Lost Words: Beyond the Page

Game review by
Jeff Haynes, Common Sense Media
Lost Words: Beyond the Page Game Poster Image
Beautiful adventure deals with grief, perseverance, growth.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

In the created story, there are lots of positive themes, including courage, sacrifice, empathy, and perseverance across the adventure. Even during low moments, there's motivation to keep going through to the end, even when things are bleak. In real life, while Izzy goes through emotional turmoil because of her grandmother, she comes out of it a stronger person and writer.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Izzy is a young girl that wants to be a writer, and creates a unique world that she fleshes out with her imagination. She's generally positive, and while she goes through grief and emotional issues, she uses writing and talking to family to get through rough moments. By the end, she's confident, capable, and emotionally stronger.

Ease of Play

Controls are easy to learn and use. Izzy's character collects six words which are used to get her through the obstacles in her story's world. The camera can sometimes lag behind onscreen action, but this is a minor issue.

Violence

There's no combat in the game, and while your character can be hit by hazards like falling rocks or landing in lava, they quickly vanish and reappear without any blood or gore shown.

Sex
Language

"Dammit" pops up in text.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Lost Words: Beyond the Page is a downloadable adventure game for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Windows PCs, and Google Stadia. The game casts players as Izzy, a young girl who wants to be a writer and creates a vibrant fantasy world in her journal. But at the same time that she's creating her story, she's also dealing with a traumatic event in her real life. Fortunately, while she's challenged with overcoming this issue, perseveres in both her writing and her life to come out stronger on the other side. The strength that she demonstrates can be an excellent conversation starter for families when it comes to addressing loss, grief, or emotional distress. The controls of Lost Words are easy to learn and use, although the camera can sometimes lag behind onscreen action. There's no combat in the game, and your player needs to avoid hazards -- but getting hit by these objects results in your character disappearing (no blood or gore). There's also an use of "dammit" in the text in a moment of frustration. Otherwise, there's no iffy content.

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What's it about?

LOST WORDS: BEYOND THE PAGE is a unique adventure game that is springs to life from the words on a journal's pages. Players take on the role of Izzy, a young girl that wants to grow up to be a writer, and finds her dreams supported by her grandmother, who gives her a journal where she can jot her thoughts and ideas. Izzy starts creating her own fantasy world called Estoria, and builds a world where the words of her tale come to life thanks to a magic journal. The young girl of her story tries to protect her village with the power of special fireflies that save them from harm. But when her village is attacked by a dragon, scattering the fireflies, the young woman must head from her town across the lands of Estoria to find a way to defeat this threat. Players will be able to use the magic journal to solve puzzles and navigate each area. They'll also have options over time to make decisions that will affect and change the outcome of the story itself. Can you help Izzy complete her story and save Estoria? Will Izzy also be able to overcome some personal hardships to become the writer she always wanted to be?

Is it any good?

This beautiful tale manages to tug at your heartstrings while providing a beautiful tale of loss, perseverance, and personal growth through tragic circumstances. Lost Words: Beyond the Page is a beautiful story of a young girl and her connection with her grandmother, who supports her dreams of becoming a writer. Izzy's link crosses over to the story she writes, where her main character is advised by an elder in her village. Unfortunately, tragedy strikes both her story and her real life: the character's village is attacked by a dragon, while Izzy's grandmother has a sudden medical emergency. Without spoiling the plot, both Izzy and her character go through an emotional journey in responding to their grief, anger, and doubt about how to proceed with their lives and accomplish their goals. Thanks to excellent voice acting, it's hard to not feel bad for Izzy as she goes through this difficult time and cheer for her when she comes through the worst times with a newer found sense of confidence and purpose in her writing. It's not a long game, but by the end, you feel like you've seen true growth in her as an author and person.

The gameplay in Izzy's created world is simple, but engaging. Her character's magic journal holds words to raise platforms, break objects, and more. You can use these words as often as you'd like on the environment, allowing you to explore and attempt different solutions to puzzles. There's no combat to focus on, so you're free to explore and make mistakes. What's clever is there are moments where players can make decisions that change the direction of the story, which gives players a stake in completing the tale the way they'd like to see it play out (or believe that Izzy should've written it). Unfortunately, the camera doesn't always move as quickly as your character does, so you'll sometimes fall into hazards or past items you want to collect. But it’s a minor issue compared to the great gameplay and story. Lost Words: Beyond the Page is an emotional treat for players of all ages.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about perseverance. How do you keep motivating yourself to keep going forward when you might want to quit? Does it help to have friends and family motivate you? Is it better if you push through things alone? When do you need help to keep yourself pushing forward through obstacles?

  • How do you handle grief or sad situations? Do you ever fully get over your grief, or does it become a part of you that helps you grow into a new person?

Game details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love adventure

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