Lake was one of the handful of demos I played via the Steam Gamescom demo slate. After having been showcased on various stages in the past few months, I was interested in a title that skewed from the norm. Here is why I came to adore Lake and am excited for what it may become.
In Lake, you play as Meredith Weiss, a talented developer that has eschewed her cozy life in Providence Oaks for the hustle and bustle of a bigger city. But, as it seems to happen in real life, Meredith completes a big project and heads home to recharge. It’s hard to accurately explain how close this experience is to those that have felt something similar. No matter what, even if you absolutely love the place you’ve moved to and intend to stay there forever, where you grew up will always be home. There is a sense of security that isn’t present anywhere else. Somehow, that feeling endures even with the drastic change a town and its inhabitants may go through. I think that is what has really drawn me to Lake. That, and the way it shrugs off current design sensibilities.
The first thing that I found when playing Lake was how it lets you determine the journey. You are less controlling Meredith, and more so playing as Meredith. It’s a faint distinction, but the freedom allows for more agency. The entire premise is that you are taking over your father’s mail route. The “goal” is to deliver parcels and letters to addresses across the lake. That “goal” is clearly a tool to what you (and Meredith) get out of the journey: a rekindling of conversations and relationships with family friends and new acquaintances. Such a simple, admittedly rote task, is the perfect device to traverse relationships from both the past and present of Providence Oaks.
The demo provided a look into the sometimes hilarious and sometimes fascinating stories that will unfold. From trying to figure out why a cat is ill all the way to the tense relationship you now have with your once best friend; Lake is clearly looking to thread the needle in terms of keeping things light as a way to then delve into deeper subject matter. The stories and characters are completed by just how whimsical and serene the art style for Lake is.
Lake Release Info
Publisher: Whitethorn Games