The Prince of Landis is an adventure from indie developer Lorestrome and was published by Ratalaika Games in November 2021.
Welcome to Landis, Oregon, the Land of the snow! At least according to the game. Where poor little Evan lives, with this alcoholic dad, and nothing but bullies at school. One night Evan hears a crash and he explores the field near the house, to find an alien! What is he doing here? How did his ship crash? Is he deadly?
The game’s story is very basic. The whole thing is spent trying to help the Alien repair his ship, and you learn a bit about Evan, if you’re willing to search around. Like if you interact with some items in his room, you learn that his dad bought him a bunch of stuff, but couldn’t handle teaching him, so he gave up. Or how Evan used to like to draw, until his dad told him it’s a stupid hobby. “Where’s Evan’s mother?” you may ask. Well she’s dead. How? Well the game doesn’t go into detail.
The game markets itself as a “horror” adventure. But the only time it gets “spooky” is with the Alien design and some eerie music when Evan is talking to it. Besides that there’s nothing to fit the horror vibe. It delves into the subject of “how far will people go to protect themselves”, which is shown in one of the endings of the game. As it has two endings, depending on what you do in the last section. Whether you sleep or confront your bully, is the deciding factor in how it all plays out.
The game kind of plays like a point in click, except you are actually moving Evan yourself. So you have to run around a small map, looking for the objects that are needed to complete your next objective. This is easy, as there’s not many areas in the game, but that also means a ton of backtracking through the tiny town of Landis. Then when you get to an area where you think the item you need is, you have to be very diligent in looking, as the items are so very small, and in no way stick out. So at one point I had to find shears to cut some copper wire, and the shears were just on the ground, and blended into the environment. So I felt lucky I even noticed them in the first place.
Besides that though, there’s no real gameplay at all. There’s no minigames, there’s no silly banter, there’s no silly Easter Eggs. It’s just backtracking constantly and talking to people who are jerks. Heck, at one point Evan becomes one of the jerks when he steals an old ladies oxygen tank! There are no likeable characters at all. Sure I felt bad for Evan at first, but eventually I didn’t. I expected scary scenes, or spooky environments and I got none of that. If you’re going to market to the horror genre you need more than one creepy design and a few scenes of eerie music.
- Alien Design Is Spooky
- The Snowy Towns Design
- Not Horror
- No Likeable Characters
- So Much Backtracking
The game kept me playing for an hour and a half, but if I wasn’t needing to search so much for a few items when I needed them, I would’ve been done in half the time. I liked the town’s design and the Alien design, but I also love snowy environments, and it was enjoyable to see the payoff to bullies story with Evan. Other than that though, the game isn’t horror themed. There was nothing here for that. But if you care, there are easy trophies!
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