Leaving Lyndow (2017) Review
Eden Reviews Leaving Lyndow
Leaving Lyndow follows Clara as she says her goodbyes before heading out on her first maritime expedition. Set within a fantasy world, the game allows the player to visit a handful of different locations within the titular village of Lyndow, starting at Clara’s home and finishing at the port where she is to board the ship to take her off on her journey. At each she must talk to a couple of characters and complete a task before moving onto the next area. The idea behind this is to give the player a connection to the character, but this never materialises.
The people she talks to are simply stereotypes: a supportive Mother, a worried Uncle, a jealous friend. They have no depth to their personalities, and the conversations you have with them are dull uninspired fluff. There are a couple of dialogue options occasionally, which should be able to reflect both Clara’s identity and her relationship with those that she converses with, but these also never display enough complexity to describe anything more than the surface level events that unfold.
The tasks you must complete are a chore, one without any enjoyment or reward and simply seem to be a roadblock to progress as opposed to part of the experience. Take, for example, Clara’s first objective: to pack her suitcase. In order to do this the player must simply walk around the house and pick up the items, using a very easy to find key to unlock the attic to find one of them. There is no challenge in doing this as the items are highlighted, and no story or emotion truly portrayed in what is found or the exploration required to achieve these findings.
There may have been some redemption to these problems if the environment was at least interesting, but that too is rather devoid of any real meaning and feels simply empty. It is nice to look at though, with some work obviously having gone into building some-sort of semi-believable world. This is perhaps the games only redeemable feature and still it does not hit the mark in this department.
Leaving Lyndow’s aim is to act as a taster for Eastshade, still currently in development, which follows a different story set within the same world. I believe this means that there is still some potential for the full project, but only if the world-building can become more fleshed out and the events that play out within it ones that are miles more engaging and meaningful than what is on offer here.