Lonesome Village is a useful indie game where you play as the adorable Wes the coyote, saving the residents of Lonesome after they become trapped inside a mysterious tower. As you advance up the tower, solving puzzles along the way, you rebuild the village, bringing the residents back to their homes.
The game mixes puzzle-solving and life simulation elements, as you switch between advancing through the puzzle-filled tower and fulfilling quests for the now rescued villagers. The game finds strength in its charming art style, cute characters, and sometimes challenging puzzles, but there are still some improvements that could be made to make Lonesome Village a great game.
6/6 Execute task history
Once you rescue a villager from the tower, they will inform you of their turn in the village and head to their house or their assigned building. When you talk to the villagers afterward, they will most likely have a task that they want you to complete for them. These start out simple – bring in fruit you can scrape off the trees, for example.
But, as the game progresses, these tasks can become more complicated, as you need to get multiple items and get the specially crafted items with the help of another villager. The more stacked these tasks are, the more difficult it is to keep track of who needs what. Without a quest log, it’s easy to forget how many items a villager wants, or even what they wanted in the first place. Having a task log inside your journal will save a lot of time that would needlessly be wasted over and over again talking to the villagers to remember exactly what you were asked.
5/6 Give names or descriptions of the items
In Lonesome, you will spend a lot of time looking for and using tools to gather resources for villagers’ tasks or to advance to the next section of the tower. However, once these items are added to your inventory, there is no description or name for them. Normally, this is fine – the difference between an orange and an apple is clearly visible – but the problem arises when the items are very similar with minimal physical differences.
For example, there are multiple types of wood that you can collect with your pickaxe, and you’ll need these different types to craft things with Justin the Beaver. But the only way to tell the different types of wood in your inventory is by looking at the color of the wood—in fact, they only differ in shades of brown, rather than colors altogether. If you need a certain type of wood, you will have to find out for yourself which trees give it, and I hope you don’t forget the next time you need wood.
When you get your own home in Lonesome Village, you’ll also get access to a garden, where you can grow different types of flowers to sell or give away to villagers around town. To grow your flowers, you’ll need to till the land, plant the seeds, and water the buds—pretty standard, isn’t it?
Unfortunately, there is no way to quickly switch between the bucket, the seeds, and the watering can, so you’ll have to manually select them in your inventory each time you finish doing each action. You also can’t select multiple plots at once, which means you’ll have to plow each plot individually, sow each seed separately, and water each plot individually. All of this takes time, which is only increased by the fact that you can’t quickly switch between the tool you want to use.
3/6 Fast travel between corona statues
The Lonesome Village map isn’t huge by any means, but walking from one side of the map to the other can take a while when completing tasks for the villagers. There are Coronya Statues dotted around all of these areas, allowing you to save as frequently as you wish. These sound like the perfect fast travel signs, so why not use them as such?
If you can quickly travel between Coronya’s statues, your travel time will be greatly reduced, which means you can finish a mission and move on to the next one, wherever that may be, faster. Right now, you’re stuck walking all the way, or rolling, if you want to get there little bit faster.
2/6 More interactions between characters
Lonesome’s villagers are nothing but charming, and their adorable character designs fit in perfectly with the game’s wholesome aesthetic. However, despite living close to each other, the villagers rarely interact or show any contact with anyone else around them. Some may mention their wives and children, but there is no talk of neighbors or anyone else in the community.
Lonely lives could be brought to life so much more if these characters existed outside of their own little bubbles. This doesn’t have to be anything huge – the villagers could simply mention someone else who lives in another area, or ask you to deliver a package to their friend who lives somewhere else.
1/6 More challenging puzzles
In each level of the tower, you will encounter a set of puzzles to complete. The first one is usually a tutorial, then the next one or two is a harder version than the first one you completed. Many of these puzzles are satisfying to complete once you know what to do; However, many of these mysteries are fairly straightforward.
There are a few puzzles that can present a challenge if you don’t quite understand the mechanics, but most can be solved quickly, and the difficulty doesn’t seem to increase much as you move up the tower. Seriously increasing the difficulty, especially when you get to the top of the tower, will go a long way, allowing you to implement what you’ve learned about the puzzles so far.
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