Game Review: A Sketchbook About Her Sun (Xbox Series X)

It’s important note at the start of this review that A Sketchbook About Her Sun is not a game. We’re not saying that in a sarcastic way or taking a jab at some sort of visual novel/walking simulator. It’s a simple fact, A Sketchbook About Her Sun is not a game. It’s a multimedia showcase for Red Ribbon’s 2020 album, Planet X.

Red Ribbon is the project of songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Emma Danner and musically can be described as dark-pop. While it’s not music that really appeals to us, there’s no denying Red Ribbon has a lot of talent.

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However, considering the prominent nature of the music and how A Sketchbook About Her Sun has almost no gameplay, you’re probably going to have to be a super-fan to enjoy this.

The game plays out through imagery created by the main character of Lucia. Watercolour paintings that showcase her mood and feelings as she deals with the collapse of a long-term relationship. That might be a nice summation of the ‘story’ but truth be told, A Sketchbook About Her Sun is very obscure. You’ll often be guessing at the meaning of certain paintings which really harms the immersion. Something A Sketchbook About Her Sun should have nailed as it’s all it has going for it.

With text that reads like poetry, there are ten scenes or sequences, and each is one song from the album, Planet X. It will take just over 30 minutes to see the end credits and you can complete it with only a handful of button presses. In fact, there is an achievement for ‘playing’ the game this way.

Should you choose to interact with the scenes, you are given the option of choosing between two arbitrary phrases or words. We say arbitrary because the words have little connection to the scenes that are playing out. Once you finish the scene, those words make up part of a full poem but feels disconnected and pointless. It’s all just too vague. Looking a really flat piece of art, waiting for some sort of emotion to arise, but it never does.

The end result leaves a deep sense of dissatisfaction and the feeling that while the idea was solid, the execution is lacking. Just go stream Red Ribbon’s music if you really want to hear it.




A Sketchbook About Her Sun (Xbox Series X)
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