Developed by the ambitiously-titled developer “World Domination Project”, Anyone’s Diary is a brand new puzzle platformer that just got a Playstation-exclusive launch for the Playstation VR headset. We took a look at the first game to come out of the Valencia-based studio.
WDP’s game didn’t come out of the blue by the way – it was previously nominated for several awards during the 2017 edition of the Playstation Talent Awards. We never encountered the game at trade shows and didn’t see any news on it until just before the release, so we were eager to get started.
As with regularly the case with indie titles, there is a unique and interesting premise to Anyone’s Diary. The main character, “Anyone”, is actually an avatar and helps create a game that’s a metaphor for psychological issues that face people in everyday life. While the game revolves around fears and anxieties it’s certainly not a horror title, as it takes the shape of a puzzle platformer.
A good use of controls is a strong element of a successful VR platformer, as games like Moss and Astro Bot have shown us. Anyone’s Diary also attempts to blend traditional controls with innovative motion controls, but it does end up falling short of the examples I just mentioned. Platforming is best done using a DualShock controller, but when you have to manipulate objects in a scene it feels awkward with the gamepad and you’ll want to resort to Move controllers instead. I think Moss was the first title in the genre to tackle this problem wonderfully well, and it’s a shame that Anyone’s Diary encounters a few speedbumps in this area.
Navigating through the diary in the game (it’s somewhat story-driven in this regard) means that there’s a lot of diversity when it comes to gameplay and thematic design, as different real life issues are represented in different ways. There’s a section that reminded me of last year’s PSVR release of Rooms, but you’ll also encounter standard platforming sections. This keeps the experience fresh and entertaining, though it has to be said that the entire game is over in about an hour. There’s a budget price tag attached to reflect this, but if you like your VR titles to provide a bit more content then this might not be your thing.
There’s a nice visual style to the game, and while it lacks the kind of production values that a game like Ace Combat 7 enjoys, it’s certainly an artful approach. Blending 2D platforming within a 3D world certainly isn’t new (I think Pandemonium did it over 20 years ago), but it works very well in virtual reality. The visuals are relatively dark, but I suppose that’s a solid fit with the thematic approach for the game.
As with many of these shorter VR titles, your enjoyment will depend on how you prefer your VR experiences. The control scheme is far from perfect and we’ve seen better examples in Moss and Astro Bot, but if you enjoy a quick VR fix and love playing new experiences often, then this wouldn’t be a bad choice as it doesn’t overstay its welcome.