“I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.” – Bruce Lee
Landlord of the Woods is a slightly surreal, point-and-click puzzle game about a protagonist who feels they have fallen behind their peers and decides to break out of their monotonous daily routine.
Developer: Madison Karrh
Released: 17th March 2021
The gameplay is a familiar point-and-click puzzle style featuring a range of conundrums including inventory, physics and logic-based and hidden object puzzles to name a few. There are varied and satisfying but ultimately unchallenging and the experience is pretty relaxing as a result.
The majority of the puzzles are centred around the protagonist’s new job as landlord of the woods. Players must visit 5 forest residents and collect their rent, however, there is always a task that needs doing before they will pay up. The rent consists of various items and these must be collected whilst completing the tenant’s job.
Narrative and Styling
The surreal narrative unfolds as the puzzles are completed, it blends thought-provoking and almost uplifting elements with bizarre interludes and a sinister twist. Players take on the role of a 25 year old, unenamoured with their life and afraid they are falling behind their peers. In a bid to relieve the monotony of their existence they apply for a new job as landlord of the woods. The story and gameplay are interwoven brilliantly with the puzzles relating directly to what is happening within the narrative and really helping to immerse the player in the experience.
The cute, cartoon art style consists of muted and pastel shades and contrasts nicely with the more gruesome visual elements such as at the beginning of the game where the protagonist eats a heart for breakfast or this puzzle in which a bird needs to be sewn up. The music also provides some contrast to the more disturbing aspects of the game and mostly consists of gentle piano and twinkling chimes for quite a calming effect.
Landlord of the Woods will take about 30-40 minutes to play and is a really interesting interaction of this genre of game. The narrative and connected puzzles are engaging and satisfying without being demanding and the mix of cute, relaxing elements with the darker side of the game is pleasantly jarring. This wonderfully bizarre game costs less than £1.00 but I would happily have paid more for it and heartily recommend it.
Looking for more point-and-click games? Check out the following reviews:
Shindig: A Wholesome New Point-and-Click Adventure – The Sweet and Sinister Adventures of Fran Bow – Heal – An Emotive and Abstract look at Old Age and Memories.