In times of horrible news reaching me each day I sometimes like to resort to the woods and take a walk. Turning off my head and listen to the sounds of nature. For Fe, the sounds of nature are the key element in this game. You play the little fairy that’s slowly learning to talk to each animal in the forest and try to protect it against the silent ones that take everyone away who is too noisy. Let’s see if you should buy Fe on the Nintendo Switch.
Fe, protector of the forest
You play Fe, which is Swedish for fairy, a little creature that’s instantly trying to bond with each animal it sees in the forest and uses singing for it. You as the player simply stand in front of the animal you want to befriend and start singing with the right trigger. Now with controllers that have motion sensoring, you can now tune your voice by tilting the controller forward or backwards, so your voice raises or lowers while singing. The menu text reminds you to be gently when talking to animals so in most cases you won’t start too loud. This singing mechanic feels very natural and you’ll get to use it a lot. It’s quite loving how each being reacts after successfully linking.
But why sing anyway?
With this done, help can unlocked such as a deer that’s using its voice to unlock a flower that only it can speak to, which helps you to reach a higher platform. Then there are smaller ferret like beings which speak their own language and unlock a different flower that, instead of uplifting you is bouncing you off instead. Of course also birds join in, with smaller ones leading you around as they know where to go next and bigger birds can even take you on their back to deliver you to a new area you’re not able to get at first. There are many more animals in the forest and beyond which makes the game exciting each time you find a new path to explore.
Fe and its abilities
The little fairy can not just sing, but also is a 3D platforming character that uses the nature around it to reach new paths and exploring new zones. While exploring the first hub-like area, you’ll notice a giant tree that’s calmly waiting for you to approach it’s big platform in front of it. You’ll find yourself seeing some crystal orbs floating around and will quickly gather enough to unlock the first new ability: climbing. So besides basic jumping and singing, Fe also expands its abilities by being given them from the old tree. First it’s only climbing but soon after you’ll also get floating in the air, which together enable you reach much further and higher places later on. With those two, you are ready to explore everything the forest has to offer. You will learn new languages from the eldest animals you’ll see and these enable you also to interact with adults of animals and being independent from helpers to unlock gameplay elements like the many different flowers.
The silent ones
The silent ones are the forest’s enemies as you’ll quickly find out: they don’t like noise. Swarming the forest you’ll notice how each of them can capture animals in sticky cages which can only be destroyed with the natural resources of the forest which is locked in green flowers. Utilizing your bird friends and later on learning to sing like a bird will grand you to open these green flowers independently. You can carry them around and throw them as decoys to distract silent ones or to break down caged animals or paths. Each progress in Fe is set up like this. You’ll find a new path in the forest to explore, you’ll have to find a way around the silent one’s to stop what they do and you’ll be granted a new voice to work with while using helpers along your way. But who actually are the silent ones?
The tragedy behind Fe
Without spoiling too much, I’ll just tease that even the silent ones that lead to a game over if they manage to capture you, are having a bigger plan in the backhand which is to solve a problem they themself have created. You’ll find dead corpses of silent ones more and more and also little memory stones which drop a crystal that Fe can read in order to see what happened in the past. The story that slowly unravels to you is going to change how you view the bad guys and it’s a nice collectathon addition as well.
Content and problems
While I have been positive about Fe so far, there are some negative points I have to talk about. Fe is short. Very short to be exact. I could run through the base story of the game within 4 hours of playtime and while I still have a lot to collect in terms of crystals for unlocks and still some left silent ones memories, I don’t think I’ll really feel like I want to go back again. The game solved the story that quickly that I either completely missed another goal behind the main storyline or there is simply not much else to left other than to complete the games collectible challenges. Once the credits roled I was both happy and a bit sad that the journey ended again so quickly. But looking back at least for what quality time I had with Fe, I am still happy to have played it, as it is charming as a game can be. Especially if you’re just weak to cute small animals, this game is for you. With that being said, on the Nintendo Switch the performance was subpar and low 20 fps segments where both noticeable and annoying to play through. The performance mostly catches itself quickly to come back to standard 30 fps, but it’s a shame overall. If this doesn’t bother you too much, you can easily grab the Nintendo Switch version. Everyone else might be better off with the other platforms the game was released on.