A Writer And His Daughter is an episodic game with exploration and puzzle elements that are interwoven with a mystical theme and narrative. In the story a young girl discovers a magical fairy tale world and feels stuck between this reality and that world. You take on the role of this girl as her father (a writer) narrates the story through a beautifully crafted book. In this game, you will embark on a journey through both worlds and find out how and why they are connected.
The game was released by Dimfrost on Steam for HTC Vive and is going for $14.99. This is part one of a trilogy so expect an open/unfinished ending that will be continued with subsequent games. I gave the game a try and was pleasantly enthralled in the magical story, which was helped along with great visuals, amazing voice acting, and a beautiful soundtrack. However, I found the gameplay awkward at times and sometimes even downright frustrating.
Check out the game’s trailer below:
If it is a whimsy tale full of fairies and falling stars you seek, then you’ve come to the right place. A writer and his daughter is at its core a storybook, and you are its main character. The whole game is saturated with an undertone of a dark dreamlike state.
Starting off, I found myself in a little girl’s room at night, with a big book open on the bed before me. As I get closer and start paging through it, a story unfolds, with a narrator telling a tale of a fallen star, a dark wizard, and evil lurking just beyond the safe glow of this home. Then I suddenly get transported to a dark beach, where the only light comes from the fallen star upon a rock in the sea.
Up until this point, I’ve been enfolded in pleasant whimsy, flowing along with the story. But unfortunately, here the flow comes to a jarring halt as I have to hop from stone to stone to get to the star and frustration starts to set in. Not because of the minor puzzle involved with finding the right rocks to jump on, which was relatively easy, but because of the locomotion used in the game.
Just Walking Along
A Writer and his Daughter has a teleportation method that involves me pointing the Vive controller at the floor and waiting for little white footprints to appear up to the point where I want to go. This is all fine and dandy, but on those stones it became one of the most frustrating moments I’ve had in a VR game due to the footprints snapping to certain points (or at least it felt like that) and the footprints just disappearing after I ‘placed’ them which caused me to fall into the water. Which meant I was transported back to the start of the ‘stones puzzle’ each time.
After that though, things went a little easier as I explored the house, which was filled with large renditions of John Bauer’s illustrations of Among Gnomes and Trolls, an anthology of Swedish folklore and fairy tales, first published in 1907. It’s a small detail, among many others, but really adds to the magic of the story.
Experience Some Magic, Ignore The Frustration
Besides the story, A Writer and his Daughter is a puzzle game with various types of puzzles and secrets to be found throughout. They aren’t particularly hard to complete and many of them just involve trial and error. So while they were engaging to a point, they weren’t interesting enough to encourage me to explore beyond where the game’s story takes me. However, the story itself was a big incentive and the game is just a little bit different for every player since the story changes a bit depending on what you find.
So if you’re in the mood to be taken on a fantastical journey and don’t mind a few frustrating moments with a puzzle here and there, then make sure to give A Writer and his Daughter a try. Personally, I think this game is great if you take into account that it was created by a team of three people, and I’m, excited to see where the trilogy goes.