Enter the pages of the hand painted world of Journal. A journey through the life of a young and troubled girl as she tries to face up to the choices and responsibilities that come with childhood. An experience that questions the reliability of how we choose to remember events and explores the truths hidden within our dreams.
User reviews: Very Positive (62 reviews)
Release Date: Feb 17, 2014

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About This Game

Enter the pages of the hand painted world of Journal. A journey through the life of a young and troubled girl as she tries to face up to the choices and responsibilities that come with childhood. An experience that questions the reliability of how we choose to remember events and explores the truths hidden within our dreams.

Journal is a narrative driven adventure game by Richard Perrin, the creator of Kairo and the white chamber, with art and writing by Melissa Royall.

System Requirements

PC
Mac
Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP
    • Processor: 2GHz Dual Core
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Shader Model 3.0
    • Hard Drive: 250 MB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: OSX 10.6
    • Processor: 2GHz Dual Core
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Shader Model 3.0
    • Hard Drive: 250 MB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: Ubuntu 10.10
    • Processor: 2GHz Dual Core
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Shader Model 3.0
    • Hard Drive: 250 MB available space
Helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.7 hrs on record
Gone Home in 2D cartoon world. Another unusual girl's story.
6/10
Posted: October 12
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.5 hrs on record
A simple little story that you could call it as "interactive fiction". Following the story of a young girl and her quest to fill the pages of her journal, it is well written and has a very charming appeal in the design and flow of the game. The only objection I'd have would be that its a bit too short, yet it's very nice and I'd recommend that you'd give it a go just as a reprieve from the monster slaying and portal jumping .
Posted: October 19
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52 of 57 people (91%) found this review helpful
1.8 hrs on record
Personal Rating: "Grab it during a sale"
Traditional Rating: 5.5/10
Genre: Indie Adventure

I am not really sure what to make of indie darling Richard Perrin's (the maker of the wonderful puzzler Kairo) latest game - Journal. It's clear from the ending that it must have been a deeply personal project, but I am still not entirely convinced the adventure game medium was the best way to tell this tale. First things first - Journal is not much a game, but more an interactive choose-your-own adventure kind of experience. How you view this in relation to what you consider constitutes the act of gaming will greatly affect the way you will probably feel about the title. Most are probably going to be dismissive about it and that is perfectly fine since Journal exists in a tightly sealed niché vacuum. I am all for games expanding beyond the traditional shoot-to-kill or might-and-magic tropes that have become gaming's hobbyhorse of late but I am not convinced that Journal is going to be the one to breach those shores.

The game opens with an unnamed girl whose diary seems to have lost all its pages. Interrogating friends and family on the various topics that crop up or situations the young girl finds herself in will result in her journal once again fleshing itself out. These engagements will also start to give you some context into this young girls life. We soon learn that her parents are separated but we don't learn the truth behind this separation until the final stages of this brief adventure. The games central themes of loss and grief are slowly recorded within the journal but the problem here is that the journal, a central plot-device, is often left on the sidelines as we endure one too many angst-ridden teenage growing pain moments (the Diary of Adrian Mole this most certainly ain't).

Maybe I am just too old and I have forgotten what it must feel like to be a selfish teenager and all the drama that accompanies those evolving years, but I found I cared less and less about stolen snow globes, broken windows or cheating on math tests and even more so when I was trying to do good by helping a pair of school friends fall into love when beneath the surface of this action it did nothing but cut and scar my young protagonist's heart. There is a bigger theme at play here that eventually gives rise to the reasons why the young girl is behaving the way she is and I am not going to reveal it for those still interested in playing Journal. This late game reveal does try to ground the actions that preceded it, but in the end I found it didn't really move me.

There are some striking things to be found in Journal though. The carnival puppet show that moves each chapter along is engrossing and very well told, eventually tying into the games main story-line and one can't deny it does exude a certain British charm, even if that charm feels as though it has come direct to us from the 1950's. There is a human beating heart at the core of this game - it's just a pity that it's all so surface-level philosophy (ripped straight from psychology 101) than the actual tapping into of one of life's realities - that life can often be a tangled mess when concerned with the likes of human emotion. The game is accompanied by a lovely piano score that while often depressing to listen to suits the tone of the game quite well.

Journal asks that its user be a bit more introspective, but in the end the message it conveys is something one would more likely find written on a milk or cereal carton and that ultimately diminishes its power. Try it - if you dare to be different - but just don't expect your indie world to be spun off its axis.
Posted: July 13
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17 of 18 people (94%) found this review helpful
1.4 hrs on record
Journal comes with few interesting features like visualization and music, and rely heavily on storytelling aspect. However story isn't that gripping or intriguing from start till the end, even though final "twist" helps a bit.

I personally didn't enjoy this game as much as i would like to, but quality is present.

6/10
Posted: July 11
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10 of 11 people (91%) found this review helpful
2.2 hrs on record
A very short and linear story about a teenage girl navigating through griefs of adolescence, some of them more intimate than others. The style is an appealing novelty, and the writing itself is solid, with great moments of poignancy as the days progress and the world broadens for you, but these positives are quickly bogged down by clunky controls, glitchy area transitions, and general code/etc hiccups. Still, I recommend picking it up at a substantial discount for the experience.
Posted: June 27
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8 of 10 people (80%) found this review helpful
2.3 hrs on record
Journal is a very enjoyable inde adv game, It requires no real skill other than a willingness to explore the world and converse with the NPCs in it. Journal tells the story of an unnamed women, looking back on a difficult time in her child hood through her journal, which you are helping her write as you play. The unusual premise and the beautiful hand drawn children’s story book graphics are worth the price of admission alone. The story elements (divorce, death, friendship, coming of age) are never handled to deeply, but it was enough to cause me to think back on my life more than once as I played which is something very few video games have ever accomplished, its more like a good novel or movie in that way. The only game aspects are how you chose to answer questions (aggressive, guilty, positive, pessimistic), how much of the world you interact with, and how that changes your relationships along the way. None of this ever really changes the outcome, which will make sense once you play it and the story even addresses this at a point. If you enjoy adventure games and can have some empathy with a main character in fiction then you will enjoy Journal. Oh, and it plays great with a gamepad too.
Posted: June 22
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
5.3 hrs on record
In my opinion this game was a success. Im not going to tell you certain details of the game as I feel reviews shouldnt contain spoilers becuase many people buy games based upon the reviews and so will read them before hand.

I can tell you that this game is worth getting. Although journal is a short game its certainly worth the 6.99! A tale of a girl going though a hard time in her life is told in a very interesting and engaging fashion.
The artistic style is very simple and are crude scribbles relating to those a child might do, linking in to the main character, This i feel helps pull you in and make the story more immersive. The other style is a sharp animated puppet show at the end of each chapter in the game which breaks the game up into sections well. The two voice actors featured are very good. The voice of the girl is done excellently and really makes me believe what she was saying, The character doesn't voice all her lines which i like as when she does choose to speak it has more of an impact. The voice over the little puppet shows is also brilliantly cast, they have a natural narrative voice that put weight into the stories they told.

The controlls are simple and the overall game is simple and uncomplecated to. Its good for when you want to just relax and get involved in a hearttouching story. The message really came through for me and I can tell you I cried the first three times I played it. I'm not saying it's perfect and of course its not everyones cup of tea, If you like stratagy shooters then you will find your self very bored very quickly. However if you're into indie games or games with a strong story then this is for you 100%
Posted: June 10
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
1.8 hrs on record
This game is just Short N' Sweet, a nic elittle story line and great commentary. The end is a bit sad though, gave me chills. I wouldn't really wanna buy this for the full price though... I bought it on sale for $2.50 or something.
Posted: June 6
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.0 hrs on record
Interactive fiction at its finest. A beautiful, haunting story; wonderfully told. One of the few "games as art" titles that doesn't feel pretentious. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
Posted: June 14
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.4 hrs on record
This game was surprising; I didn't think that it would get me quite the way it did, but I really got into the story and it was absolutely moving. I loved it, and I highly reccommend the game.
Posted: June 23
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.7 hrs on record
Interesting concept and story. If you like visual novels and story-driven (as in, you're not keen on the puzzles) adventure games, this is for you. The biggest down side it is a lack of polish.

Pros: Good writing. The storybook, child-like art is really nice. Original concept, not something seen in games much.

Cons: The pointless 3d UI, it's glitchy and adds nothing. The interaction is clunky. Not as polished as it could be.
Posted: September 16
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.4 hrs on record
For a game that took under two hours to experience, this was remarkably well-done. I may have spent 1% of the time in Journal that I did in Skyrim, but I have a feeling that these characters and this story will stay with me for just as long.

It's hard to say what the game is about without ruining the experience. Journal won't test your reflexes or puzzle-solving ability. The game is difficult. Which isn't to say it's hard to win -- it's difficult in that it forces you to grapple with a very personal and affecting story.

Highly recommended if you're into interactive narratives that couldn't be accomplished in any other medium. Beautiful soundtrack.
Posted: June 30
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.5 hrs on record
This is a very strange game. When I first started I thought that it was a game with a decent narrative that was very poorly executed. You end up being confused and it seems like information that can even seem irrelevant is being shoved at you in the wrong order. It turns out that this is exactly what Journal is trying to accomplish.

I think that if you go into this game with an open mind, try not to play it like an RPG but rather an experiencial narrative, and know that everthing that seems confusing is intentional, It's possible that it will bring you a very personal and emotional experience that only certain Indie games are wont to do. To the Moon is the other game that comes to mind as a personal and emotional journey, although the two are drastically different in execution; just like To the Moon it is best to play this game in one sitting so as to experience the entity as an undisected whole.

I don't guarantee that you will love this game, but take a chance and you just might. It's definitely not for everybody, but if you enjoy the Indie narrative subgenre(or adventure game without the obsessive clicking as I like to think of it), I would suggest giving it a try.
Posted: July 8
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2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
3.0 hrs on record
As much as I really wanted this game, and even wanted to give it a good review I just can't. I am sitting here fresh after playing it, feeling terrible after the game. Most of the time I can review games with a better manner of my feelings. This game however even though it made me feel terrible, it was for all the wrong reasons.

You have absolutely no influence in this game what-so-ever. When I found out this girl was a bit of a trouble maker I thought I could just make the right choices and avoid it. To no avail though. And decisions were able to be made before you even knew what was going on. Like the broken window, your friend is upset because everyone thinks she did it, you tell her you know you didn't do it just to hear from someone else you were the one saying she did it.

You also steal from charity, but not by choice, and you're not even aware of it until your stopped by a police officer and your character admits she stole. Then you can't even take it back by first choice, you have to admit it to your mother. The character is very very selfish and by the end of it I just hated her, and this game. The circus "cut scenes" were completely comfusing and I feel so terrible because I wasted money on this. It had been in development for a long time, one would expect better gameplay from it.

I just cannot reccomend this game, because as much as I love games with stories, this just isn't a good one.
Posted: July 3
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2 of 5 people (40%) found this review helpful
3.1 hrs on record
Honestly, I kind of liked it at first. But soon it started getting boring, since your decisions don't actually change anything. The only thing that actually changes something is if you complement Anne or Catherine to Keith. There is also a bug, where you go to the end, but it doesn't say anything. But the main reason I'm giving this game a thumbs down is because I thought it was cool how I make desicions that affect the ending, but that's not the case. They give you descisions, yes, but only one actually does something. And even that decision didn't affect the ending. But desicions aren't the only feature that I dislike. It's the story. Throughout the story, no matter if you try to act nice, your still a selfish teenage girl. This is going to go back to the decisions, but they're practically useless! I like it when I can be the one who decides the ending, not every single ending the same, so replaying is pointless!


Overall, I didn't like the game.
Posted: June 19
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0 of 1 people (0%) found this review helpful
2.3 hrs on record
If you want to be severely affected by a feeling of overwhelming sadness for a while definitely play this through. Really a beautiful game, though.
Posted: June 8
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3 of 8 people (38%) found this review helpful
1.9 hrs on record
Where to begin with this game? Well the pros:

1. The game is different to anything I have ever played.
2. The voices are actually pretty good.
3. The graphics are interesting.

Now the bad:
1. The game follows a strict story line no matter what you do.
2. Much of the game history has already happened and it isn't explained to you until the end.
3. The character you play as is a self obsorbed, liaring thief.
4. The cut scenes don't really make a lot of sense to the game.
5. The game is very short and very repetative. It has no replay value.

I got this game on sale, I feel disapointed at the price I paid. If I had paid full price I would be devastated. I suggest watching game play videos and trying to find a demo before purchasing this game.
Posted: May 10
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2 of 7 people (29%) found this review helpful
1.9 hrs on record
veri gud
Posted: May 6
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1.7 hrs on record
That game ist so incredible *.* It´s only fun for a few hours but the music is amazing, the story is nice and the end is so surprising O.o I love it, I can´t say nothing more... but one thing: BUY IT!!! :D
Posted: May 11
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2.7 hrs on record
First and foremost, this isn't a game. It's a series of stories that involve intteraction to progress. If you view this as something to be played, then you won't find anything interesting here. However, if you view this as a story, an experience, then you will come away with, hopefully, at least a few feels.

I thought this was quite good actually. A small gem if you go into with an open mind, and not the expectation of it being some kind of action packed, super graphics, baby you the whole way kind of game. And yes, you have to read a lot.
Posted: June 21
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