Lake is so far my most anticipated game from the Steam Next Fest, other than titles I’ve already mentioned – stuff like Okinawa Rush, perhaps, but this adventure title is precisely what the fictitious doctor ordered.
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From Gamious and Whitehorn Digital, you play Meredith Weiss. She’s career-driven and a success in the big city but returns to her hometown after 22 years, taking up a temporary mail delivery position for the next two weeks.
Shacking up in her family home while her folks are away, she gets to revisit former relationships and make new ones along the way. Delivering mail is traditionally seen as a community-focused position. There was a time when you knew the name of your postman (sorry, that’s what we called them back then as they were men), and they knew yours. It was on your mail.
Lake (PC Preview)
What better way to get reacquainted with the locals than delivering their mail? You’ll pick up your round, which is tiny, to say the least, and navigate the picturesque locale as if a sedated GTA. Man, I love this game.
Over an hour into it, there wasn’t any let-up in the experience or a premature ‘thanks for playing our game’. Equally, there were no murders, no conspiracies theories, and no alien invasions. Lake was all so normal and oh-so refreshing.
The voice talent in the game is fantastic, but the lead, Meredith, is exceptional – quite possibly one of my favourite characters in this short introduction – she’s oozing with charm and such a lovely human being, I had to slap myself in the face to remember it’s a game. I didn’t slap myself, I just went a little quiet for a while and looked studious.
Captain Observant didn’t realise this was set in 1986 until there was talk from one of the characters about distributing VCRs to the residents. I mean, the video store stocked the classics or references to them with a title change, but I just thought it was small-town eccentricity – a bit like Be Kind, Rewind. That’s when the penny dropped that there weren’t any phones or internet. It felt timeless.
Anyway, Lake is free from stress, no predefined path you must follow other than deliveries, and it just feels like a somewhat idealistic lifestyle, at least from my perspective. About two-thirds of the way in, there was a brief pause where I thought, “Ah, this is it – nothing else will happen”, but that passed just as swiftly as the thought came. I could happily deliver to these people and chat away all day.
Lake is coming to Steam on the 1st of September. If you can’t picture the gameplay from my choice of words or the pretty pictures, you can watch some Lake gameplay from the video below.