the sky. The Silent Ones are no longer seeking you out to trap you. You follow a Silent One to the top of the mountain, where you transfer your voice to them. They take off their Silent One head, and the face of an adult fox is revealed. It appears that they have forgotten the way of nature and through your journey you have learned skills to bring you closer to it. By giving the fox your voice, you have reconnected them to nature. After seeing this, you jump on the back of an owl and fly away from the island. At this point, the main story is complete, but there is still plenty of exploring and collecting left to do!
Audio and Visual
Fe is heavily based on audio and visuals. From the minute you start it up to the ending you will be immersed in a world with vibrant color and sound cues of the forest. Deep purples, blues and greens make up the color palette of the forest, with reds and oranges making up the world through the eyes of the Silent Ones.
As you meet your animal friends, there is a correlation between their different sounds and the colors. The selection wheel with the different animal symbols are color-coded, and when you change your voice, your hair will change color to reflect them.
Through audio you will learn to communicate with animals. Learning their “language” or sounds will allow you to learn their skills. This is done by singing to the creature and tuning your singing to theirs. On the Nintendo Switch (with motion control on), you tilt your Switch to tune your pitch. Doing this gives you tactile feedback as well as auditory the closer or farther away you get from the right pitch.
As Fe, you can run around and eventually climb trees, glide, and even ride on the backs of your animal companions. Just be aware that there are very little tutorial aspects in this game. Occasionally there are little prompts that have images to tell you what to do, but other than that the brief tutorials on the loading screen are as close as it gets. There is a stealth element in the game, where you need to hide from the Silent Ones and other enemies. There will be tall grass around that is darker than other grass patches. Just run over to one and your little hairs will stand up straight, mimicking the grass patch. Some creatures you will have to distract with a berry, or reach around and grab the orb from their tail.
If you are stuck, just look around to your environment and you will usually get a clue. There is also a map system, however the way-points do move. This is sometimes a nuisance but can be very useful for points of the game where it is telling you that you need to get up onto something that is not stationary. Additionally, if you get stuck, you can just sing really loudly and a helper bird will come and show you where to go.
There is no health bar for Fe, and there is no fall damage. However, if Fe falls from a great height they will act hurt once they hit the ground for a few seconds. When you’re exploring, try jumping places you don’t think you can go, as sometimes it is doable. Remember to explore and to follow your animal companions. Often times they will show you the way.
Each of the different creatures you meet on your adventure will have a different voice you will learn. Through these you can explore more of the world with the abilities this unlocks. Some creatures will allow you to ride on their backs when you have earned their trust. As stated before, the different voices also allow you to open flowers, pick up seeds, and glide through the air to get you where you need to go.
The glowing pink crystals that you see in the world allow you to unlock even more abilities for Fe. A lot of them require you to explore around the area beforehand and map out the way you will get them. Each ability requires you to collect a certain number of crystals. Some parts of the map are unreachable if you don’t have a specific ability, so collect all of the crystals that you can. If you get lost or need help figuring out how to get a crystal, EA has put out a guide on how to find them.
Collecting pink crystals along your journey will allow you to unlock abilities. Below is a list of the abilities, although these are just the names and descriptions that I came up with.
- Tree Climbing – climb up a tree and perch at the top
- Gliding – flying through the air
- Sprinting – get down on all fours by running in a straight line to pick up your pace
- Fast Glide – an upgrade to gliding, where you go faster
- Secret Scope – an ability that allows you to see secrets
- Elevated Gliding – a further upgrade to gliding, where you are able to increase your elevation by singing
Silent One Heads
In the game you will come across these little helmet-looking items which, if you sing to them, will release an orb. Picking up the orb will send you into the eyes of a Silent One to view a memory. These are interesting, because you often see scenes from the opposite side of the story.
In the end, I like the game. However, I feel that the story seems to be missing something. The emphasis on the visual and sound was great but the story seemed to lack connection without words. Just looking at the tablets, memories and seeing the story progress had me grasping at straws for the meaning of the game. The ending also left me hanging. In the end, I had to research what the actual meaning of the ending was and piece it together with the tablet pictures, memories, and the story I understood of the game. Another thing to note is that when there were moving elements of the game, I found that if you tried to jump or fly to a moving part, sometimes there would be a disassociation and you weren’t able to land on a tree or jump to a platform.
I know that they invested so much into the sound and visual aspects of the game because those were the main focuses. You play Fe to get the story through audio and visual cues. However, a small gripe is that the game is very short. Most people got through the main story in six hours, but for the price I can accept that. I would recommend playing Fe just for the artistic styling alone.