“Fear? What has a man to do with fear? Chance rules our lives, and the future is all unknown.” – Sophocles
Lost in Random is an exciting new action-adventure inspired by gothic fairytales. Set in the world of Random where people’s lives are determined by the roll of a dice, players take on the role of protagonist Even as she embarks on an unexpected journey!
Developer: Zoink Games
Released: 10th September 2021
Lost in Random has a fantastic dystopian-fairytale narrative that was penned by award-winning Adventure Time and Marvel Comics The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl author Ryan North. The story takes place in the kingdom of Random, divided into six realms and ruled by a malevolent queen and her mysterious black dice.
On their twelfth birthday, every citizen of Random must role the queen’s dice in order to determine in which of the realms they will live the remainder of their life creating a kind of randomised class system. Those lucky enough to roll a six would live in luxury in the queen’s realm, rolling a three would land the citizen in the chaotic Threedom, ravaged by civil war, anyone unlucky enough to role a one would lead a tough life in the destitute Onetown where the protagonist Even was born.
A year after a dice roll cruelly separates Even from her older sister Odd, she receives a worrying signal. In fear for her sister Even follows the signal out of town and into the eerie Valley of the Dice. It is here she meets her six-sided and forbidden companion Dicey and together they embark on a rescue mission that will lead them across all six realms!
Lost in Random delivers its narrative via cutscenes, some narration during the gameplay itself and through dialogue. There is an eclectic range of characters, each with their own unique personalities and quirks. Additionally, the quality voice acting really helps to bring the individual conversation to life.
There is a mix of genres utilised in Lost in Random such as exploration, stealth section, dialogue choices, questing and, of course, combat. While the focus is on the latter two elements, they all tie into the narrative well and the range of elements and variety inherent within them make for an exciting gaming experience that stays fresh throughout.
Even’s adventure begins in Onetown and after meeting Dicey in the Valley of Dice they board a ship and end up in Twotown. The pair must progress through all of the realms in order to reach Odd, a dice roll matching the realms number will get them through the multiple sets of doors but Dicey is missing dots and so finding more becomes part of the questline. There are also a number of side quests to be completed in each area meaning players are not short of things to do.
The combat is one of the highlights of the game. At the start of a battle Even is equipped with just a slingshot which she must use to shoot crystals from enemies and collect them in order to ‘charge’ Dicey and draw cards from her deck, crystals can also be obtained by performing a well-timed block-dodge through an attacking enemy. Once 5 cards are drawn Even can roll Dicey, the number rolled represents card points that can be used to play certain cards, all of which have a point value.
Once Dicey is rolled, Even enters the Dicemention where time is paused, this allows players to take their time selecting which cards to play and resume combat by attacking a foe. There are a wide variety of cards, including ones that give extra card points, create obstacles, restore health and provide weapons and these must be used tactfully to successfully defeat opponents. Cards can be found, obtained as rewards or bought with currency that Even can collect by shooting her slingshot at hidden and tucked away ornaments.
Failing or dying is quite a forgiving process and will simply restart the event or battle. Lost in Random has a normal and easy mode and lacks a hard difficulty setting, in that regard, it may lack the challenge that some players crave but overall the combat is nicely varied in its randomness and highly satisfying.
Lost in Random’s styling is unique and beautiful. The stunning 3D artwork features dark and vibrant lighting that contrasts with the dark and muted colour palette of purples, blues and greys. Additionally, the clay aesthetic of the models gives the game a unique visual feel.
The soundtrack matches the quality of the visuals, with eerie fantasy music with softy piano, twinkling sounds and choral vocals alternating between major and minor keys and ranging from delicately creepy melody to epic and mysterious battle music! The audio is very reminiscent of things such as The Nightmare Before Christmas or Edwards Scissorhands OSTs and fits the tone and style of the game perfectly.
Lost in Random is a fantastic game with a lot to offer. All of the different elements, from the varied gameplay to the eerie fairytale storyline and creepy styling, are done to a high standard and fit together beautifully to create a well-rounded narrative-focused action-adventure. The game is distinct, with a truly original feel and most importantly, it is a lot of fun, it has a wide appeal and I’d happily recommend it to almost everyone!