ReviewsReview: Lost in Random

Review: Lost in Random

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There are people in this world who demand structure and order. They fear the unknown and won’t let randomness or chance control their lives. Then there are the ones who love a gamble and thrive off the risks involved. No matter which one you are, why not contemplate this question! How about a world where every rule and event is dominated by randomness and a roll of the dice? Would this excite you? Scare you? Or something in-between? This is the oppressive and exciting reality for the zany people and creatures of Lost in Random.

Developed by Zoink and published by EA, this is a macabre indie action-adventure title. Set in a grim Tim Burton-esque world, you must traverse six zones while helping the citizens of each district. With a distinct fairytale narrative and dark but comical characters, this game hits you immediately with its striking style.

Dicey is your secret weapon.

Lost in Random is the cartoon version of The Hunger Games, without the brutal violence. 

Lost in Random core concept revolves around six districts, that each complete a different role for the kingdom. Where you live is decided by the Queen and a roll of her all-powerful dice. Every child on their twelfth birthday must roll the dice to unveil their destiny. Unlucky individuals will roll a one and live their lives in Onetopia a damp and dank dockyard town. The people are poor and life is hard. If you are lucky, you’ll roll a six where the Queen will be your master and you the servant.

You take on the role of one of the twins, known as ‘Even’. Her sister ‘Odd’ has luck on her side as she rolls a six to land a dream life beside the Queen. ‘Even’ should be happy for her sister, yet she is haunted by nightmares of ‘Odd’ screaming for help, and she convinces herself that she must rescue her. This is where the adventure begins and your journey traverses some weird and wonderful lands.

A vibrant world that’s full of colourful characters. 

Lost in Random gave me the impression there would be a vast open world to explore. Sadly, this wasn’t the case. The plot flows linearly, with the central quest line highlighted throughout. You travel through each district completing tasks for the whacky and creepy NPCs who add humour and uneasy tones to this bizarre tale. The rigid plot is supported by an array of excellent side quests, collectables, and puzzles to complete. These elements add some freedom to the game and ensure that you don’t feel rushed or railroaded to get to the finale. 

If you adore finer details and interacting with the surrounding characters, then you’ll fall for the charm that oozes from Lost in Random. The NPCs are some of the best I’ve experienced in an adventure title. Their bizarre speech patterns, interesting looks, and unnerving one-liners add energy to this sombre tale.

Will these odd people help you?

Excellent combat, but luck can be a pain in the arse. 

Though the NPCs intricately piece together the story, much of the gameplay focuses on its interesting combat mechanics. The real-time battles that follow a hack n slash style are punctuated with luck and tactical elements. Your foes have crystals growing from their bodies, and you must dodge their attacks and shoot them with your slingshot while collecting the fallen shards. This powers your deck of cards that comprise fifteen items and allows you to unleash your special ability. It materialises in the form of Dicey! He is your Pip-earning, storage-wielding key to progress, and is also your secret weapon. As you throw him to the ground, time is frozen and a roll of the dice occurs. Depending on the result, you can now play one or multiple cards to add buffs, drop shields, or attack your enemies.

It was an interesting way to add tactics and to reinforce the element of luck. When the roll of the dice falls your way, you’ll love how easy the fights are. However, Lady Luck is fickle, and when it goes wrong, you’ll squeal and shriek with rage.

Lost in Random is a beautifully oppressive world. 

Beauty is in the eye of the Beholder, and Lost in Random proves that. This horrendous and sinister world shouldn’t be so beautiful, yet I was captivated by it. The miserable colour palette and freaky character models were enough to give me nightmares for months! Yet, I couldn’t get enough of the surrounding landscapes. Zoink has created the perfect fairytale-inspired world with some of the most grotesque creatures I’ve ever seen.

The audio emphasises the surreal nature of the story, thanks to its excellent acting, classic narration, and haunting soundtrack. The three elements combined brilliantly to add drama and tension to the action. Lost in Random’s presentation borrows heavily from Tim Burton’s films and works fantastically well with the plot. Fans of his macabre yet comical style will love what’s on offer here.

Where you go Dicey will follow.

Complex rules, but easy to play. 

Most card-based combat games have a steep learning curve, yet this one isn’t so bad. There are many rules to learn, but most can be studied on the fly and that makes this extremely accessible. Combining this with the well-planned button layout makes it very easy to play. However, to master it and excel during each battle, you’ll need to practise and understand each card you hold. Moving around the world was easy thanks to orbs that highlight interactive objects. This enhances its user-friendly approach and makes it a joy to play.

Thanks to its collectables, multiple side quests, and unique NPCs, there are plenty of reasons to return. Sadly, the linear approach impacts replay value slightly, but the interesting world will drag you back in for another visit. The moderate achievement list will be a challenge for completionists and adds hours to its meaty gameplay.

Lost in Random is an exceptional indie title. 

Lost in Random took me by surprise, mainly because of its fantastic story and excellent presentation. I adored the mixture of NPCs, the well-devised side quests, political turmoil, and a heavy dose of luck. It’s an exceptional indie title that I recommend you to buy here! Roll the dice, begin your adventure, and save your sister. Let’s hope that luck is on your side! 

SUMMARY

Lost in Random is a macabre Tim Burton-esque action-adventure game. Help 'Even' to reunite with 'Odd' by traversing each of the six districts. Meet unique NPCs and explore a dark and sombre world ruled by chance and luck.

+ Excellent oppressive yet beautiful graphics.
+ Fantastic audio and classic narration.
+ Brilliant controls that require some work to master.
+ The collectables and side quests add replay value.
- The combat may be repetitive for some.

(Reviewed on the Xbox Series X. Also available on PC, Nintendo Switch and PlayStation.)
Daniel Waite
My gaming career started on an Amiga and spans many consoles! Currently, I game using an MSI laptop and Xbox Series X. A fan of every genre, I love to give anything a go. Former editor and reviewer for www.bonusstage.co.uk, I'm loving my new home here at Movies Games and Tech. I can be contacted for gaming reviews on the following email: [email protected]

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