Lydia (PS4) – Review
Follow Genre: Indie, Point ‘n’ Click, Visual Novel, Story-driven, Adventure
Developer: Platonic Partnership
Publisher: Nakana.io
Platform: PC, PS4, Switch
Tested on: PS4

Lydia (PS4) – Review

Site Score
8.2
Good: Easy gameplay, Strong narrative, Beautiful visuals
Bad: Voice-overs are unpleasant, Most dialogue choices don’t have any impact on the story
User Score
9.0
(1 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 9.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Lydia, an award-winning dark visual novel by Platonic Partnership and Nakana.io, is a simple point ‘n’ click game with an impactful story. We’ll be dealing with heavy subjects such as alcoholism, mental abuse, a broken home, depression, etc. This is all based on Platonic Partnership’s team members’ own experiences. The game has been out on PC for a while, and was later released on Switch as well. Now, this hard-hitting game can also be experienced on PlayStation 4.

Story

The game starts off with little Lydia asking her dad for a bedtime story. They seem to have a good bond at that time. Sadly, an irritated mom interrupts the scary storytelling, thus the storytime got cut short. Lydia goes to her room wondering about the princess-eating monster from the tale. Alone and stuck in her room, she decides to seek out this monster to confront her fear. With a strong imagination, she escapes to a fantasy world with her guardian plushie Teddy. It turns out, almost everyone we face along our journey is unreliable and untrustworthy.

Jumping in and out between her fantasy world and reality, we quickly see that both worlds run parallel to each other. Her toxic environment is being translated from her perspective into a whole other world. It turns out that this has been one of Lydia’s coping mechanisms all along. After finding the monster she sought as a child, we watch how Lydia grows up, witnessing her going through pivotal points in her life and the many effects it has caused.

Going through different chapters of her life, we discover her experiences with abusive parents, bad surroundings, and wrong friends. The narrative isn’t at all linear, which makes uncovering her story much more interesting. Her story is strong and heart-breaking. The subjects are hard-hitting and not often talked about. Telling it in such a way is unconventional and unique, which only makes this game so much more impactful to experience.

Graphics

Along with a grim narrative, there are grim but stunning water-colored/hand-drawn graphics. This combination is beautiful and perfectly adds to the gloomy atmosphere of Lydia. The whole game is mostly gray-scale but it alternates fluidly between other color tones. The art style also reminds us that this story started out from a child’s perspective.

Sound

Just like the graphical design of the game, the soundscape fits perfectly into the dark atmosphere of every scene. The background music can be tense but also melancholic, just like Lydia.

The game also has voice-overs, but not like we’re used to in most games. Instead of using clear language, the developers chose to use unintelligible mumbling that is unique to each character. It’s not that original nowadays, but it’s still unusual and helps the game stand out. Unforturtunely, most said mumbling is delivered in a whiney way which can get annoying after a while. There was even one voice that literally sounded like a hungry cat. It felt like an eternity until that scene was over.

Gameplay

Like most point ‘n’ click adventure games, Lydia’s gameplay is quite simple and linear. Since the game is mostly focused on storytelling, there’s not much present in terms of actual gameplay. Playing as Lydia, you walk through her memories one chapter at a time. You engage in conversations, choose a dialogue option, and interact with your surroundings. All you have to do is walk around and find interaction points. These points of interest are not hard to find at all on PS4, since you’ll get a giant ‘X’ that appears on-screen.

Choosing a dialogue option isn’t all that exciting either. Only at one point in the game you’ll have to think through what options to pick to complete a puzzle. Outside of this, you can basically pick whatever you want as it doesn’t change the outcome of the game whatsoever.

Conclusion

Can we actually call Lydia a game? No, not really. This is since Lydia is more of an interactive visual novel than it is an actual game. It was, however, a very impactful experience and we were glad we got the chance to play it. The game delivers the hard-hitting subjects of alcohol abuse and mental health, among other stuff, very well through its story-telling, fitting soundtrack, and beautiful visuals. Although, we do have to mention the voice-overs could have been delivered better. Overall, Lydia was an interesting way to get immersed in such grim topics. It’s a hard reality that happens to a lot more people than you’d ever think, and Lydia is a great way to bring awareness to these experiences.

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Rating: 9.0/10 (1 vote cast)
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Lydia (PS4) – Review, 9.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
JenRox


“Keep your friends close, but your memes even closer”.

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