Lake Ridden is a game that we played 20 minutes or so of at EGX Rezzed and here at GReviews we were very impressed with what we saw. However, Lake Ridden has now released and does the full game live up to the great gameplay we saw first time round? Or is it just another game to get lost amongst the likes of Ethan Carter and Reaching For Petals?
For those of you hearing about this game for the first time, Lake Ridden is set in 1988 and revolves around the story of a young girl named Marie. Marie sets off on a camping trip with her younger sister for one last time before summer ends. It’s here that things go from good to bad as Marie explains she has had an argument with her sister and has now ran off into the forest. This is where your adventure begins as finding your younger sibling is now the main priority.
From the start you can immediately see the detail and care the developers have taken and put into Lake Ridden. The greatest thing that amazed me was the amount of effort that has went into the puzzles. This is not one of those games that is a simply pick up an object and place it here or there in order to complete the puzzle. In fact I would go as far to say Lake Ridden is one of the hardest games I’ve played in a very long time.
Some of the puzzles will be fairly straightforward to solve, but others at certain points will have you at a wits end. Luckily however for those of you who aren’t the greatest at solving puzzles, the developers have delightfully added a hints menu into the game and believe me it comes in very handy. (Editor’s note: I was with James when we played this at EGX Rezzed and even the two of us combined were stumped on some of these puzzles!)
Throughout the game I had to use it a few times with one puzzle in particular which involved symbols and a combination lock built into a bookcase. If you get around to playing it the only hint I can give you is take your time and think about things instead of just rushing in thinking you know everything. Oh and also get yourself a pen and paper ready because you’re going to need it. I mentioned this in our EGX preview and I thought it was really only going to be for that one puzzle but Christ I was wrong. Multiple times I found myself jotting information down no matter how insignificant it seemed to be, just incase I needed it
Lake Ridden also has optional puzzles that can be done throughout and these come in the form of puzzle boxes. The puzzles boxes have been placed around the garden as a game for children to find and unlock. The boxes contain different photos and once unlocked come with a nice narrative to expand the story even further. These boxes for me were a nice touch to be included as they’re fairly tricky to complete but are the type of puzzles that you can’t seem to put down until you beat it.
You’re not alone throughout the game, which caught me off guard, as with most games in this genre it’s mainly you walking round alone. Not with Lake Ridden as around about a third of the way through the delightful Nora joins you. I must add, however, Nora is not a physical person and is in fact a voice that will speak to you and ask you to do certain tasks. You interact with Nora using a on-screen prompt that appears with numbers and questions. Depending on which number you select depends on what the character will ask and to make sure you get the full story, the on screen prompt does not disappear until you’ve been through them all. But I won’t give too much information away on Nora but let’s say she sounds like a very nice lady.
Graphically the game is absolutely stunning and you can see from the screen grabs every detail has been crafted to perfection. The lighting makes the game look even better and if you have a PC that can run everything on high then I guarantee you won’t be disappointed in how good this game looks.
Sound wise the atmosphere is great and if you have a decent pair of headphones to play with, you can truly get lost in the game. I spent a good few hours at a time playing Lake Ridden and time just seems to get away from you when you do.