For the reason that first announcement of this puzzle adventure-slash-social sim, we’ve been protecting our eyes peeled for Lonesome Village. Now that we’ve performed it, we will affirm that it requires you to strap on each your exploring boots and your pondering cap, but it surely’s additionally a soothing recreation that, for probably the most half, doesn’t demand a lot from you, aside out of your enjoyment.
This charming launch from indie developer Ogre Pixel brings puzzles and life simulation collectively, and makes them greatest pals. Lonesome Village is a cute, healthful recreation with most of the options widespread to our favorite cute healthful video games: brilliant colors, pure setting, lovable animal pals, and, in fact, a fishing minigame.
It pays homage to some legendary video games that got here earlier than it – you would even add your individual recreation of ‘Spot The Zelda Reference’ when you play. However anybody anticipating this to reflect a Zelda recreation is likely to be disenchanted. It eschews fight in favour of delightfully calming challenges and repetitive mechanics, à la Animal Crossing and Stardew Valley. All these references are thrilling to see, although they type a really lengthy yardstick. Lonesome Village could not fully measure as much as these illustrious predecessors, but it surely positively doesn’t fall massively quick.
You’re taking the function of Wes the coyote when he’s simply arrived at a now-deserted village. As soon as often known as Ubhora, Lonesome Village was a quaint comfortable city earlier than it was annexed by a cult of animals in maroon robes. They invaded the city and trapped its residents in statues in a tower. As Wes, you’re tasked with releasing the villagers. In your pocket is a mystical magnifying glass to seek for clues and communicate to Coronya, your spirit information who pops as much as offer you useful – and typically not-so-helpful – route.
Within the tower, you encounter a puzzle on every ground, which, as soon as solved, frees a villager and their household. These brain-ticklers begin simple however graduate in issue, and are all the time satisfying to finish. There’s a novel selection too, from mazes to sliding puzzles to reminiscence challenges and extra. They could make you scratch your head, however they’ll hardly make you bash it towards a wall. Each few ranges, you’ll return to the village to gather hearts or choices: hearts are earned from neighbourhood quests, whereas providing objects are both discovered or crafted with a villager’s assist. Isn’t that so healthful? Defeating the enemy with friendship!
The village’s calming ambiance is a reprieve from the delicate darkness of the tower. Its lilting flute soundtrack contrasts nicely with the creepy piano and strings that overshadow your puzzle-solving. Take your time right here and also you may even uncover some Easter eggs from different video games too. The play can really feel like two video games – a puzzle recreation within the tower, and a life sim within the village – however the group at Ogre Pixel has tried to provide you time in each, with one resulting in the opposite.
The artwork type is all brilliant block colors and daring outlines that gave us successful of nostalgia for after-school cartoons. Textural particulars like water bubbles or dappled gentle add to the in any other case easy design, and every little thing involves life with bouncy 2D animation. It’s a disgrace, then, that the story is two-dimensional too. The excess of well-designed characters solely has slight variations in dialogue. The plot is fascinating sufficient to maintain you enjoying, but it surely isn’t one thing you haven’t seen earlier than.
Proper now, the sport shouldn’t be probably the most intuitive expertise. As a substitute of utilizing the d-pad to scroll by means of sure menus, for instance, you usually use it to pick out arrow buttons on display screen. Switching between instruments is cumbersome, and within the stock menu, we discovered it arduous to inform which objects have been chosen. Another points within the recreation have been patched on day one – an indication the builders aren’t completed but. We hope they’ll proceed to work on this stuff in future.
However so far as core gameplay goes, it’s clear Lonesome Village desires to be as stress-free as potential. You by no means have to sleep or eat, you don’t have a well being bar, the outlets are open 24/7, and the fishing recreation requires you to press one button, at your individual tempo. And in case you die – which is uncommon – you reappear firstly of the problem with a fairly puff of smoke. No dramatic screaming! No misplaced objects! No GAME OVER!
This enjoyable, cosy journey is a worthwhile consideration for individuals who beloved chopping wooden in Animal Crossing and fixing puzzles in Zelda (but panicked in fight). It won’t fairly match the splendour of its influences, and the menus nonetheless want some work, but it surely’s definitely nice to play.
Lonesome Village takes parts of life-sim legends and a big handful of Zelda references and wraps them collectively in very cute packaging. It might not have the richest narrative, however it’ll soak up and soothe you – even in its quick playtime. Barring a couple of drawbacks with participant expertise, particularly round menu navigation, this recreation affords up some good healthful enjoyable with out the sweaty button-mashing of fight. For those who’re puzzling over a brand new cosy recreation to play, Lonesome Village simply is likely to be your resolution.
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