The Forgotten City, the award-winning time-looping murder mystery that started life as a Skyrim mod, is launching on Nintendo Switch as a cloud game today.
If you aren’t familiar with The Forgotten City, there’s a fair bit to unpack. It was first launched in 2015 as a Skyrim mod set in the Dwarven ruins of The Reach, and it told a trippy, existential story built around a unique time-looping mechanic. After much fanfare and winning a National Writers Guild Award in Australia in 2016, work began on turning The Forgotten City into a standalone game that would replace Skyrim’s world and lore with an original story set in a secret underground city during the Roman Empire.
At The Forgotten City’s initial July launch, we sat down with Nick James Pearce, who’s responsible for the mod and standalone game, and he walked us through the game’s conception all the way through its final stage as a standalone open-world RPG. In short, Pearce explained that it felt like “building a house from scratch” and took the help of a Cambridge philosophy professor and a 20-year archaeologist to complete, which should give you some sense of the game’s scope. Calling The Forgotten City a “Skyrim mod” is tragically underselling the experience.
“Trapped in a secret underground city during the Roman Empire, twenty-three lost souls cling to life,” reads the game’s official synopsis. “In this precarious utopia, if one person breaks the mysterious Golden Rule, everyone dies. Players must relive the city’s final moments in an endless loop, changing the course of the day with each secret they uncover. Combat is an option, but violence will only get them so far. Only by cleverly exploiting the time loop and making difficult moral choices can they hope to unravel this murderous riddle.”
The Forgotten City is available on the Switch eShop (opens in new tab) for $29.99, and there’s also a free demo you can check out. Just keep in mind that because the Switch version is cloud-based, you’ll need a persistent, high-speed internet connection for a smooth experience.
Find out where we ranked The Forgotten City on our list of the best Skyrim mods available now.