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Lydia's Heart

by Jim Aikin profile

Horror
2007

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Number of Reviews: 7
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
A daring escape with a just setback or two, July 15, 2017
by Cory Roush (Ohio)
I love Lydia's Heart, except my own heart broke playing it... but we'll get to that.

The characters in this story are really quite diverse. There are some stereotypes at play, of course, but you have a chance to get to know almost every single one of them and they each have different reasons for being a part of the story.

The puzzles? Difficult, but aside from a really cruel maze, I required very little assistance to solve any of them. The solutions are logical, and it always felt as if I had the right tool (or at least knew where I could probably find it) when I needed it. I'm never a fan of IF that forces you to be a kleptomaniac pack-rat right from the start. In this game you certainly could act that way (in fact, there's a "holdall" sack available to you right from the start) but if you choose to interact with the game as a teenage girl would do, you never feel forced to pick up things just because they're on the ground or on a nearby shelf.

All that being said, I was very disappointed to find at least one scenario that made the game unwinnable. As a disclaimer, I am not the kind of person who saves their game very often. I usually forget, which is my own failing. However, this particular "mistake" was not well broadcast to me and I played the game for at least another hour before realizing what had happened. (Spoiler - click to show)A very important item is hidden inside a container that is initially locked when you find it. You have to steal the container from a cabin that is empty at one point in the story, but inhabited later. I successfully stole the container but made the fatal mistake of trying to enter the cabin later when the inhabitant already came inside... basically, if you go in the direction of the closed door, you automatically knock on it and the person comes to the door. Since I had the locked valise in my hands when the owner came to the door, he took it. And there's no way to get it back. The message that you see when this happens, though, is very similar to what you would expect to see if you tried to enter the cabin with the item safely stored away, and so I just proceeded to go on without trying to restore an earlier save or UNDO. Just a fair warning!

I dislike these scenarios so much that I didn't even bother to go back and try again, because I felt like I was at least 90-95% of the way through the game.

I would have loved to witness the ending, but a decision on the author's part to let realism trump enjoyment stopped that dead in its tracks. Good luck, Diane - I hope you made it out alive!