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Lonesome Village Review

Lonesome Village Review

In Lonesome Village, you'll take on the shoes of Wes, a coyote who arrives at a mysterious village — named Ubhora — in search of answers about the dreams they've been having. Unfortunately, the village itself is in trouble, as every villager has been locked inside a massive tower and turned to stone, presumably thanks to a cult. In order to uncover their secrets and get answers, the town villagers will need to be freed first.

The most important thing I'd like to mention about this adorable, cosy title is that you have to go into it with the right mentality and expectations. Whilst it mixes all sorts of interesting mechanics and features — such as puzzle-solving, exploration, and decoration — none of them are overly complex; from the difficulty of the puzzle rooms to the decoration, it's all simple. 

The difficulty and simplicity of the puzzles were a plus for me, as I'm usually not good at them and have to end up asking my wife for help. Although I love being challenged and treasure the rewarding feeling of getting it right, there was something very satisfying about tackling the different — and oftentimes even imaginative — puzzles without any frustration or help. And whilst they were pretty straightforward, the game offers a hint system if you ever need it via the Magnifying Glass.

1 Lonesome Village fishing

Now, the way the tower works is that every time you complete a room, you get the item required to awaken a villager encased in stone. Once you free them, they become part of your village, their home (or store) gets restored, and you get some interactions with them. This is where the simplicity of the life sim becomes more apparent, as there's barely any dialogue or exchanges to have with them aside from a few straightforward quests. 

Being a big fan of roleplaying and life sims, I was a bit disappointed by this — my expectation was more along the lines of Stardew Valley, where I could learn and connect more with the villagers. However, once I adapted my expectation of the social system, I thought it was good enough, especially because it fits the overall straightforward playstyle of the game. Although the missions are short and easy, much like the puzzles, it's a simplicity that invites relaxation and cosiness, and I think it works quite well for beginners, very casual gamers, or children. 

That's not to say they're boring, however. Whilst they're not overly compelling, there were some I enjoyed. As an example, two of the requests I liked were to garden for some flowers and bring them back to the graveyard and to take pictures of certain landmarks around the map. Both are simple yet fun and give you a reason to explore the map, which is a plus thanks to the cute art style.

2 Lonesome Village Item

Additionally, the further you progress in Lonesome Village, the more items you unlock. At first, it starts off with just the Magnifying Glass — which I enjoyed a lot because it helps you find secret things — and then you'll move on to other tools that enable new mechanics, such as the Camera.

One thing that did disappoint me, however, was that you could change the coyote's appearance to look like a girl — and even name them — yet the villagers will still address you as a boy. It was an odd middle between customisation and having a premade character, and it felt awkward. I would have preferred not to have the ability to choose their gender and instead use that budget elsewhere. 

Some other aspects — such as movement, gardening, and the menus — were a bit cumbersome and awkward. Whilst I got used to navigating the inventory as I played more, and the gardening wasn't too bad, the lack of a quest log made it difficult to enjoy the game casually because I constantly forgot what I was doing.

3 Lonesome Village puzzle magnifying glass

And lastly, although the gameplay loop was sometimes a bit repetitive and simple, the more I progressed and opened up new areas and tools, the less it felt so. More villagers, new mechanics, and more missions helped the game feel much more enjoyable, especially as a casual title.

Overall, Lonesome Village has a great atmosphere with its cute graphics, relaxed soundtrack, and obvious Nintendo inspiration, and if you give it enough time to open up, the gameplay is very relaxing and cosy. Just keep in mind not to go into it as an adventure title or a difficult puzzler.

7.00/10 7

Lonesome Village (Reviewed on Windows)

This game is good, with a few negatives.

If you enjoy casual and relaxing games, you'll find a lot to like in Lonesome Village!

This game was supplied by the publisher or relevant PR company for the purposes of review
Violet Plata

Violet Plata

Staff Writer

Liable to jump at her own shadow.

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