The Lion’s Song: Episode Four | Developer: Mipumi Games | Platform: PC, Mac & Mobile | Rating: 6.8 / 11 |
The fourth and final episode of The Lion’s Song, a game about the fickleness and elusiveness of inspiration, is here. On a train ride bound for a gloomy destination, four strangers meet and discuss recent happening in their lives and the area (essentially talking about what happened in the first three episodes and how they knew the characters there). While the previous episodes are relatively stand alone (though they have many hidden fun interconnections!), episode four really leans on the players enjoyment of the first three episodes in order to get anything out of the fourth.
If there is one thing The Lion’s Song excels at it is doing a great amount with very little. Graphically and mechanically the game is as simple as one can create, but with subtle movements, grounded dialogue, entrancing music, and struggles that seem far more real than most video game protagonists, the game is able to bring a somber yet delicate and fond story. Only several hours in length, this new episode makes it clear that there is a surprising replay-ability factor to The Lion’s Song. Sure your hand is held most of the time but key decisions can be made to change the outcome of the story, and the final episode really explores those subtle changes.
While it’s still the same game that leaves you feeling like you just read an immersive book rather than played a game, episode four stands distinctly apart from the first three episodes. Each previous episode featured a main character, struggling with inspiration and dealing with their own version of “writers block” (or the appropriate term for painters and mathematicians). Whereas episode four spends so much time forming connections and revealing fun little missing links between all previous episodes that it looses the intimacy developed with any new characters.
Ultimately this short yet beautiful game, while being a bit of a downer in it’s overall tone, is a refreshing break from the usual fast paced in-your-face plot games. And anyone able to slow down enough to appreciate the struggle of real life will remember this game fondly.