Released on September 10 and developed under the indie label EA Originals by the studio Zoink Games, “Lost in Random” is a dark and magnificent adventure game, which is readily placed under the auspices of the influence of Tim Burton and Henry Selick. .
It is always fashionable, sometimes for ease, sometimes also with reason, to criticize the lack of risk-taking of a video game publisher, limiting himself to flushing out already widely proven franchises. Even more so if it is an industry juggernaut like Electronic Arts, who suffered a hell of a storm with the loot box mechanics affair in his games.
But we must also give him thanks for the creation of the label EA Originals, turned towards partnerships with independent studios. It is under this label that some beautiful nuggets have been released, such as the sensational and brilliant It Takes Two, created by Josef Fares, a former film director and screenwriter who went to found his development studio in 2014.
Since September 10, we must now add to this nursery a remarkable game, with sumptuous artistic direction: Lost in Random. Here is the trailer, below:
Developped by Zoink!, a Swedish studio created in 2001, this action-adventure game with Gothic accents, largely irrigated by the influence of Tim Burton and that of Henry Selick, was also part of the selection of titles selected for the Festival of the film by Tribeca, which reached a milestone this year by awarding a prize to a video game work. “For over a decade, our mission has been to be a catalyst to place games and their creators at the forefront of mainstream and artistic culture alongside film, television, virtual reality and increased “ explained Jane Rosenthal, director and co-founder of the Tribeca festival.
A table as a model
“Our inspiration for Lost in Random came from a love of exploring strange and unusual things through art, using moods and feelings as a starting point.” explained Olov Redmalm, the studio’s creative director. “We experimented with different art forms during this process, but it was when we saw a painting of a young girl and her dice that we clicked. What would a world be where everyone’s life depends on a throw of the dice? die? “
A painting by an Australian artist named Shaun tan in this case, which therefore serves as the starting point of a story in which the fortune or misfortune of the characters is decided with a roll of the dice. Featuring chiseled handwriting from prestigious Eisner Award winning Ryan North for Adventure Time, also author of The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl for Marvel Comics, Lost in Random plunges the player into the realm of Alea. Ruled by a powerful queen and divided into six very distinct regions with very marked visual identities, it is there that the destiny of each child is forged when he crosses the threshold of 12 years: each of them must roll the black dice of the queen, to determine her future.
After rolling a six, Odd, Paire’s older sister, goes to live with the Queen in her palace in Sixtopia. A year later, in the grip of recurring nightmares, Paire decides to go in search of his sister. Along the way, she binds with a living dice named Decisse.
Originally from Unibourg, the poorest of the six kingdoms, Paire embarks on a quest that takes her through environments with aesthetics as genius and twisted as their inhabitants. Like Doubleville, for example, where each of them has a double personality, which changes every day when the queen throws her favorite dice … Or Quartebourg, a city without faith or law where more or less illegal punters influence the fate of other citizens … We could multiply the examples at will: it is fascinating to see to what extent the studio has pushed the logic of its initial concept, in a perfectly coherent creative end-to-endism , which is regularly punctuated by a voice-over narration full of humor.
Odd and pass
But there is more. In this high-end visual setting is a very original system of confrontation. Pair’s traveling companion, Décisse is indeed endowed with special powers which allow Pair to stop time, and to summon an arsenal to fight the evil forces of the Queen. In this case a hand of 5 cards, which the player can draw and compose as he wishes in a starting deck.
Cards with very varied effects, moreover: protection, traps, regeneration, melee attack, invocation of a magic mass or a bow, cheat cards too, necessarily, but the effects of which can sometimes be harmful. .. There is therefore a real strategic dimension in the clashes, especially in the living arenas that dot the game, which are arenas in the form of a game board that evolves and adapts over the course of your battles.
The player also has every interest in generously strengthening his collection of cards, which he can win by winning the fights, but also by buying them from Maximilien Dextre; a “living” shop, a wacky and totally improbable cross between a man and a wardrobe. When you were told that the universe of Lost in Random was happily twisted …
Without ever losing the tenuous thread of his narration, sometimes even allowing himself lovely moments of emotion, Lost in Random unrolls its finery over a ten-hour period; the time it should take you to complete the main quest and the few side quests. A very nice discovery not to be missed.