Lost In Play is a whimsical title that takes (those of us who had siblings) us back to a simpler time. When we didn’t have the weight of responsibilities, work, or other major life problems afflicting us adults or teenagers. A simpler time where you and your sibling could enjoy the outdoors, let your imagination run free, and not have a reliance on the technology powering your entertainment. In our Lost In Play review, we see how it aims to replicate that experience.
Story and Characters
The story is simple. You take the role of a non-descript brother and sister as they spend the day going out on an adventure. They get into all sorts of hijinks and create situations where you have to solve puzzles along the way. That’s it. There is no deeper plot here, there is no deeper story. You just help the pair have a fun and memorable day, and close the story by getting them back home safely.
The story look is akin to a lot of animated shows, particularly Gravity Falls / Over The Garden Wall. The visual presentation is very eye-catching and because of the very generous hardware requirements, this game can easily run on almost any computer. You don’t even need a dedicated GPU for it.
It’s a point-and-click adventure game with a puzzle-solving aspect as the core concept of it. Unlike other titles in the genre, there is less reliance on items required to progress and more on solving puzzles. Basically, imagine a game that combines the navigation of Monkey Island with Professor Layton.
Lost in Play story is told by pictorial representations and nonsense gibberish spoken by the children. This allows players to frame their own narrative, even though the scene the children are in is pretty evident. The deliberate choice of removing dialog here is great to help give that sense of uniqueness to the situation and how you can perceive it.
You will meet a combination of monsters, fictional creatures, and other interesting characters along your journey. Each of them presents you with a new puzzle to solve to progress the game.
The puzzles are broad and vary in variety. You can finish them in as little as 2 minutes and go all the way to an hour for some. There are hints and the ability to reset the puzzle should you get stuck. Otherwise, the story is pretty down-to-earth and does not require much thought. Just install the game, launch it, and get ready to go on an adventure.
The gameplay is straight and to the point. You take turns in controlling the brother or sister for the specific scenario they are now presented in, and help them get out of it. The game combines finding an item or at times an obstacle impeding you from getting the item. You then have to solve the environmental puzzle for acquiring the item, and then may or may not get a puzzle to proceed with the game.
The game to its core is a simple concept. It’s a point-and-click adventure title of the 1990s, paired with the constant puzzle solving of Professor Layton games. While there are a lot of friendlier elements that help you with the story progression in the form of hints or resetting the puzzle, I do wish that the developers included an option to skip a puzzle as some games do currently in order to just progress the story.
I often found myself stuck on the same puzzle for a very long time. I would often have to get a friend to help me progress, with no option to skip the puzzle. This has now become a common accessibility feature in games, particularly a relaxing game like this is one that could definitely use it.
Once you do get past the puzzle solving, you find yourself entranced in a colorful, dynamic, and very lively world brimming with childlike whimsy and imagination. This is a refreshing experience in today’s video game buffet.
The game has a very unique art style. As mentioned previously, the graphics are very reminiscent of kids’ TV shows like Over the Garden Wall and Gravity Falls to name a few. The style is simple and minimal, and you can appreciate everything that is in the foreground and the background. Both elements are just teeming with life and constant attention to detail with each place the siblings end up at.
The characters have no dialog and instead speak in pictorial representations of what their next goal is, and it’s up to you how to get to it.
In addition, the game has very soft background music to help you think when navigating these situations. So overall, it is a calm and relaxing experience that is complemented by the relaxing images on the scene. All in all, everything here works great for what the game is trying to do. It’s certainly a highlight of our Lost in Play review.
Lost in Play does a lot of stuff right but there is still room for improvement. The only real change I would request is the ability to skip a puzzle. A relaxing game like this should be enjoyed to its fullest and it is brimming with potential. A player getting frustrated at some vague hints can really turn off the experience and have them switch to another game out of frustration.
Lost in Play has a strong visual and audio presentation, is a simple game that may or may not take us all back to a simpler and less complicated time in our lives, and is an enjoyable title overall.
If you’re looking for a fun and easy game to pick up that is very deep in puzzle solving, this game is definitely right up your alley. It’s worth the experience and every pixel show the developers dedication and love for the craft in great detail.
What did you think of our Lost in Play Review? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
This review is based on the PC version of Lost in Play. The key was provided by Renaissance PR