Reviews - Updated on April 3, 2022

Developers often hit below the belt and, as they say, put pressure on pity when they make heroes of children who have lost loved ones, went in search of a sister or brother, trying to reconcile divorcing parents or save them from alcoholism. We have seen a lot of such games, but not all of them reinforce another tear-jerking story with originality, freshness in its presentation and the gameplay itself. Of the good, you can, for example, recall Among the Sleep and Contrast. Now here in this list you can bring and platformer-adventure Lost Words: Beyond the Page, written by Rhianna Pratchett (Rhianna Pratchett), which may have issued the best script in his career.

I want to write, let them teach me!

Attitude towards Rihanna Pratchett, the daughter of the famous Terry Pratchett (Terry Pratchett), is ambiguous for many. She is known for her scripts for Mirror’s Edge, Tomb Raider, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Overlord, Heavenly Sword, Thief, but if Rihanna’s colleagues nominate her for various awards, including BAFTA, then the players themselves always find something to complain about – either flat villains, or feminism will be found, or they will be reproached for Russophobia.

And from this point of view, Lost Words: Beyond the Page should have the least complaints – this is a very personal story about a girl (written off, apparently, from Rihanna herself) who wanted to become a writer. About this desire of hers, as well as about her life, about her parents and her beloved grandmother, Izzy (that’s the name of the girl) tells her diary – it is on its pages that we will spend half the game.

Lost Words: Beyond the Page: Обзор

It really reminds bright modern diaries for girls.

And the test of the pen of a young writer is the adventures of a little keeper in the fantasy country of Estoria. A huge evil dragon attacked her village, and now the heroine needs to go through various tests and fight him. It is in 3D Estoria that we play the other half of the game.

Lost Words: Beyond the Page: Обзор

Here we will meet many interesting characters.

The truth of life

Soon, the little writer learns that her grandmother was hospitalized with a heart attack, and completely different entries appear on the pages of the diary. For what? Why? And the confrontation with the dragon, which says that sooner or later everything – and she, and even him – comes to an end, acquires a deeper, metaphorical overtones. The situation is clearly being played out when the child first learns that he or his loved ones may die, and really does not want to put up with it.

Therefore, in Lost Words: Beyond the Page, of course, there are many sentimental situations. The girl remembers her grandmother; wants to do something for her or for her mother – at least clean the room or wash the dishes to cheer them up, and does not want to listen to her dad soothing her, who says that everything supposedly will work out. The girl either falls into hysterics, or is filled with enthusiasm, at some point, when the worst happened, she seems to want to throw away the diary – and in any case, every time you feel with what emotions and pain she goes through it.

Lost Words: Beyond the Page: Обзор

A girl can be very emotional!

It is clear that Pratchett presses on pity, but we must admit that this time she does it with real talent and subtlety. Including because it pinpoints a sentimental, but so clear to everyone reality with adventures in a fictional world, where her heroine finds and loses friends who yesterday still seemed to be enemies, and now they are even ready to sacrifice themselves for her.

Lost Words: Beyond the Page: Обзор

This evil creature is much softer and more pleasant than it seems.

We play in the diary

The fact that Lost Words: Beyond the Page is not just another attempt to squeeze a tear out of adults about childhood experiences and personal dramas, but a really talented and in many ways original work, is also evidenced by the gameplay itself. More precisely, that part of it that takes place on the pages of the diary of a young writer.

What happens in Estoria as a whole is pretty standard by the standards of the genre. We run, jump, move boxes (where would we do without it!) and use magic to solve puzzles and overcome obstacles. Only here it is not necessary to “cast” it – we just learn different words in the story and pull them out of the diary, using them where necessary. So, you can break something or, conversely, fix it, set fire to a fuse to blow up an obstacle, make objects soar up, light your way in the dark and interrupt enemy spells.

This is how we repair the bridge on the go and lift the stones with the power of the word.

But on the pages of the diary, everything is done more interesting, original and tasteful. There we control a little writer who jumps along the lines and letters that appear under her feet, collects phrases from words, rearranges individual lines to use them as steps, draws and erases something, solves riddles, collects puzzles, flies on an airplane and , for example, she recalls the story of her grandmother, how she and her little mother went to the cinema to see Star Wars: naturally, lines begin to float through the diary, as in the famous introduction to all the films of the saga. And the girl calls her grandmother in an oxygen mask none other than Dart Granny …

Lost Words: Beyond the Page: Обзор

What just does not happen on the pages of the diary.

In general, there are many original finds here, and therefore what is happening on the pages of the diary looks so fresh and emotional. And this is reinforced by the possibility in some situations to choose what the character of the heroine of the story Izzy will be, what her name will be, who owned the camp that the girl came across – merchants, soldiers or philosophers. This does not affect global things in history, but it changes the surroundings and details. For example, if you decide that the heroine of the story is a smart girl, then she will find books and talk about them. And if they made her a fidget, always wanting to play, then she will start the game with a ball in her hands. As they say, a trifle, but nice.

Lost Words: Beyond the Page: Обзор

And here, right in the diary, we grow a tree.

This time, Rihanna Pratchett turned out to be perhaps her best story – it is very personal, and time itself, life and its sometimes gloomy laws act as “cardboard villains”. So all the enthusiasm that was bombarded with Lost Words: Beyond the Page on Google Stadia, and the prizes awarded to the authors this time, are completely justified. If you don’t believe me, play it yourself and make sure that the girl who dreamed of becoming a writer really became one.

Pros: an interesting and emotional story, which is also presented in an original way through the pages of a girl’s diary; has its own style and atmosphere; the drawings in the diary are beyond praise; quality sound and music.

Cons: The game is quite short; the platform part is inferior to the diary part in originality and expressiveness.

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