Best of April 2022

Lost in Random

Release Year: 2021

Developer: Zoink,Thunderful 

Publisher: Electronic Arts

Genre: Story, Adventure, Action

Platforms: PC (Steam, EA Play more)

Demo: No 

Ep. 04 - Lost in Random 

Lost in Random is a fairy tale kind of story, tiny bit dark really, about the sisters Odd and Even and their adventures in the World of Random, a land ruled by Fate, by the roll of a dice and an evil Queen!

At first, it took me a bit to get used to the rather peculiar graphics style, the animations and the general presentation of the world of Random, but after a short time I grew to like it very much. It is a world that feels alive and very different and also quite dark. There is an enjoyable narrator voice that accompanies your journey and most of the characters you meet are also voiced impressively. On top of that, the soundtrack is magical and fits the games’ atmosphere nicely.

What kind of journey you are in for, is a bit hard to tell at first. There is an extensive introduction into Even and Odd’s Fate - especially dramatic since they live in a society governed by the roll of a die. In Random, there are ones and twos, threes and fours, fives and sixes. Odd and Even are, as you might have guessed, not the lucky ones who got a six. They are ones. The luckless, the lower class of Random, the frowned upon. Given that fate seemingly decided about their future, they have to run into trouble first thing. Of course they do! 

This is where the game starts properly and the real journey through the world of Random begins. The action part of the gameplay is a mix of platforming, mild puzzles, some exploration, deckbuilding and combat in small-ish arenas against a set amount of increasingly challenging enemies. A lot of the game is non-combat though, which is great, since it has quite a story to tell. And the way that story is being told is very enjoyable. It is a rather unique story and setting to start with, but it is also very well written. You meet various quirky characters and learn more about your sister's whereabouts and the world of Random while you explore and fight and puzzle your way through this impressive genre mix.

A few more words about the games’ combat mechanics. While fighting various enemy types, you collect a blue sort of crystal resource that lets you roll your magic die friend, he babbles in a hilariously fantastic babble-language, very cute! The result of your magic friend/die roll can be spent as action points on combat cards that you magically pull out of your pockets, while the game goes into a pause mode. That makes playing a card a strategic choice rather than a hectic one, which I found to be adding to the games’ quality. Picking from various cards in your increasingly complex deck, you can have a magic Bow and arrow, drop an explosive, heal up or pick up a sword and shield and more.
You get on with the combat, all third person camera style, which feels a bit odd on mouse and keyboard, but plays fine enough in the end, and earn experience points which you can use to upgrade your friendly backpack die and to upgrade your available cards. 

Altogether Lost in Random pulls its genre mix off impressively and is overall very decent quality. I had a bit of an issue with the lack of graphics settings available. The game has massive cinematic effects, like blur and vignetting. Mostly used in a decent way, but sometimes a bit harsh and heavy for my personal taste. I would have enjoyed the game a bit more, had I the option to change more effects to my liking. That is my only gripe though. Everything else I saw in the game was great fun, nicely crafted and very easy to recommend if you are into stories, a bit of casual combat and light RPG mechanics.