Developed by Richard Perrin and Melissa Royall, Journal is a game about regret. More importantly childhood regret. The player takes control of a young girl whose journal has been tampered with to the extent that all the pages in it are blank.
The game centres around the player retrieving the contents of the pages by travelling the in-game world and interacting with people. As more interactions occur, more pages of text in the Journal are revealed . The conversations are branching in nature, with certain branches triggering further dialogue.
The game is presented in a 2D plane with the player's character being a cartoon drawing that has been animated by Melissa, as has all the art in the game. The art style is a hand drawn child with it shifting in and out of position in a Rhubarb and Custard like manner. This brings with it a sense of charm to a game that is ultimately rather dark.
The game is also voiced and the acting in it is convincing. There are some background sound effects that do much to add to the atmosphere of this very dark little game.
This is the second game this team have created, the first of which was Kairo. That game was more about hope, to quote developer Richard Perrin, where as Journal is much more about looking back on previous actions and having to accept the consequences of those actions.
From what was played and seen, Journal appears to be an a-typical video game, with little to no traditional game like elements such as puzzles that need to be solved in order for the player to progress. It is more of a game that delivers a narrative to the player that they slowly reveal as they play the game. It's a brave concept that just may pay off.
Journal will appear at the end of the year for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android and iOS.