Lost in Play 2022: Review
August 10th, 2022
Happy Juice Games
A mysterious animated puzzle adventure.
Filled with magical and magnificent creatures.
Created with families in mind. Have your children watch you play!
No dialogue. Everything is communicated visually in a universal way.
Inspired by nostalgic TV shows such as Gravity Falls, Hilda, and Over the Garden Wall.
Play cards with goblins, build a dragon and teach a sheep how to fly.
Includes 30+ unique puzzles and mini-games.
Catch a derpy chicken. Maybe.
“Logic will get you from A to Z; creativity will go you anywhere,” Albert Einstein once said. The game Lost in Play is the ideal example of this quote since it combines logical minigames with a narrative that seems to have been created by children. This combination will take you, the player, into a fantastic, dream-like world of limitless possibilities.
In Lost in Play, you take control of a brother and a sister who, while playing together one sunny day in their living room, wind up slipping into a fantastical world they’ve constructed for themselves, where the things they see in reality are projected as bizarre shapes and occurrences. With the help of the imaginative characters the two children meet along the way, they set out on an illusory quest to find their way home. 15 little chapters that each have a unique topic, visual aesthetic, and setting make up their plot.
The writing is outstanding in every way. The game Lost in Play has surprises waiting for you at every turn. The two kids are put in all kinds of unusual settings that defy our preconceived notions; it’s amazing how many creative ideas were incorporated into the game. Additionally distinctive are the people they meet and their personalities. The game is overflowing with warmth, and optimism, and topped off with a really excellent sense of humor; there are no scary or bad components.
Lost in Play is essentially a point-and-click adventure that is best compared to an interactive cartoon. The persons you meet will also make sure to inform you what items they expect you to get for them, thus in contrast to other games in the genre, your tasks will almost always be apparent to you. Lost in Play moves smoothly and organically, and how or in what order your inventory items had to be utilized is rather obvious. This is in contrast to classic point-and-click games where you had to pixel-hunt specific objects or use them in highly counter-intuitive ways.
The minigames, however, are a combination of simple and challenging. Every few chapters, there will be a minigame that you might get trapped on for 30 to 60 seconds (a variation of checkers, a Sokoban-inspired game of aligning crabs, and a certain card game are among the most difficult). While the main adventure of Lost in Play may be finished in under two hours, most of the time will be spent playing these minigames and attempting to defeat a rather intelligent AI. Since the AI’s moves are generated at random, there is no specific formula for how to solve them.
If there is one thing we would criticize about Lost in Play, it would be the absence of a skip option. This would be especially important for younger players. Currently, the only way to advance is to repeatedly try a minigame until the RNG is on your side, then combine it with a tactical and rational strategy. There is a hint system, but it’s not particularly informative; all it does is point you in the correct direction by displaying an image of your next goal when it has been accomplished, without actually explaining how to get there.
With its endearing hand-drawn, cartoony imagery, Lost in Play captivates. The game excels most at turning gameplay into an immersive experience and giving you the feeling of being a little child watching their favorite cartoon while lounging in pyjamas in front of the TV. The soundtrack, which wonderfully compliments the cartoons, is also excellent. The game contains full voice acting, but the dialogue is incomprehensible. Nevertheless, the speech’s great nuance accentuates the sense that everything in the game is strange even more.
Three different input methods—controller, mouse+keyboard, or mouse alone—are supported by the game. They all work rather well and each has pros and limitations when it comes to usage. Although switching between scenes was easier with a controller, we personally enjoyed playing it with just the mouse because it felt more approachable than the others, especially during the minigames.
The game has 19 accomplishments, the majority of which are tied to the plot. The game features a chapter pick option in case you missed any of the missable milestones, but they are simple to complete even on your first playtime without a guide. None of them have any time constraints or tough skills requirements.