The previous Stadia exclusive is due to release on PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC (via Steam) on April 6, 2021, and follows the story of young protagonist Izzie as she fills a diary with fantasy worlds as well as her innermost thoughts and feelings while she experiences a difficult time in her life.
The game is half set in the pages of a diary and half set in the fantasy world of Estoria where the real-world issues that affect Lizzie end up having repercussions in her fantasy world. According to the studio’s founder Mark Backler, Sketchbook Games “wanted to make a game that had a positive impact” and by designing their game around the idea of grief and understanding loss, this is sure to take players on an emotional journey.
This coming of age story is penned by Tomb Raider and Mirror’s Edge writer Rhianna Pratchett who says that she’s “never been on a project where narrative and design have been quite so heavily linked as they have been on Lost Words.” The writer even noted how she managed to include some of her own personal experiences in this script, as well as relying on research from The Wellcome Trust who gave the developers an insight into child psychology and trauma.
According to Rhianna, not only was the story inspired by the stages of grief, but the level design, music, art, puzzles, and overall tone of the game was too. She reassures us though that although it might seem sad and sombre, the game's actually quite hopeful and joyful, noting that “it's really about how our memories help keep people alive who we’ve lost”
Check out more of the new games coming out this year.