Game Reviews

Lethargy

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iOS
| Lethargy
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Lethargy
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iOS
| Lethargy

In order to be taken seriously, video games need to tackle serious themes. That's the school of thought Lethargy's developer seems to subscribe to, anyway.

As it turns out, however, the game itself makes rather a better case for forgetting all that high-falutin' nonsense and simply firing up another round of Crossy Road.

Nightmare start

You wake up in an empty, padlocked room. Dotted around are cryptic messages relating to your apparent incarceration, as well as hinting at some terrible trauma in your past.

If your overly optimistic brain starts anticipating an unlikely Myst-meets-The Room-meets-Old Boy adventure extravaganza at this point, you're sadly way off. You're also a bit weird.

Lethargy ultimately amounts to little more than a clunky, melodramatic, poorly executed tech demo.

Rude awakening

The misgivings start pretty quickly, as you try to navigate around this simple opening room. It's a complete pain simply moving around in first person by double tapping on the screen.

You have to be aligned perfectly with the game's interactive elements, and quitting out of text screens is a poorly explained case of tapping in a border area.

The game's puzzles are simultaneously simplistic and frustrating, thanks to their undercooked mechanics. They're also critically few in number - I managed to play through the whole thing in around half-an-hour.

Bad dream

Even Lethargy's story - evidently its main feature - doesn't escape censure here. The game's narrative is driven by a combination of stilted text, in the form of letters from concerned family members, and on-the-nose dreamy symbolism.

In terms of tone, the developer clearly aims for a certain level of emotional maturity and melancholy, but ends up with a heavy-handed soapiness that would be funny were it not so cringe-inducingly off-kilter.

Lethargy adds nothing to the tiresome videogames-as-art debate, but of far more concern is the fact that it's a truly terrible game.

Lethargy

A clunky, heavy-handed, almost mercifully brief mystery puzzle game that falls well short of its lofty narrative targets
Score