Leaving Lyndow Review – Bittersweet Partings

Leaving Lyndow Review

Leaving Lyndow has a simple premise contained neatly by the game’s title. You are a young explorer who has been chosen to go on a three-year expedition to see the world. The entire game is a snapshot of this one tender moment, something you can finish in a sitting. Don’t let that dissuade you, though. This is a beautiful, valuable experience.

There’s little gameplay here. That’s okay. This is an experience defined more by its atmosphere than its mechanics. There are a couple of mini games that serve to enhance the depth of the narrative, but that’s all. This will be an experience uninterrupted by frustration or challenge. Again, this is a good thing. Games like Leaving Lyndow require a certain flow, one that carries you forward rather than hold you back.


“The whole thing was breathtaking.”

I was touched by some of what I saw and heard. You get a chance to explore a bit of the forest. I was immediately reminded of the woods back in my childhood home. The sounds of birds, the wind through the trees, the shadows cast by the sun as it started its descent. The whole thing was breathtaking. The audio presented here is subdued but captivating. You feel like this place is alive. I want to use that lakeside view as my computer’s new wallpaper, it’s wonderful. The writing presented is simple, but effective. Speaking to the townspeople and your family, you learn a lot about yourself. There’s fresh memories of tragedy, mystery, nostalgia and wonder. The scraps of writing you discover tell of a town in recovery, a town fearful of the potential dangers beyond the horizon. Even the children integrate this history into their play. Leaving Lyndow makes excellent use of these tiny details to build a convincing, immersive world.

Leaving Lyndow ins1

Occasionally I would see one or two tiny glitches, but they weren’t enough to detract from the overall package. For the most part, this is a very well put together game. That being said, the narrative invites a lot of questions. I suspect this is a deliberate move by the developers, a way to stoke player curiosity in the world being built. For example, what race are you? How many races are in this world? Is it a racial characteristic that leaves everyone more or less bald, or is that a cultural thing? Why is everyone covering their mouths? Leaving Lyndow is so short that I’m starving for more. I want to explore this beautiful world in exhaustive detail. I want to read all the lore, get into all the caves, the valleys, the forests. I want to hear more of the local music scene. I want to settle down in this sleepy village, get married and raise a family here. Eastshade does an admirable job of pulling you in and making you care about this place.

Leaving Lyndow ins2

Imagine my elation when I discovered this little game is part of a larger world. Eastshade Studios is currently at work on their flagship title of the same name. Awesome news, right? This tears at me a bit. It’s bad form to reference future projects when discussing a current title, but I feel it’s a critical detail in understanding Leaving Lyndow. For me, getting to the end of this game felt bittersweet. I was already through it, when I just wanted more. More time to explore this world, to meet these people. More time to soak in this beautiful creation. And I’ll get it! At a release date yet to be determined. Somehow my departure from Lyndow, leaving behind everyone I know and love, feels doubly sorrowful with this information. Like the protagonist, I may yet see this place again. But how many days, how many months will pass before I do? I want to play through it again, just to take in more details, to burn this sleepy place into my memories. Who knows how long it will be before I’m back.

***A PC code was provided by the publisher***

The Good

  • Crazy beautiful
  • Tons of world building
  • Still more to come

The Bad

  • Too short
  • Little interaction
  • Easthade needs a release date