This is part of a series of articles covering games featured at this year’s LudoNarraCon, a digital convention which aims to celebrate the very best that narrative focused video games have to offer. They were kind enough to invite us to check out the game’s on offer, so we’ve picked out some of the very best.

What with all that’s going on in the world at the moment, I’m finding strange solace in games which provide pleasant settings and normality in abundance. Sure, video games have always been an escape for a lot of people (myself included), retreating to some fantasy realm or far off space station to escape the mundanity of normal life. The issue is normal life has been a stretch for a while now and so, personally, my priorities have changed. That’s why, when the demo for Lake was offered as part of this year’s convention, I knew I had to give it a go.

Set in the middle of the 1980’s, the game places the player into the life of Meredith Weiss, a high-powered city executive type who is returning to her hometown for two weeks to fill in for her postal worker father in their leafy, lakeside town. The break will purportedly offer her some much needed rest and rehabilitation and that, essentially, is the premise of the game. Sure, I can totally see that this will immediately turn off the more high octane players amongst you, but its unique appeal is very much drawn from its simplicity. 

The game is entirely freeform, allowing the player to follow the pursuits they like and choosing who they want to talk to and interact with. It offers a branching narrative and slice-of-life choices which offer different experiences on each playthrough. At the end of the two weeks, Meredith will have to decide whether or not to return to her former life. Visually, there is a rudimentary but entirely appropriate style to the game, with moments of stunning beauty (particularly as the sun descends over the water) allowing the player to explore the pretty lakeside setting in a relaxing and disarming way.

It releases in the summer of this year, so make sure to keep an eye out for a full review then, as well as further updates on the game’s development in the meantime.