Review of Lorelei and the Laser Eyes – Laser Focused Epiphany

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    The setup of Lorelei and the Laser Eyes is much more minimal than others in the puzzle genre. You’re a voyeur carrying a clutch who walks into a mansion incredulously with little understanding of why you’re there or what you’re doing. The lack of context doesn’t matter, though, because the game immediately displays your incredible sense of mood. You probably don’t know why you’re petting the dog in the yard, checking every door, or reading every scrap of paper you find in the beginning, but you want to be there and enjoy what the game has to offer. Want to see everything. And if you’re like me, it morphs from one to the other Want to a the need Which leaves you completely up late, pointing your phone’s flashlight at a piece of scrap paper. Already full of notes incomprehensible to any outside observer..

    To To talk too much about the game’s story would betray its intent, but know that while initially, the plot seems haphazard, it all leads to something, I promise. Various news articles, books about the cycles of the moon, typed monologues about the nature and purpose of art, and unfinished film scripts all paint a sense of what happened at this hotel/mansion, but this The final moments of the movie made me wonder how quickly he pulled everything together. What start out as effective but seemingly abstract setting poems all make sense in the final moments, and I was impressed by the narrative’s satisfyingly slow burn.

    The game’s puzzles are the stars of the show, and Lorelei is bursting with them. The ultimate goal is to search the house and open every door, find every document, and pick every lock. Sometimes, this involves reading to find a year that can be used to open a four-digit lock. Sometimes, this involves entering a 32-bit horror video game and crashing it so you can note its error message documentation.

    Like any good puzzle game, the puzzles are based on a basic idea but quickly expand to lead you to solutions you never considered. In Lorelei’s case, it’s basically simple math. You’ll need a calculator (and one is provided in the game), but you won’t be doing much more than adding and subtracting and taking notes. The puzzles kept me feeling consistently smart without going off the deep end in a way that I appreciated. I was definitely stuck – extremely stuck on some occasions – but I never felt cheated by the puzzle when I finally arrived at a solution.

    Where I sometimes felt cheated was when I sometimes hit literal walls where I had parts one and three of a puzzle, but just couldn’t find two. At least 3 of my roughly 20 hours of playtime was spent wandering the halls aimlessly looking for something that would help me take the next step, only to find that I missed a prompt on the wall. was given which would open a secret passage. The moment felt less like I couldn’t understand a secret lock than if I had never seen a lock before. In those moments, I was disappointed by Lorelei and Laser Eyes, but to its credit, I was instantly so enamored with the game that I knew I wanted to finish it from its opening moments.

    I don’t know that you can consider yourself a successful puzzle game if you don’t hit at least a few confusing obstacles that feel insurmountable. Ultimately overcoming these obstacles is what makes the genre so compelling, and Lorelei and Laser Eyes strikes that successful balance of making you feel smart more often than dumb. Couple that with an unsolvable mystery, fourth-wall-breaking commentary, and unexpected reality-bending moments that send you to strange places, and you’re left with a fantastic puzzle game that I wish I had. I play again for the first time.

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