Over the past few years in particular there has been a movement towards using games as a vehicle for telling semi-interactive stories as opposed to using more traditional forms of media. The power of doing this can be a stronger connection to the game’s protagonist, which then can enhance the experience and make the message more powerful. Lydia, in its admittedly brief runtime, tells a real-life story involving a little girl, her party-hard parents, and the fantasy world she tries to escape to in order to insulate her from the awful situations she finds herself in. The strengths of the game are its unusual hand-drawn art and the challenging arc of the story, while the weakness is what constitutes “gameplay” and perhaps the heavily-repeated baby sounds that are used for dialogue. However, if you’re down for putting yourself in the shoes of a child in challenging circumstances you may find it enlightening.
Justin Nation, Score: