Lydia Review
Lydia Review
For the mainstream gamer looking for pure escapism, Lydia is a bit dark and not very fun. Although I am glad I played the game, I cannot say that I enjoyed it.
Posted: 06/14/17 | Category: Review | Developer: Platonic Partnership, Ltd | Publisher: Platonic Partnership, Ltd | Platform: Windows

Genre: Adventure
Release date: June 2, 2017

Lydia is the first commercial title by Platonic Partnership, Ltd., a four-man indie development team based out of Ostrobothnia, Finland. The game uses a 2D point-and-click adventure format to take on the difficult subject of family alcoholism and its impact on a child.

Having completed the game in about an hour-and-a-half, I have mixed feelings about Lydia. From a gamer’s perspective, it did not feel like an adventure. It is a very short story that requires clicking through extensive dialog and clicking to move to the next scene. In lieu of puzzles, there is a handful of environmental objects which need to be clicked to trigger specific actions. Instead of dialog trees, you select Lydia’s emotional state but it was not clear how/if this impacted the story.   At the end, there is a decision point.  However, once I completed the game, I could not go back to a prior save point and see how a different decision might have changed the ending. 

If one thinks of Lydia as a somewhat-interactive story, it is poignant and disturbing. Lydia’s journey through a traumatic childhood is documented by the talents of author/journalist Juho Kuorikoski, composer Juhana Lehtiniemi, and comic book artist Henri Tervapur. The dialog, music, and graphics come together to paint a powerful picture of the dark abyss that a home becomes when alcohol is abused. The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous (4th Edition, Page 82) makes the following observation: “The alcoholic is like a tornado roaring his way through the lives of others. Hearts are broken. Sweet relationships are dead. Affections have been uprooted. Selfish and inconsiderate habits have kept the home in turmoil.“ In Lydia, the effects of this tornado are accurately captured. It is likely to trigger strong emotions, especially for those with first-hand knowledge of alcoholism and/or addiction. 

I found myself wondering about the target audience for Lydia. It is a story that needs to be told and it is certainly educational. But it is apt to be lost on those with an alcohol problem because denial is a key part of the disease.  For those who are already impacted by the alcoholism of a family member, it documents what they already know and may be too painful to play.

For the mainstream gamer looking for pure escapism, Lydia is a bit dark and not very fun. Although I am glad I played the game, I cannot say that I enjoyed it. I give Platonic Partnership a lot of credit for creating a powerful interactive experience with emotional impact. However, Steam’s description of it as a “psychological horror adventure” may be somewhat misleading.

Grade: B
 
Highly effective portrayal of a dark story that needs to be told
+ Graphics and original soundtrack complement the subject to create an overall sense of hopelessness and despair
 
- Escapist gamers may want to look elsewhere for entertainment
- Very short experience at the current price point
 Logo 
 
Trailer 
 
 

 

System Requirements
 
MINIMUM Windows:
OS: Windows 7  SP1+
Processor: 2 GHz
Memory: 4 
GB RAM
Graphics: Intel HD 4000 or better
Direct X: Version 9.0c
Storage: 2 GB available space 
Sound Card: Windows Compatible Card
Additional Notes: Currently the game supports only 64-bit version of Windows
Specials from Digital Download
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