Lost in random review: Don’t be fooled by this Soulslike’s cool looks
“Lost in Random is like a living storybook, but that’s still not enough to carry it above the struggles.”
Beautiful art and animation
Interesting central mystery
Sometimes it’s satisfying to fight
Too much dialogue
A large number of errors
It was late, it was dark, and I was lost. I ran through the streets of Threedom, chasing a ghost I wasn’t even sure was real. Along the way, strange, twisted creatures called to me, advertising their belongings and warning me not to wander too far. I closed them as I continued to run, determined to save my sister – and possibly end Threedom’s eternal civil war while I was at it. All the while, a monster was whispering in my ear, reminding me that I only had to wait until sunset or my quest would be in vain.
This is the world of Lost in random, latest project by Swedish studio Zoink Games. Published by Thunderful Games under the EA Originals program, Lost in random is an indie action adventure game with a distinct Tim Burton-esque aesthetic. In the world of Random, the fate of the citizens is decided by rolling a six-sided dice. A mad queen rules the world’s six kingdoms, all with their unique digital-themed quirks. When the children turn 12, the Queen rolls the dice, and the number it places on determines which kingdom they are sent to. The protagonist Even was born of the inhabitants of Onecroft, the lowest and unluckiest of the kingdoms. When Odd, Even’s beloved sister, turns six on her birthday and is taken to live in the Queen’s palace, Even sets out on a quest to rescue her. Along the way, she meets Dicey, a sentient mortal with an incredible amount of power. Armed with Dicey and a deck of battle cards, Even sets out to save Odd.
Lost in random is a lush, beautiful adventure through an exciting world filled with unique characters. At the same time, this is also a difficult action game with quite limited resources and a lot of focus on dodging mechanics. The more I play, the more I get the feeling that this isn’t your usual action-adventure game – instead, it’s actually a Spirit in disguise or a game that takes its cues from punishment. notorious Dark souls series. Unfortunately, that revelation comes with all the frustration that Soullikes tend to convey.
The best thing about Lost in random is its world. Every environment is a delight to the eyes, from Onecroft’s quaint teapot-shaped buildings to Threedom’s majestic pink sunsets. Each area features strange, unsettling characters, many of whom have a story to tell. Playing the game really made me feel as if I had gone back to my childhood. Many of the designs are based on the creatures that collide in the night, the monsters under your bed that your storybook has warned you about.
The central quest is so mysterious and interesting that it always keeps me engaged. Combined with strong voice acting and narration, the entire package is just chilling and endearing enough to keep me excited to see what I’ll discover in each new realm. I especially love the short fields that feature Odd, which are creative and mind-blowing in the best way.
It’s fun to listen to every Random Dweller’s story, the dialogue is a bit tedious at times. Many characters are extremely verbose, and they speak exceptionally slowly. After a while, I found myself brooding over the dialogue, desperate to get to the point. I also had some audio bugs that caused dialogue to be skipped or not played at all.
The whole package is just creepy and endearing enough that I’m always excited to see what I’ll discover in each new realm.
Even so, the game’s text is strong and every character feels unique. There are more dialogue options than you might expect, though they’re more about taste and color than actual decision-making. Even more often than not, there are many difficult answers at her disposal, and I would love to hear the characters’ reactions to her baffling remarks.
The only downside to the environments is the difficulty of moving them. Every street starts to look the same after a while, and the game’s maps are mostly useless. (It desperately needed a “you’re here” marker.) The angular nature of the combat arena meant that I got stuck on the wall quite a bit during skirmishes, which made it impossible for me to dodge the battles. enemy attack. Cameras are also caught behind walls and structures a lot in these arenas, especially if you throw Dicey near a wall.
Lost in randomThe linear exploration and talking simulation segments are broken down into arena-style combat. After escaping Onecroft and meeting Dicey, Even frequently found himself in small, vague circular areas with a group of enemies to fight. In each battle, combat begins with a relative amount of helplessness: Even dodging enemy attacks and using his slingshot to knock crystals out of enemy bodies. Once she collects a sufficient number of crystals, she can throw Dicey to roll a number and stop the flow of time. The number determines which cards from her hand she can use. Each card has a number assigned to it and an effect, such as creating a potion that heals Even or taking the form of a sword so she can fight back. After making your selections, you can manually start the time again and hit again.
The whole process feels clunky (especially at the start when Dicey can only scroll one or two, which limits resources), but it’s certainly unique. Even if you have the ability to fight back, the game focuses on precise dodging and mobility rather than a sense of power. Even’s dash doesn’t go too far, but dashing just before an enemy attack will create an additional explosion that propels her further and gives the player a chance to turn around and attack while the enemy has their backs turned. Getting the timing right is hugely satisfying, and the game rewards players for luring enemies into other enemies’ attacks, as they can and will damage each other while trying to get back. destination.
Like the dialogue, many battles are too long, making you feel uncomfortable near the end and get knocked out by the enemy’s spear because you dodge incorrectly.
I wish there were more cards – I find myself using the same cards over and over and the game’s card dealer often just gives players the chance to buy more than they have. There is also a lack of diversity of enemies; By the time I was halfway through the game, I only saw four different types. There are some board game-style battles that shake up the combat environment a bit, but they don’t add anything particularly exciting to the game.
The arenas themselves can be frustrating. Most of them are circular, which makes it easy to kite enemies around and have room to dodge, but they’re still angular enough that I frequently find myself slamming into walls and other objects and getting caught. Difficulty ramps up pretty quickly, and the sheer number of enemies in some arenas can make battles slow.
Like the dialogue, many battles are too long, making you feel uncomfortable near the end and get knocked out by the enemy’s spear because you dodge incorrectly. That is the nature of a Soul.
Aside from the design issues, I ran into some surprising bugs during my time with the game. In addition to the aforementioned audio issues, every time I start the game I get the message: “Controller not found”. I was playing on PC so got a strange message. I also get game breaking errors and crashes, both of which require me to restart the game to continue. Lost in random autosave, so it shouldn’t be too much of a problem in either case, but experiences like these raise the frustration factor higher than usual. The game is being released one patch a day, so hopefully that will fix some of these more serious issues.
While my review key is for PC, I undeniably recommend playing the game with a controller or on a console. There are some very weird default key bindings, and the game feels both too complicated and too clunky with the mouse and keyboard. Soullikes is traditionally best played with a controller, and this game is definitely right at home in that group.
Lost in random like a storybook come to life, but that’s still not enough to bring it above its struggles. I find myself talking I wish so many, so much: I wish There are more diverse enemies and cards. I wish not too many errors. I wish The conversation wasn’t too rambling. The game holds a lot of promise, and it succeeds on many of the things it sets out to do, but its shortcomings are too many and too great to prevent it from reaching the finish line.
How long will it last?
The main story itself lasts about 20 hours, although there are plenty of side quests for dedicated players. There are also a few collectibles to find, so finishers will have a reason to extend their playtime. The story is linear and one-off, so there’s no reason to replay it.
Is there an alternative solution?
Players looking for an even more exciting experience should check out the Dark Souls and Bloodborne series for a simpler and more pure fighting style. Although it is quite old at this point, the hack-and-slash game Alice: Madness is back have similar visual aesthetic, feel more “mature” Lost in Random.
Should you buy it?
Yes – if you’re a player who loves storybook adventures and dialogue-heavy games, you should give Lost in random a look. (For those who just want to see the story, the game’s difficulty can be reduced.) It’s also worth a look for players who want to dip their toes into Soulslike games. Everyone else can ignore it.
Lost in random To be available now for PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PS5, Xbox One and Series X/S.