As part of my 2023 challenge I’ve included finishing and reviewing 12 videogames in an attempt to make me play games through to the end. I’ve defined end as the generally recognised finish, not 100%, so usually the point at which the credits roll. Although some games I will play until 100% (including this one).
I backed Lonesome Village on Kickstarter for Nintendo Switch after playing the PC demo available on Steam. I was drawn to the no combat, cute aesthetic, and the fun puzzles (I love puzzles). On receiving the game there was an initial issue that involved me having to make an American Switch profile in order to access my game which was mildly frustrating. Also for some reason every time I started the game it went back into Spanish and I had to navigate the Spanish settings to put it back into English. You had to remember to do this on the main menu as there didn’t seem to be a way to change the language once you’d loaded the game – although I possibly just couldn’t find it as I was searching the Spanish menus.
The puzzles themself are mostly straightforward. It’s generally obvious what you are trying to achieve and then it’s a matter of working out how to do so. A few puzzles took a bit longer to solve and were an enjoyable challenge. One late game puzzle I ended up brute force solving hoping I’d be able to work out what the trick was with the answer, I still couldn’t see what it was so looked it up – let’s just say it was obvious when you knew… On the whole though the puzzles were fun but on the easy side, there was a good range of activities so it would have been nice to have some optional harder puzzles (maybe in the epilogue) using the same solving strategies. As it was, the harder part was brought in near the end by adding a timer; I’m not a fan of making puzzles harder by making them timed as some of the challenge becomes how quickly you can click and move things around the screen which I find stressful.
Wandering around the village resolving quests for the different characters was fun. I found some bits a bit tedious but that was mainly my fault as I didn’t realise you could sell items until I was in the epilogue. This meant I was often very short of money and trying to dig coins out of the ground. It would have been nice if the characters when you’d finished their quests said something different to you rather than ‘nice to see you again’ – they all felt a bit samey. Planting and watering crops took ages, I tried using the rain song to water them but sadly that didn’t work.
Even with the few issues I encountered I enjoyed my time in Lonesome Village. If you’re looking for a gentle puzzle experience I definitely recommend you check it out.