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Leaving Lyndow Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . The problem with Leaving Lyndow isn't that it's short, but rather that it doesn't have the emotional punch it needs to stick with you. The graphics are poor, the characters aren't all that interesting and the world is never fleshed out as much as it should be, all of which undercut any impact this game could have had. Leaving Lyndow is a short adventure that is ultimately not very satisfying. Rating: 40%
Leaving Lyndow
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  • Review Score:

  • C-
It used to be that I wanted every game to be 40 hours long. But now that I'm older and have so many things vying for my time, I kind of prefer when a game is short and sweet. The challenge bite-sized games face is that they can't just be brief, but also need to be satisfying. They need to tell a story that will stick with me longer than it took to beat the game. Sadly, this is the downfall of Leaving Lyndow, a brand new first-person adventure game that fails to leave much of a lasting impact.

As the title suggests, this is a game about leaving home. You play a young woman named Clara who is just moments away from starting her adult life. Her plan is to join a sailing expedition and research the world that lies beyond her little town. But before that happens, she'll need to pack her belongings and say goodbye to everybody he loves.


Most of this game involves little more than talking to the townspeople and interacting with important items. She'll walk through a forest filled with childhood memories, play with her little cousin one last time and learn more about the tragic events that changed this small coastal town forever. And after about 45 minutes, she'll gather up her suitcase and set sail towards a new life full of mystery and adventure.

Much like Gone Home and Everybody's Gone to the Rapture, this is more about the story than the gameplay. Sure, you can play the chimes and throw the ball around at the dock, but most of this game is spent learning about the city and Clara's family. We discover what happened to her father and why the town of Lyndow has come together to rebuild. We learn everybody's true feelings and what this expedition means to them. This is a game about tying up loose ends before Clara embarks on her journey.

While not exactly action-packed, I think this is the perfect setup for telling a deeply emotional story about growing up and moving on to the next chapter of your life. This is something that should resonate for most of us, as we've all had to deal with that kind of thing in one form or another. But the story in Leaving Lyndow did very little for me. Everything is brushed by so quickly that it's hard to care about the people she meets and the places she goes. She may have history with the town, but we certainly don't.

Leaving Lyndow (PlayStation 4)Click For the Full Picture Archive

This is a game that hints at deeper and more involving stories, but quickly brushes them aside so you can hunt down dolls in your uncle's garden. It would have been nice if there was some real drama and intrigue when you tied up the loose ends, but pretty much every disagreement will be resolved after a few lines of dialog. I was happy to see Clara move on with her life, but disappointed that I didn't get to feel like I was part of it.

It doesn't help that the graphics are kind of ugly. I'm not a big fan of the character models and the way everybody in Lyndow animates. There's also a roughness to the backgrounds that I didn't like. The most interesting location is the forest, but even that has its share of problems. Of course, I likely wouldn't have even noticed the graphics if the story was more compelling and the world more interactive. But with only a few things to look at, it's hard not to notice the rough edges.

The problem with Leaving Lyndow isn't that it's short, but rather that it doesn't have the emotional punch it needs to stick with you. The graphics are poor, the characters aren't all that interesting and the world is never fleshed out as much as it should be, all of which undercut any impact this game could have had. Leaving Lyndow is a short adventure that is ultimately not very satisfying.
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