LifeisXbox’s Lost At Sea review | In Lost At Sea, we follow the story of Anna, a woman who, in the later stages of her life, has come to be alone. She has to face her past in order to be able to live in her new future. It’s up to you to construct her memories by finding specific objects and solving puzzles. Meanwhile, your fears try to keep you from moving on, and sometimes they get to you. Lost At Sea, developed by Studio Fizbin and published by HeadUp, portraits a personal story that everyone will be able to relate to. But does it capture the player’s attention like it is supposed to? Find out with me!
We played Lost At Sea for 3 hours on PC. This game is also available on PlayStation and Xbox.
What we liked!
- Simple gameplay | I’m not the most patient gamer, and I actually found myself lost at sea at the start of this game. You start by being on a little rubber boat in the middle of an ocean. The only thing you see is a distant island, and you’re not able to do anything. The game tells you to reach for your compass, and I thought I would be able to move towards where the needle was pointing. Nope. The first few minutes of this game might be confusing, but be patient! Before you know it, you’ll be stranded on a mysterious island where the actual game begins. It takes some searching, but once you get the hang of Lost At Sea, the gameplay is really quite simple. You run around the island, find biomes (representing different stages in Anna’s life), and discover four objects in every biome. Every object holds a memory but a piece is missing, so you set out on an adventure on the island and try to find the missing pieces. Your compass is your best friend here, and the fear showing up out of nowhere is your worst enemy.
- Puzzles and mini-games | As I mentioned, memories are not complete upon finding them. For example, in the playgound-like area (what will probably be the first biome you find), there is a memory represented by a table. In order to complete this memory, you need to find a box of some sort. Your compass shows you where to go, and upon finding the spot where the box is supposed to be, you’ll find a radio and some chairs. Yup, you’ll have to play musical chairs with invisible other kids. When you win and claim that one chair in the final round, a present shows up, and you can run back to the playground biome and complete the memory. These little puzzles and mini-games are usually not too difficult to find out, and they offer some fun times.
- Story | Lost At Sea tells the story of a woman named Anna, who has come of age and is now alone in life. The story takes you through avrious stages of her life, and you get to know what the reasons are for Anna being alone now. Lost At Sea tackles some difficult themes, so I would like to add a trigger warning here. If you’re not good with themes like death, maybe this is not the game for you! The developer, Studio Fizbin, tries to take us through moments that we can all relate to, and I think this is where the true beauty of this game lies.
- Art style | Even though the island in itself isn’t anything to write home about, I did enjoy the different biomes. My favourite ones were definitely the playground and the bus graveyard, if I can call it that. I very much loved how the colors of every biome are a bit flat and had an Instagram-kind of filter over them when you first discover them. After you bring back all the missing pieces and unlock all the different memories, the whole biome becomes way brighter, and I thought this was a very clever way of showing the healing part. I’d also like to point out that the fear in Lost At Sea is being portraited as black lines coming at you, and it felt very fitting!
- Sound | Both the soundtrack playing in the back, as well as the sound effects in Lost At Sea were just perfect, I think. The music playing in the back is a soothing track that compliments the difficult themes this game deals with. With emotional games like this, the musical component is definitely important, and it just fitted in with the gameplay so very very well!
- A lot of running around and respawning | Something I’m sure not everyone will enjoy is the constant running around. You’ll be going from biome to biome, but more importantly: you’ll be hunting down the missing pieces of the memories on the island. This includes a lot of just walking (or using the slow running option) around and having your fears get to you. The fears don’t kill you, but they just make you respawn. This got tedious fairly fast, and it felt like just wasting time, rather than ‘fears getting to me’, you know? For some players this might get repetitive, even if there are small mini-games to keep the game more interesting. I have to admit that even I sometimes got a little sick of the running around, but it did make me get to know the island better.
- You’re on your own | Even though the puzzles in itself are not too complicated, and very short, it’s still entirely up to you to figure out what the hell you’re supposed to do. Most of the time, you’ll figure it out rather quickly, but there are puzzles/mini games in Lost At Sea that are not that obvious. Sometimes, you don’t even have to do anything and you just have to wait, and I found that very confusing because I kept wanting to do something, but then I had to start over.
What we disliked
- Nothing to see here 🙂
How long to beat the story | 2 to 3 hours
How long to get 100% achievements | 2 to 3 hours
Similar with | What Remains of Edith Finch
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Head of PC team. PC, Switch, and Xbox game reviewer. Also a marketeer, concert and animal lover, and photographer in training 🙂