Lake is an escapist story game about Meredith Weiss, a woman taking a break from her big-city career to return to her hometown and deliver mail, all set in the year 1986. While the set-up of moving to a sleepy northern looking town to reconnect with your life may seem like some Stephen King first act, shenanigans Lake, for all intents and purposes, is a slice of life game about returning to the quirky town of Providence Oaks and delivering mail. And while this may seem like a self romanticising lovely lifetime movie without the domestic horror- I am reminded that there would be nothing more terrifying than returning to my hometown to deliver mail and running into people I went to school with. I’d take some Resident Evil locked in the basement with mold people horror over that any day. Anyways, I digress; Lake looks like an absolute indie darling with a lot of heart. Just watching that trailer is instantaneous nostalgia.
Lake is scheduled to be released on April 1st, and if you are as entranced by its rural charm as much as I am, you can give it some support with a wishlist on Steam. However, if you’re still unsure and want to know a bit more- let’s talk about the demo and what we know so far.
Two Weeks in Providence Oaks
The obvious comparison of not just similarity of game but also style is Firewatch, and while Lake is undoubtedly a very different game, they do share a lot of common ground. Instead of hoofing it on foot through the woods, Meredith will be driving her dad’s trusty mail truck through the small town and interacting with its strangely quirky inhabitants. As far as we can tell from the demo, they are quite genuinely odd in a charming small-town way, not a charming Twin Peaks way. Lake really is a gentle game about travelling and delivering mail. Its branching storyline is entirely open to the player, with there being no right or wrong answers or endings. The way you interact with recipients, spend your time after work, and even the choice between driving and autopilot are all yours to make with little to no pressure.
That’s really what has Lake on Retroware’s radar- This game has a lot of charm and well-written dialogue. There’s something about the lack of pressure and freedom to explore socially that makes the demo (and I’m sure) the full game such a genuine experience. Look for a full review here on Retroware soon, and look for Lake September 1st.