As I get older I’ve found it harder and harder to sit down and get into these massive open world games that we so frequently get in today’s game market. Many times I’ll opt to play a shorter game so that I can get in and get out with a good experience. Several of my favorite games over the past few years I could finish in one sitting such as Gone Home, Journey, or What Remains of Edith Finch. All of those told meaningful stories that left a lasting impact on me even though they only lasted maybe a couple hours. Eastshade Studios has now released their own short narrative experience, Leaving Lyndow, that is actually meant to serve as a prologue to the much bigger Eastshade that is in the works. Unfortunately this was not a memorable experience.
Let me just get this out of the way and tell you that Leaving Lyndow is only around 30 minutes long and that is being generous if you are really taking your time. Now you won’t be paying much for this extremely short experience as it only costs $4 but you can probably find other games for around the same price that will be both a longer and more fulfilling experience. Leaving Lyndow is a short story about a girl named Clara who is about to leave her home island and set off on a voyage across the sea as part of a explorers guild. The game is broken up into several areas that you can walk around and explore before you take your leave. These areas include Clara’s house, a beautiful forest area, your uncle’s farm, a bar and the port.
Along the way you learn about Clara’s life up until now via notes laid about or family members like your mother or uncle. Each area of the game has a sort of puzzle that you’ll have to solve before you’ll be allowed to move on. In your home you’ll have to pack your luggage and in the forest you’ll have to play a certain tune on some musical pipes. None of them are really that interesting and they seem to be here only for the purpose to make this a slightly longer experience. All of the environments do look pretty good graphically though with the forest being a particular highlight. However the game does have some technical issues with performance dropping for no apparent reason. Something else that kind of bothered me was the character models themselves with all of them looking like some kind of weird monsters. Everyone’s mouth is covered by a cloth as if the developers didn’t want to animate mouths but considering there is no voiced dialogue that really is no excuse for the odd character design.
I really don’t mean to be harsh on Leaving Lyndow but even though the game is cheap there isn’t a whole lot here worth checking out. I know this was made to help raise additional funds for the bigger, much more expanded Eastshade but if this was even maybe an hour longer it would have helped to make it much more recommendable. To me it really does seem like a paid demo and I think you can find better things to play for 30 minutes of your time than this.
*Leaving Lyndow is available on PS4 and PC. Reviewed on a PS4 Pro. Review Code provided by the publisher.