On September 10, Lost in Random was released – a game from the British studio Zink, known, in particular, for the Fe platformer. The latter received mixed reviews from critics and players alike. Lost in Random has a slightly better score, but the developers still haven’t managed to fix all the mistakes of the past.
In some realm
The game takes place in a gloomy fairy-tale world inhabited by bizarre humanoid (sometimes even very creepy) characters. And this world is ruled by a merciless accident. Each inhabitant, upon reaching the age of 12, rolls a magic die, which determines his future fate. Vegetate in the slums or live in luxury at court? It all depends on the almighty random.
Therefore, the ultimate dream here is to throw out the six and break out into the people. And only the girl Odd hoped that she would get one. After all, then she will stay with her sister and the main character of the game named Ewen in a godforsaken town. Alas, Odd was “unlucky”, and the queen herself took her to her kingdom. And now Ewen will have to get to the palace in order to reunite with her sister. And the revived companion cube helps her in this.
Cards, die and almighty random
The trailers emphasized the combat system, which mixed traditional third-person action, TCGs, and dice rolls to bring an element of chance to the battles. On paper, the concept sounds great, as this is not often seen in games.
Initially, Ewen only has a slingshot at her disposal, with which she can break the crystal growths on the golems. The heroine does not deal damage like that, but she gathers resources to roll the die and play five random cards from her deck. At first, you can’t change its content, but later they will let you customize it for yourself.
As soon as the cube falls, the world around freezes. At this time, the player is able to freely move around a small battlefield (with rare exceptions), take a more advantageous position and calmly choose cards to use. What number fell out, so many points the user will receive.
They are needed to use the cards. For example, if a three fell out, then several cards can be used at once, which cost one or two points. Although it happens that “mana” is not enough even for one card.
Some are designed to deal damage, others to protect and restore health, and others allow you to “cunning”, gaining points and reducing the cost of abilities. So, Ewen can acquire a sword, bow and club, lay several bombs, create a field, hitting which opponents will weaken, and impose a shield on himself that absorbs damage from attacks. But full-fledged combinations, as in CCG or RPG with card battles, cannot be realized, since the skills do not combine with each other.
Abilities, by the way, have limitations. The weapon breaks quickly, and the beneficial effects last only 20-40 seconds. Ewen can only carry out a series of three or four attacks and dodge opponents’ blows, simultaneously knocking down crystals from them in order to save up again for a die roll. All this is extremely inconvenient due to clumsy control – the heroine’s movements are hardly felt, and it is difficult to count the attacks of enemies in the heat of battle, and therefore it is difficult to dodge.
Everything rests on the fact that what is happening on the screen is not particularly important. The main thing is to calculate and remember the timings. And they are far from always obvious: sometimes you have to press “dash” when the enemy is just starting an attack. And it doesn’t matter that the boss’s giant hand just went through Ewen, because a couple of seconds ago the game already counted a successful dodge.
The battles in the game are very long. 15 minutes of combat is the norm in Lost in Random. First, to start a real fight, you must first accelerate – that is, collect resources in order to roll the die. Secondly, the main character deals very modest damage, and the opponents have too long health bars. Thirdly, the wrong cards often fall out that are needed, even if a good deck is assembled – random always plays against you.
I had a case when I fought for about 10 minutes with a single golem, which was located on an impregnable hill. And all this time, I either didn’t get a card with a bow, or I simply didn’t have enough points for it.
In addition, sometimes several waves of opponents are released at the player – there is no challenge in this, and taking into account the combat and tenacious opponents, protracted battles only tire. And there are too many skirmishes with golems in the game. It seems that the developers tried to artificially stretch the passage.
And it would be nice if there was diversity among the enemies. There are fighter monsters, shooter monsters, and shield monsters that press the main character. Opponents do not require a special approach to themselves, you can simply “call them all” if you guess the moment.
The melancholy episodes with mini-games are slightly diluted, when you need not only to destroy all the opponents in the district, but to bring the game piece from the beginning to the finish line using the same dice rolls. And along the way, eliminate various obstacles – again in the form of ordinary opponents, who by the middle of the game are already sitting in the liver.
Who is this challenge of yours?
Lost in Random itself is linear, but there is scope for exploring locations. You can always find a not very noticeable nook where the main character is waiting for a reward in the form of a collectible or currency, in exchange for which you can buy new cards.
Finding and collecting rewards is usually a breeze, because the game doesn’t challenge you at all. She sorely lacks at least some hint of platforming (you can’t even jump in the game) and sane puzzles. Everything is limited to primitive puzzles like “go and find a lever, which is probably somewhere nearby.”
But the main reward for the player’s curiosity is meeting other characters. The fact is that to work on dialogues and characters, the developers called in screenwriter Ryan North, who was previously responsible for the Adventure Time comic book series. His characters turned out to be bright and charismatic, and the conversations were lively, catchy and always witty.