With a world where everyone’s fate is determined by the roll of a dice, Lost in Random is a guaranteed high roller among indie games this year.
I couldn’t put it down. Even after 10 hours straight of playing, I just couldn’t put it down. Lost in Random ended up being something far more greater than expected, not to say I went in with low expectations (quite the opposite really). The Tim Burton-esque art style/animation is what first caught my attention and that dark undertone stayed present through the entire game. It’s been compared to Alice: Madness Returns for good reason, but both are very much their own unique games. Alice had her spotlight, now it’s Even’s turn.
In Lost in Random, you take control of Even, the younger sister of Odd, who has gone on an adventure to save her older sister from the Queen. Equipped with playing cards and a tiny yet powerful Dice, she’ll need to make her way through the first five areas of Random before finally reaching Sixtopia. Each area has it’s own unique style, backstory, locals, music, and just about everything else. From a dual-personality Mayor to a gambling man with very little foursight, the characters you meet in this game are to die for. Each one is designed with that lingering grim aesthetic that tiptoes on a thin line between nightmarish and horrific. Even if some are not the easiest to look at when you first meet them, their personalities are sure to win you over (a personal shout to See More, by far my favorite character to interact with, and Death for being unexpectedly hilarious). The writing in this game sells each individual character, be it a main character or a local hiding in the shadows. The attention to every small detail for each of them has not only been noticed, but is also very much appreciated.
Regarding the characters, the only thing I would’ve really liked to see happen more is getting the dialogue to sync up with the character’s mouths. It’s such a small thing in the grand scheme of it all, and there are a handful of characters that execute it well, but there are definitely other times where it’s so off that it’s hard to watch the cutscene/conversation. When it’s off too much, it can take you out of the experience of the game very easily because you can’t register that what you hear is what is being said. It’s a weird mind game. That doesn’t at all make the game bad, it’s just a little thing that I noticed early on and saw the most discrepancy in throughout the game.
Now the combat in this game… ok, admittedly, when I saw that it was a tabletop-style combat with the Dice and Cards, I was a little nervous. I’ve played my fair share of Hearthstone and Slay the Spire and am equally horrible at both, so I was hesitant that I’d end up in the same situation here. Oh boy was I wrong about that. Yes, there are cards involved in the combat, but it’s far from a tabletop combat system. Instead of pressing buttons for attacks or spells, you simply pick them from a deck of cards based on the points you roll with your trusty dice. It’s so easy to pick up and the sheer variety of cards enables you to really personalize your layout so no matter what you dice roll might be, you can kick all the creepy robot butt your heart desires. The arena-style fights do gradually get more difficult as the game progresses and, while they’re are a bit on the long side, they are quite rewarding with giving you necessary coins needed to buy new cards or will just straight up give you cards to use. The boss fights are hefty, to put it lightly. There’s no save points within them and each fight can easily last 10+ minutes, so you really need to stay on top of your health and the plethora of enemies to make sure you don’t have to start over again. Though, even if you do have to start over, you learn very quickly what you did wrong, so you know, a bit of give and take with it.
Lost in Random also does a pretty good job of understanding that there are two types of gamers: ones that watch the cutscenes and ones that skip them. If you want to do everything, watch everything, finish the conversations/listen to all the dialogue, you can easily spend about 20 hours in the game. If you prefer to take the less experience-filled route, you can skip all the cutscenes and dialogue, dropping the play time down to about 9 hours. There are actual in-game tips that poke fun at all of the dialogue and tell the player’s that if they’re tired of listening to everyone talk so much, to just skip it. It’s a game that’s quite aware of itself and what it’s putting the players through. You can even change the difficulty settings at any point without any consequence. It’s just made for a good time.
For those interested in the trophies/achievements of the game, Lost in Random will make you work for them. The game is full of collectibles and no chapter select, so if you want to get them all, you’ll need to be very much aware of what you need to pick up in each area. There are in-game trackers for just about everything, so that definitely makes it a little easier, but there are plenty of “points of no return” throughout the game, making nearly half of the trophy/achievement list painfully missable. The game is enjoyable enough where if you have to play through it again, it’s not a horrible experience, but it’s best to try and get everything you can in one go.
- Delightfully morbid story
- Characters that are lovable
- Great pacing through each area
- The combat system is easy to learn and user friendly
- The soundtrack is fantastic (and on Spotify!)
- The audible dialogue doesn’t always match up with the characters mouths, which can pull you out of the game from time to time
- The fights can start to feel long, especially towards the end of the game
- No chapter select, but that’s more of a completionist con
Overall, Lost in Random takes you on an emotional journey, from the introduction all the way to final boss fight. The overall morbid tone might not be attractive to some, but it makes the game what it is. This game hit on another level and is by far one of my favorite games to have experienced this year, so definitely recommend you check it out if/when you can!
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Game & Developer Information
Developer Website: Zoink! Games
Developer Socials: https://twitter.com/ZoinkGames
Publisher Website: Electronic Arts (EA Originals)
Publisher Socials: https://twitter.com/EA
PSN Store Links: £24.99/€29.99 Europe / $29.99 North America
Trophy Information: 41. 1 / 2 / 15 / 23