This is a screenshot from the video game Journal, featuring the player's character, a girl in a red dress, a beret, and black boots, standing in front of a man leaning on a rake. The man is giving the girl advice on life. They are in a park.

Journal Review

Genre | Adventure, Interactive Fiction
Developer | Locked Door Puzzle
Platforms | PC, Linux, OSX
Website | http://journal.lockeddoorpuzzle.com

Journal is a side scrolling adventure game in which the player takes control of a young girl who one day realizes that all the pages in her eponymous journal have gone blank. The player moves the girl through various locations in the game world, engages in conversations, and progresses the plot until the end of the game. Vignettes occupy interstices.

Journal features sixteen characters to speak with, five days, five vignettes, ten achievements, twenty four locations, and a jump button. The player can move left or right and jump. If the edge is not blocked, the player can exit through the edge of the screen to the left or right, either by walking off the edge or by pressing the interaction button at an exit. The player can also use the interaction button to speak to people and choose dialog responses in some parts of some conversations.

The world in Journal progressively opens up as the game advances, allowing the player access to additional locations and conversations. The player can talk to people multiple times per day about multiple topics, or avoid conversations if they so choose. In some conversations the player is presented with a choice about how to react and subsequently acquires information about the situation discussed in the conversation, thus informing them as to the nature of what they have done only after they have decided how the character they control chooses to talk about it.

The graphics in Journal are in two styles. One is a hand drawn style. The characters and some parts of the background move, while other parts of the background are static. Some aspects of the environment are fantastical in nature, like trees that float in the air. Another style is the three dimensional graphics used to depict the room and desk in which the journal sits, and which display puppet show vignettes between days, and wallpaper with birds. The sounds in Journal change as the player moves from location to location, and include the sounds of children playing. The music in Journal features a piano playing.

Choices presented to the player in Journal include choices about how to feel about certain situations. The emotion that the player selects determines how the player’s character responds in a given conversation. For instance, the player may choose to react dismissively when the player’s character’s friend mentions that she is upset. Characters in Journal have varying personalities and react to the player’s character in various ways, some of which the player can influence via dialog options and some of which the player cannot.

This is a score for an objective game review. The score is an 8 out of 10.