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Lost Ember

Posted by GG Goblin On December - 19 - 2019

A magnificent world seen through the eyes of various animals.

 
There is a game for every mood. In the world of video games, adrenaline is easy to come by, but there are plenty of other experiences out there as well. From brain-teasing puzzles to experiences much more akin to a relaxed stroll in the park on a sunny afternoon, players will always be able to find a game that suits their mood. Mooneye Studios’ Lost Ember is a game that would suit a very particular mood. While the gameplay is simple and laid back, the surrounding beauty looks to uplift the player. With an interesting story, Lost Ember could most certainly be described as a Sunday game.

 


 
In Lost Ember, the player takes on the form of a wolf. This is not just a regular wolf though, as it is actually inhabited by the soul of a deceased human. In the mythology of this world, souls would usually travel to the promised city after death, but leading a less than good life results in them being trapped in the world. This is the situation found by the player and, guided by another lost soul in small glowing orb form, the player will have to traverse the land, moving from one memory to the next, trying to reach their destination.

 
And what a world it is. Lost Ember’s world is simply stunning. The art direction makes the game very appealing to look at, and there is a vastness to the world that invites the player to explore. The problem is that the world is somewhat lacking in life. Humans have long since disappeared from this world, and so it has been reclaimed by nature. But life is still relatively scarce and, other than the few collectibles that serve very little or no purpose to the game, there is just not a lot to do other than look around. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes it is nice just to look, and there is plenty here to look at, but without expanding the story or providing heavy doses of lore for the player to indulge in, looking is all the player will be doing. Wanderers will wander, but I would guess most players will just move from one memory marker to the next.

 


 
Being a wolf is fine and all, but the key mechanic in Lost Ember revolves around being able to take control of other animals. This is where the puzzles lie, as the player will have to take control of something else in order to reach a new area and progress. For example, taking over a fish will allow the player to swim at speed, and controlling a bird will give access to the skies. It is a great little gimmick that gives the player a chance to experience this very good looking world from a different perspective, and controlling the different creatures adds a lovely variety to the gameplay. Some of the animals actually have different abilities to be played with, but these are mostly just for fun and won’t have any bearing on the game. Sadly, the puzzles themselves don’t really amount to much more than changing into the right animal, which really does limit the game.

 
As already mentioned, Lost Ember feels like a typical Sunday. It is calm and peaceful, and seems to have the potential for anything, but inevitably ends up with not a whole lot being achieved. Most players will simply travel from one memory to the next, as they are fairly well marked, unlocking the interesting but short story. There are some really magical moments to be found in the world, mostly revolving around controlling the different animals. Each of the different creatures in the game are very well modelled and animated, each having their own character to share.

 
Lost Ember is a game without any sense to threat. There are no boss battles to worry about, or any risk of falling foul of a trap. This is fine, not every gaming experience needs that. However, there is also a lack of anything else to do. The game has a beautiful world, but there needs to be more reason to explore it. Half of the collectibles have absolutely no purpose at all, while the others give a limited glimpse into the backstory of the world and are not much better. it is almost as if the developers struggled to think of other things to do in this world outside of following the story. The story is good, but quite short. The developers have obviously put a lot of love into Lost Ember, but they really could have done with adding some more gameplay.

 


 
Lost Ember is a lovingly created casual adventure that looks stunning. For those looking for a pure walking simulator with an interesting story, Lost Ember could be the relaxing experience that they want. However, those looking for something a little more involving will end up having to look elsewhere.

 

 ★★★★★★½☆☆☆ 



 

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