If Found Review – Call Me By My Name

A little empathy goes a long way. Especially when it comes to those we seek unconditional love and support from, it can mean the difference between spiralling into a black hole of depression and having the comfort to simply exist free of judgment. It’s one of the many themes If Found so vividly represents in sketchbook-style visual novel form. Through expressive minimalist illustrations, ethereal sound design, sharp writing, and thematic coherence, the chaos and serenity of young adulthood jumps out of its pages for a story that’s heartbreaking, heartwarming, and wholly affecting.

With a diary and eraser, we recollect and move past the memories of main character Kasio during a pivotal time in her life. It’s December 1993 in County Mayo of Ireland, and having come back to her small hometown of Achill from Dublin for the holidays, she’s kind of lost. With two higher-education degrees to her name and a lukewarm desire to pursue a Ph.D, she gets the “why don’t you get a decent job and start a decent life” spiel from her mom–a conversation that some of us are all too familiar with. But underlying in this early exchange is a hint that a source of pain comes from her own mom seeing right past who Kasio really is.

Tension between Kasio and her mom can paint painful scenes.
Tension between Kasio and her mom can paint painful scenes.

In real life, not everyone has a place to go, a network to build off and help spring you into adulthood, or even a loving home to fall back on–such is Kasio’s life. As you literally erase each scene on screen with your cursor to move through the day-by-day events, all of her introspections and interactions are laid bare. Erasure is a simple gameplay mechanic, making you peel layers upon layers of vivid memories, and one with powerful implications.

Continue Reading at GameSpot

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