The Journalist Review – Capturing a Slice of City Life

The Journalist game screenshot, Crowd
The Journalist Review – Capturing a Slice of City Life

Platforms: Windows PC, Steam,

Game Name: The Journalist

Publisher: Jungwoo Yom

Developer: Jungwoo Yom, Hajin Lim

Genre: Action, Adventure

Release Date: March 28th, 2024

The Journalist by Jungwoo Yom, Hajin Lim

The Journalist, as the title suggests, has you playing as a photojournalist in a city that’s being redeveloped. The goal is to interview and take pictures of the city’s inhabitants to chronicle what life and the locals were like before its inevitable redevelopment.

The Journalist game screenshot, Press Room

The Talk of the Town

The core gameplay loop revolves around talking to citizens. They’ll say a couple lines about the city, then you must take pictures of them, using the right stick to keep each subject in frame and the right trigger to take the photograph.

After you use up each roll of film, you go get the pictures developed. From there, you are graded on whether the pictures are good, shaky, or overexposed. Once you’ve got enough pictures of each subject, you move on to the next.

You can also dash with the left trigger, which is important in the last two missions, but besides that, there isn’t much to the gameplay. I was hoping for some more fleshed-out mechanics to make things more entertaining.

A Little Underdeveloped

It doesn’t help that the interviews are pretty simple. There isn’t much in terms of narrative here. One couple says that this is the city where they met, while someone else recalls a restaurant they’re going to miss.

The Journalist game screenshot, Camera Gif

Even the theme of the city’s redevelopment doesn’t play a huge role in the story or conversations. There are hints of themes like the idea of feeling powerless in the situation, but only just briefly.

I was hoping for more here to give more life to the game overall. Instead, it all comes across as a little shallow. The themes could have hit harder by the end of the game if the narrative was more fleshed out.

The City Is Pretty

The city itself is really small and there isn’t much to do. Besides taking pictures, you can’t really engage in conversations with non-interactable NPCs or find other things to do. This isn’t a huge problem, but since the narrative and gameplay were not as engaging as I would’ve liked, I was searching for something else to grab me.

It’s a shame because aesthetically the game looks and sounds superb. Visually it reminds me of a classic PS2-era game, with chibi characters, simple textures, and a muted but evocative color palate.

Characters give off a charming aura, and the music is great – indie folk acoustic tracks that bring about a cozy yet heartfelt mood.

The Journalist game screenshot, Street

The Verdict

For as many issues as I had with The Journalist, it’s still a nice, casual, 40-minute experience. In many ways, it largely feels like a proof of concept.

Despite the lack of an engaging narrative or entertaining gameplay, I still got a small cozy experience thanks to its charming visuals and relaxing vibe.

The Journalist is available via and Steam.

Check out the official trailer for The Journalist below:

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