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Lonesome Village review – “Bringing back the puzzling people!”

  • A mysterious village story with cute villagers
  • A mixture of simulation with puzzle gameplay to keep you thinking
  • A variety of puzzle types and difficulties to challenge yourself

Go to any online gaming market, type in the word “village”, and you’ll be set for the rest of your gaming life. When villages are involved, you know that you’re going to be spending a lot of time doing chores for people and tidying up your little patch of land. Ogre Pixel understands this which is why they wanted to add a bit more challenge to village life with Lonesome Village. You’ve got a combination of puzzle and sim-like mechanics in this 2D stylized game where all the villagers seem to be mysteriously missing at first. The mystery of village living is calling to you.

What is Lonesome Village?

Fox walking through pixellated colourful Lonesome Village

When it comes to village games, there don’t tend to be a lot of rich stories behind them, the people, or even why you decided to move in. Lonesome Village starts things off by giving you a legend and a purpose. There were these three important figures who attempted to reach out to a deity in hopes of attaining a higher power. In response, the deity sought someone bearing a powerful artifact and summoned a tall tower that consumed the citizens of the surrounding village. As a young fox chasing the legend, both the tower and the village await your arrival and your keen mind.


Making friends in Lonesome Village

Two dressed up foxes walking over the stone bridge

A big reason to play simulation games is the hope of interacting with creative and friendly characters in a peaceful setting. Lonesome Village has that on top of a much larger adventure. The hub area of the village and the surrounding land are larger than they may seem and not overwhelmingly so. The villagers will be milling about as you get to see the community come to life in the day and night. You’re motivated to get more villagers just to have new folks to talk to, new services to use, and new tasks to complete.

All the social and sim-like stuff is a relaxing reward for the challenging parts of the game. You need to enter the tower where each floor has a villager sealed within stone. To save them, you’ll have to solve the nearby puzzle using your wits and whatever tools you bring with you. The puzzles can range from simple to surprisingly tricky even after you understand all the rules. They’re not super daunting or tense, but they will keep your mind active as you test out various solutions. There’s also enough variety to prod different kinds of thinking.

Overall, it’s a very cute and peaceful game that has a somewhat sombre presence in the tower and the villagers’ predicament. It’s about bringing colour and life back to the village so that you can directly defy the title. No one should be lonesome around a cursed tower.

Lonesome Village Blues

Solving a puzzle with two mirrors in Lonesome Village

With a name like Lonesome Village, there’s going to be some less-than-positive issues that you’ll need to process. The main one is how the UI is designed in terms of functionality. Considering that you’ll eventually end up carrying a lot of items and tools, it becomes more and more cumbersome that lack of a quick-select function. It’s also a bit annoying that some items aren’t designed to be context-sensitive and still need to be equipped. The game already has a slow pace, it doesn’t need to be slowed down anymore.

Continuing that, there will be times when you need to interact with puzzle elements directly (like sliding blocks) but it’s not as easy as it sounds. There are on-screen controls for clarity, but this would be a good chance to use the touch-screen capabilities. What’s more confusing is that there are times when it feels like that touch-screen was the original intention, but then it stops working halfway through or works on and off. Most of the activities in the game can be handled with minimal action, but the controls aren’t fully optimised for that.

Visiting The Lonesome Village

2 hand drawn animals looking at the key

Lonesome Village is a 2D top-down side-scrolling adventure about restoring an abandoned village by rescuing villagers from a mysterious tower through puzzle-solving. It’s a relaxing, slow-paced, and sweet game, that has some story and challenge to keep you stimulated when you’re done taking a break. How the controls and UI are implemented breaks the flow and hampers an otherwise low-maintenance experience. Ironically, you should stop by the Lonesome Village if you’re feeling lonely to help out adorable villagers in need.


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