Lake | PC Review
Updated: Nov 19
Lake is a narrative-driven indie adventure game developed by Gamious and published by Whitethorn Digital. It is available for Windows PC and XBox, and for the purposes of this review, I was playing the Windows PC version.
Set in 1986, you play as Meredith Weiss, a computer programmer who is taking 2 weeks off from her hectic job in the city. Returning to her old hometown Providence Oaks, Meredith is temporarily taking over her father's role delivering mail while her parents are on vacation in Florida. While there she reunites with old friends and makes some new ones which leaves her with a tough decision: stay in the town she grew up in or return to her manic job in the big city? Each conversation Meredith gets involved in gives you the option to choose your responses which ultimately decide how the story pans out.
The gameplay and actually delivering the mail really fell flat for me and is definitely the weakest part of Lake. Unfortunately this is what you will spend most of your time doing while playing this game. The mechanics are very simple and honestly quite uninspiring. The aim is to drive around in your Dad's mail truck and deliver all the letters and packages for the day. Once you reach the desired house or business in the town, you get out of the truck and either place the letters in the correct mailbox or deliver a package to the door of the house. There is no real variation so it does feel repetitive pretty quickly. The gameplay is really slow paced and maybe a little too chilled for my taste. Meredith can walk or break into a brisk walk which really isn’t much faster than her normal walking speed. Without the option to run or even jog, it makes what is already a very slow paced game feel even slower. The handling of your mail truck is also not very stimulating and the camera angle from behind obscures your view of the road. You can adjust the angle with either the mouse or the right analogue stick but it quickly snaps back to the default view which I really found quite annoying.
Visually, Lake looks really nice with wonderful bright colours, the lake town of Providence Oaks really does look incredibly beautiful. The town does however seem to be very quiet, a little too quiet. You do not pass many other vehicles on the roads and there are not many pedestrians walking around the streets so to me it made what is a beautiful setting seem a little bit lifeless and dull. The character models are all fairly simplistic in design but it really fits well with the games style. I will say that more attention could have been paid to the facial animations though. Sometimes the animations were out of sync with the actual dialogue which detracts from the immersion in the story.
The soundtrack for Lake is really pleasant. You can choose to listen to the only radio station as you are making your rounds in your mail truck which will provide you with a lovely listening experience consisting of nice country and pop music. Ideally, a bigger tracklist would have been available as you will hear the same few songs loop over and over but this really wasn’t a major issue for me. I enjoyed the music and it provides a really pleasurable atmosphere as you are driving to your next drop off point.
To sum up my thoughts, Lake was a bit of a mixed bag for me. On one hand, I found the gameplay to be a little irritating and really quite boring and repetitive. On the other hand, the visuals and soundtrack were great. The story line along with the different character interactions were pretty good which all made the whole experience just okay. There is nothing exciting about this game but if you are looking for a very very chilled game with a lovely setting and decent narrative then Lake is definitely worth considering.
PaultheBrave09’s Rating: 3 second class stamps out of 5.
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Many thanks to Keymailer for the Review Key.