Leaving Lyndow is less of a full-fledged game and more of a precursor to Eastshade Studios upcoming game, the aptly named Eastshade – it's a bit like what Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes was to the Phantom Pain. This experience mainly exists to provide context to the full game coming at a later date, as well as serving as an introduction to what kind of game Eastshade will ultimately be.

Leaving Lyndow is very much your typical story-driven walking simulator. You play the role of Clara, who is putting everything in order and saying goodbye on her final day in Lyndow before she sets off on her very first ocean exploration. You'll be spending this single day in Clara's life packing essential items, bidding farewell to family and friends, and revisiting important childhood locations for one last time. Much of the game's storytelling comes from Clara's various observations of things she sees around the environment, often giving you insight into her past. You'll also be able to talk to some of the Lyndow citizens as you travel from location to location, however many of these inhabitants only offer up a line or two of quite generic dialogue. The experience is much better when talking to characters who have been important in Clara's life. Here conversations are longer and much deeper, with dialogue options also present, though these don't seem to have much of an impact on the story.

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Unlike many walking simulators, Leaving Lyndow has a few gameplay sections in the form of puzzles. This breaks up the experience, but unfortunately the puzzles are quite poor. The most egregious of them is a chime puzzle, where you'll need to literally write down the entire sequence of sounds the game wants you to copy as it's far too complex and confusing to follow without any assistance. The other couple of puzzles are not nearly as bad as this, but they suffer from being incredibly basic and quite frankly are a dull experience.

Despite being an extremely short game – you can beat it a little more than 30 minutes – you'll still run into some glaring technical issues. The most obvious problem is the frame rate stuttering, which is present for almost the entire duration. We also had instances of characters walking off on us in the middle of conversations, leaving us talking to thin air until the dialogue had completely played out. This might not seem like the biggest problem in the world, but for a game focused heavily on storytelling it is incredibly distracting. Similarly, all the characters look practically identical, sucking you out of the cinematic experience yet again.


Leaving Lyndow has some promising aspects, but overall it's a frustrating experience. The puzzle sections are poorly thought out and mostly implemented to impede the player's progress and extend the running time for a little while longer, while the technical hiccups shatter your story immersion.