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Lost Words: Beyond the Page E3 2019 Hands-on Preview

Lost Words is one of those games where I wasn’t fully on board at first, but once I got to see the game in action and play around with it, I quickly became a fan. Honestly, Lost Words: Beyond the Page is perhaps my most anticipated indie title of E3, or at least the top 5 of what I played. I haven’t decided yet.

In any case, Lost Words, at its core, is a beautiful 2D puzzle platformer that splits the perspective between the main narrator and the story that she is writing. During the narrator sequences, you use platform mechanics and manipulate words on the screen to continue on the narration.

At different points in the game, you will move over to the story she is writing within her journal. These sections are again 2D puzzle platform sections that use the same mechanics as the narration segments of the game.

The puzzles mostly include manipulating words and sections on the screen to progress the story or activate areas on the screen to allow you to pass.

Sometimes you will need to complete a sentence in the narration part of the game or move something across the screen to allow the character to progress. In the story section, these puzzles return, but in an interactive, vibrant world.

The narrator is set by the story and is a young girl and her family, most notably her grand mother. The narrator and her grand mother fall victim to a traumatic experience.

This experience pushes the young narrator to write her own story, not only as a way to make something that will make her grand mother proud of her, but also as a way to deal with this event that she has no other way to conceptualize and deal with.

The story segments, set in the fantastical world of Estoria, which is under the guidance of the caretakers and fireflies. The character here is semi customizable by the player.

You can choose her name, her starting gift, her favorite color and a few other things. The demo I was able to play started with the narrator introducing herself and then moved on to the story elements.

The story segments of the game were just these incredibly vibrant and beautiful sections where you had to use different words found through gameplay to solve puzzles.

In the demo, you needed to use the word “Raise” to move a lift and then later create a stone path to the alter where the character became the new guardian of the town/region of that section of the game.

For a puzzle platformer, Lost Words is an enjoyable experience that offers up a few unique mechanics to help it move the narrative along. The real joy here is the music in each of the different segments of the game, the graphics, and aesthetics throughout the game. The controls are tight for a platformer, and the mechanics of moving words about and interchanging them are fairly intuitive.

Lost Words: Beyond the Page is published by Modus and developed by Sketchbook games. Lost Words is slated for release December 2019 and will be available on PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and PC.

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Caitlin Harper

About

Born in the south but raised in military bases around the world, Caitlin has been gaming since her father first brought home an NES with Super Mario Bros. and Zelda 2. She's also a lover of all things anime, oppai and adventure.