Lost Words: Beyond the Page (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Nayu 16.06.2022

Review for Lost Words: Beyond the Page on Nintendo Switch

Using elements from platformers and visual novels, Lost Words: Beyond the Page tells the story of a young girl who is experiencing health-related drama in her family. The game alternates between Izzy writing in her diary about updates concerning her family's health and an intriguing adventure story about a protagonist whose name, actions and decisions have multiple choices directly selected by the player. Developed by Sketchbook Games and Fourth State and brought to Nintendo Switch by Modus Games, it's time to dive into a cleverly constructed watercolour-themed world where the power of words must not be underestimated.

Starting out as diary, with the story written on the page and spoken by Izzy, sentences are not written in simple straight lines in Lost Words: Beyond the Page. Depending on the tone of the narration, the words can change size and style as they appear. Once a page is written the words act like platforms, which must be traversed by the little character to unlock the next part of the story which takes place in the imaginary world in Izzy's head. The words themselves need to be moved or have the cursor move over them for them to change size so they can be used for platforms to reach the page's exit. Sometimes words are missing and they have to put into the right place so that they make sense. At several parts in the story it is completely up to the player to choose which words they want to fit the sentence: several options are given and whichever is chosen will be used and does affect the story in a small way, creating options for replaying the game and choosing a different path.

When the story flips to Izzy's imaginary world, instead of using an ordinary diary as the main platform it looks more like a traditional platformer, with words appearing on the screen and also spoken as Izzy narrates them. There are spells which, when deployed, help the protagonist get around impossibly tall walls, crawl underground and protect themselves from harm. Some of the spells can be used countless times, even when they are not required, others only appear when they are needed, unable to be used out of context for the sheer fun of it. It can take a bit of time to work out how to activate the spells, it is not always explained what needs to be done and what they are for, but once the knowledge is learnt it becomes easier to progress through that fictional world.

Screenshot for Lost Words: Beyond the Page on Nintendo Switch

It can be infuriating having the story then switch back to the diary because it almost always happens at a crucial moment when finding out what happens next is of vital importance. The diary entries can be positive but more often they deal with a lot of difficult emotions; with Izzy's grandmother getting ill, how Izzy feels about the situation and also how her mother reacts to it. The type of animation in the diary matches the mood of that scene, which due to the nature of the game is often sad and confusing.

The exploration of emotions is so important and could well help those who are going through similar difficulties in real life, or prepare them for it when it happens. As both Izzy and the other protagonist discover, loved ones are not invincible, nor will they always be around. Creating a fictional story as a way to work out her emotions helps Izzy cope with the trauma she faces, which feels so raw and at times overwhelming. During those moments Izzy's fictional tale sees her character go through a similar experience, getting rather bleak and hope definitely vanishes for a while. Both colours and soundtrack are crucial in creating dramatic atmosphere, working in harmony to make intense scenes that may mean some have to take a break from the game if the emotions strike close to home. However, the advantage of the story being in her head means that Izzy has the power to give the fictional character a happier ending than she has. Izzy can not turn back time or magic happy solutions from thin air for her own life, but she learns to hold on to wise words from her family which give her hope and help her forge forward and regain hope in what is a trying time.

Screenshot for Lost Words: Beyond the Page on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

9/10
Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

Rated 9 out of 10

Due to the strength and way emotions towards life drama and adversity are explored by Izzy in her diary and her imagined world, Lost Words: Beyond The Page is a must-have game for Nintendo Switch owners. There is a near-perfect balance of exploring sadness, helplessness, loss of hope and also hope itself through Izzy's own experience and how she drives her fictional character through a tough situation that really tugs on heartstrings and uses clever game mechanics to drive both tales forward to a highly satisfactory end.

Developer

Sketchbook Games

Publisher

Modus Games

Genre

2D Platformer

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

There are no replies to this review yet. Why not be the first?

Comment on this article

You can comment as a guest or join the Cubed3 community below: Sign Up for Free Account Login

Preview PostPreview Post Your Name:
Validate your comment
  Enter the letters in the image to validate your comment.
Submit Post

Subscribe to this topic Subscribe to this topic

If you are a registered member and logged in, you can also subscribe to topics by email.
Sign up today for blogs, games collections, reader reviews and much more
Site Feed
Who's Online?
juzzy

There are 1 members online at the moment.