Developed by Gamious and published by Whitethorn Digital, Lake is a mail delivery game where you drive around a white van and deliver letters and parcels in a peaceful town. Whitethorn Digital has been publishing some of the best indie titles in recent times and Lake certainly takes the cake here with its beautiful scenery and soothing gameplay. Featuring a story-driven campaign, Lake offers you to become a mailman and deliver mail in a peaceful setting filled with a small town surrounded by a huge lake and wilderness. This is our review of the Steam version of Lake in which we deliver some parcels and enjoy the good company of our local community.
The story of Lake revolves around a girl named Meredith Weiss who is living her busy life in a big city while working in a software company. When her parents decide to take a vacation, she offers her help to fill his job role at her hometown’s local mail carrier company. After arriving at her parents’ home, she settles in, gets in touch with her father’s colleague, and gets ready for her 2-week tenure at the mailing company. Right from the next day, Meredith begins her mailman journey in her father’s white van which is also known as Goose to the local community.
The gameplay of Lake is pretty straightforward. You begin your shift in the morning, you deliver letters and parcels to the marked destinations and return to the office in the evening to call it a day. The cycle continues similarly the next day. The main charm of the game comes from various activities that happen during your delivery routes. Since Meredith has been living here before when she was little and she is now returning back after more than 20 years, some of the things have drastically changed in the town while some people are still there.
This leads to some really fun interactions between Meredith and the various residents of the town. While most of the letters are just delivered in the mailboxes, for packages, you have to go and ring the bell, and sometimes when the person comes out, an interaction begins. This is however not random and nearly everything in the game is scripted so there is no randomness in the game. Since the town is a small one, there are not too many people and vehicles on the streets as well. The town is usually really quiet and serene which adds to the beauty of the game.
Meredith also seems to have an emotional attachment to her hometown and some of the people. While some of the people have moved around the town, there are still some of the older people living there that she used to know back when she was little. These people will instantly recognize you and sometimes will lead to further interactions as well such as a camping night out or a date with a newly found friend. These out-of-job interactions are a great way to have a diversion from the normal mail delivery routine and show us a different side of Meredith as well.
After you are done with your day at the office, you can relax at your home such as reading a book or watching TV. Sometimes you can watch flicks rented from the local video store or if you have a request from a friend such as Steve from your software company, you can complete their help requests as well during this time. This free time is used in various ways and the decision all lies at your own will. You can entertain yourself or help out a friend in need.
During your interactions, you can choose what dialogue option you want to have in the game as well. Not all options are always the same and sometimes you can change the outcome based on these choices as well. These choices do not dramatically change the outcome of your interaction or the game but sometimes you will notice the other person’s mood changing on how you are responding to the dialogue. You can opt between helping out people and minding your own business as well. How you want to create your Meredith’s image in the game, it is all up to you.
All of this is presented in a very soothing art style combined with a soft and relaxing radio station that plays in the background while you are playing the game. The voice acting is really good as well and dialogue is different in tones when you pick them. This is evident pretty easily in the game. The truck driving is smooth, the animations are great and the game shows that the developers have put in a lot of hard work into making it the title it is today. I had a great time playing it and I would have loved it if the game had an endless mode where you could just drive around, deliver letters and parcels to random people and enjoy your game however the game is still pretty enjoyable in its current state.
Lake’s main purpose is to deliver a serene and calming experience and it does it brilliantly. The gameplay is soothing and with no time limits or restrictions, you can really take your time taking in the scenery and enjoying the calm of Oregon. The characters feel lively and bring the world of Lake to life. The game features a beautiful art style, a perfect lake backdrop for the setting, and a city full of life and activity to keep you entertained throughout its story. If you are looking for a laid-back game with full-to-life characters, a peaceful setting, and gameplay that really soothes you down after a hectic day, Lake is right up your alley. Highly recommended if you love playing games with beautiful scenery and relaxing gameplay.
Final Score: 9.0/10