A downloadable game for Windows and macOS

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** Shortlisted for the New Media Writing Prize 2021 **

“Stands on its own, the game equivalent of a poem.” —
Los Angeles Times

Linda & Joan is a narrative game about a British family. You play as Russell, Linda, and Joan — son, mother, and grandmother — switching between them to help the family cope with a series of traumatic events. Based on a true story.

Prologue: “Four Months Earlier” is part one of the story. Part two, the main Linda & Joan game, is in development .

[Learn more about this project at lindajoan.com]

Linda is visiting Russell in Los Angeles, where he now lives. We join them halfway up a hiking trail. You must walk them to the top. Linda is using a stick and is unable to move as quickly as Russell. Keep them within earshot and they’ll chat about Linda’s visit and the past, while trying to find the right time to bring up what’s weighing on their minds.

There are multiple endings based on the choices you make — one of which involves Joan, who is at home in Hereford, UK. Play in Normal Mode (walk Russell, Linda follows) then try Challenging Mode (walk both Russell and Linda).

“Four Months Earlier” is a free, standalone experience. It will take 15 to 20 minutes to complete.

Featuring original music by Jeremy Warmsley.


“Stands on its own, the game equivalent of a poem.” —Los Angeles Times

“You get a sense of who [mother and son] are and the challenges they’re facing.” —TechCrunch

“…just enough interaction to pull you into the world, gorgeous music, all beautifully rendered, filled with the pathos of interaction between children and their aging parents.” —App Store reviewer, tototoro

Click here to learn more about the main Linda & Joan game

Plus, check out...

Linda & Joan Zine Club

Bonus Scene: “The Candle”

PlatformsWindows, macOS
Release date Jul 14, 2020
Rated 4.7 out of 5 stars
(21 total ratings)
AuthorFalse Vacuum Games
GenreVisual Novel
Made withUnity, Blender
Tagsartgame, Female Protagonist, Mental Health, Narrative, Point & Click, Short, Story Rich
Average sessionAbout a half-hour
InputsKeyboard, Mouse
LinksSteam, Homepage, Twitter, Blog


Download or claim
On Sale!
100% Off
$3.00 $0.00 USD or more

Click download now to get access to the following files:

four-months-earlier-windows.zip 98 MB
Version 1.1.0
four-months-earlier-mac.zip 102 MB
Version 1.1.0

Also available on

Development log


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I enjoyed this game it was very heart warming and i hope other people give it a chance.

We are excited to discuss Linda & Joan Prologue: “Four Months Earlier” on Indie Game Club!

Twitch: https://twitch.tv/potionsandpixels


I love that you explored the relatinship mother-son which is very uncommon in videogames. Well done!

Thanks for playing!

omg this was a really cool adventure game! especially if you are an outdoorsy person and i love the fact that it was made bc it was real! and yeah also this like abt 46 mins long to complete so yeah! love it, 4/5 stars

Very well done !!! Gameplay on Apple M1

Thanks for playing and for the Apple M1 report—the first I’ve had! —Russell. 


This game was very enjoyable! It’s a heartfelt story of a bond between mother and son as they hike together, talk together, and mixed in, is a unique game mechanic that I haven’t  experienced, yet. A sequel is in the works, so don’t miss the prologue! https://youtu.be/soBGAP-4Tjw


I absolutely adored this experience. I lost both of my parents within 3 months of each other shortly after turning 30. In a weird way, this really reflects on things I wish I could have communicated more with them and made me remember similar conversations and in general just remember my parents. Thank you for this, will absolutely grab the full release. 

Thank you for playing, Jordan! Thank you for the tender read-through too. Take care.

Deleted 1 year ago

Thank you!