Atmospheric and dreamlike, If Found is a narrative driven adventure game where you must erase what’s in front of you to uncover its secrets. Presented through an abstract and surreal pencil sketch style, you go through the diary of a young Irish girl who dreams of traveling among the stars. This diary chronicles the last 28 days of her life and the looming threat of a black hole that will soon devour earth. Your only tool and means to progress through the game, is an eraser. Like a magical drawing with endless hidden layers, as you use the eraser on the in-game sketches and penciled in handwriting, something new appears. Guiding that eraser with a mouse and a fling of the wrist, coupled with the creative and inventive ways the game transitions from section to section, feels so natural and has a feeling of wonder playing it for the first time. In its final release, If Found will release on mobile devices as well as PC, and I can see how this mechanic would be a great fit on a touch screen.
Not just filled with the traditional greys of a No. 2 pencil, If Found is colored in with soft and light blues, purples, and pinks that have a recognizable texture. Playing it made me realize that I can’t actually remember the last time I held a colored pencil, and it felt nostalgic because of that.
While it wasn’t clear to me from the demo if this black hole was actually real or just the written fantasies of a young girl, it’s apparent that this is somewhat of a coming of age story. Filled with the family drama and moments of self-discovery that you might expect from that type of narrative.
If Found has the signs of being a warm and touching game that will be great to playthrough in one sitting. It’s certainly not the type of game you may want to playthrough on a loud convention floor, but discovering it at this year’s PAX East with no knowledge of it beforehand was a delight. If Found has no solid release date, but is planned to release soon and is being published by Annapurna Interactive.
Demo was played on a PC build of the game.