I may or may not have mentioned before, but I have a liking for dark and depressing stories. I think I find them more realistic, or maybe I just have a harder time relating to happiness. Whatever the case, today I bring you a dark and depressing story...probably. Maybe. It's hard to say.
You play as a little girl named Leah, who seems to have been born without a face. She wakes up alone in a large, relatively fancy house with no exit. And that's...about all you're told. Your objective, if you could call it that, is to wander around the house going through everything and trying to figure out what on Earth you're supposed to be doing, why you're alone, why you can't leave, what is going on...
I can't exactly call this a puzzle game, although there are some small puzzles to solve in order to progress the storyline. There are little colorful arrows that pop up telling you where to go, and extremely cryptic and creepy phone calls will give you hints every so often. Even if you go in with no idea of what to do, a playthrough will probably take around twenty to thirty minutes. The simplicity of the gameplay extends to the soundtrack, which is made up of a couple variations of one track. It's a very nice track and I like it a lot, but I can see it getting repetitive quickly.
Where this game excels is the mystery of its atmosphere. The literal blankness of your face and the pages of the books on the shelves...the plant in the main room that constantly needs watering...the world map on which continents disappear...It all meshes together very well. There isn't much in the way of story, at least not that you're told, but you get the impression that there's a huge one hiding behind the scenes.
If you're not a fan of abstract, experimental games, then this game is not for you. If you're not a fan of games that don't explain everything, then this game is not for you. I admit that The Mirror Lied isn't going to be everyone's cup of tea. It's an introspective game, one that gives you a lot to think about and doesn't answer questions very easily, or even at all. I feel bad being so light on story details, but the truth is that you're not really provided with many. It instead chooses to leave things up to the player's interpretation.
(Without wishing to spoil...I personally think apocalypse. Or something like that.)
So if you think you can handle thirty minutes of interesting if confusing gameplay, followed by you scratching your head in bewilderment, then give this a quick run. Come up with your own ideas as to why things are the way they are in this game. In a story where all interpretation is left up to you, there are no wrong answers.
The Mirror Lied is available for free download directly from the developer.
Final verdict: A short and entirely baffling game that sets up a great atmosphere and inspires a lot of thinking about its world, The Mirror Lied is an interesting experiment that is worth the small amount of time it takes to complete.
The Mirror Lied is developed by Freebird Games. The opinions expressed in this review are my own. I was not compensated in any way for this review.