It’s 1993 in Ireland, and the world is changing. The Castlerock Killings are still a vivid reminder of the Emerald Isle’s grisly history of religious terrorism, the IRA is hellbent on driving Britain out of the nation and a certain Good Friday is still many years away. In the mix of all this is Kasio, a young woman struggling to find her place in life.
Kasio’s journey starts out in the infinite void of space…or at least her narrative journey did. If Found from developer Dreamfeel is a game with a single direction and a single action, one that tasks you with erasing the past within Kasio’s diary as she travels forward into an uncertain future. Every stroke of your finger (or mouse if you’re playing on PC), reveals more of who Kasio is, more of the beautiful world she inhabits and the people she interacts with.
There is a catch though! While you’re free to erase everything in front of you at breackneck speed, to do so would do If Only a disservice. There’s an intricate architecture built on each page, each diary entry punctuated by beautiful scribbles and doodles that further illustrate Kasio’s tale. There’s a deep dive into Irish slang (mercifully explained with crib notes), there’s a cast of friends and family to engage with and a sense of the finite as Kasio finds herself on a collision course with her choices that will define the person that she will become.
Kasio herself is amazingly fleshed out, a flawed individual with a pair of college degrees and no clue as to how to put them together so that she can take the next step in her life. With out of touch family, aimless friends and outcasts surrounding her, Kasio’s only respite is her diary that reveals more of her defining years as you move through each page and hidden layers of personality.
It’s a simple yet elegant approach, one that pulls no punches when it comes to painful trauma from the past and vivid recollections of relationships that never worked out for the best. It’s the small moments, the small victories that slots into a brief but mesmerising story of growing up, one that ably combines Irish culture with pages upon pages of impactful art and a soundtrack that delivers an emotional gut punch during Kasio’s defining moments of life.
All this, and sci-fi themes on top of the never-ending quest for truth, makes If Found is a mesmerising examination of life, growth and the triumph that comes with finding your own path in an unforgiving world.
Last Updated: May 27, 2020