GAME REVIEW: THE LOST VALLEY / DEVELOPER: ANDREWDRUMOV, SANKE BERDOCHAN / PUBLISHER: ANDREWDRUMOV / PLATFORM: PC / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
It’s a sad day when, in attempting to rise above its peers, a creator utterly squanders their medium’s greatest asset. This is the exact problem which plagues The Lost Valley as, following the example set by The Chinese Room, the developer has set out to strip their production of any and all interactivity. The only genuine choice you can truly make here is whether you want the game to be set in summer or winter, and what language you want the options menu to be in. Really you might as well not even be there.
The story itself is non-existent. While the Steam page outlines a vague objective of having crashed a bike and needing to seek a way out of the titular lost valley, nothing in the game itself alludes to this. While a minimal story can work in certain locations and environments, this isn’t one of them. Without the open world of Skyrim or the freedom to build offered by Minecraft, you are left completely directionless. In fact, it’s so bad that the only way the game offers any direction at all is by literally putting the player on a path. There is an extremely vague hint of freedom, but it only takes a few scant seconds to realise you’re just slowly traversing a series of glorified corridors.
If there is one positive thing about The Lost Valley which can be said, it’s that the game looks remarkably good, displaying some reasonable visual effects and variety in its environments. Atop of this the music itself is fairly nice, giving it the feel of a mood piece. Sadly though, that’s severely hampered by a constant sense of artificiality. Even going so far as to jump kick a crocodile in the mouth won’t cause it to bat an eye and other animals seem entirely frozen in place.
Perhaps the single most damning detail is how The Lost Valley seems to actively punish you for wanting to interact with things. If you’re so bold as to actually press the left mouse key to try and open a door or climb a ladder, the entire game restarts itself. Without warning or hesitation, you instantly slammed back to the starting cutscene and forced to play through all over again.
To be utterly blunt, this isn’t a game. The developers made this for people who are “tired of zombies and shooters” yet the staggering lack of substance only makes this a far lesser creation than those they thumb their noses at. Between these elements and a surprising number of bugs for such a simple creation, this is most definitely one you should skip.